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Denise Dunning, Founder + Executive Director

The #MeToo movement has unleashed the concentrated power of millions of girls and women to speak out against sexual harassment and gender-based violence. Building on the work of generations of women who refused to remain silent, girls and women are finding great strength in sharing our stories — opening the pandora’s box of unwanted attentions, subtle coercions, verbal threats, physical attacks, and power manipulations — to begin to hold men accountable.

#MeToo’s strength comes from creating a space that never before existed — a space where girls and women can speak out publicly about the sexual harassment and gender-based violence that for too long we ignored, pretended didn’t matter, kept secret, and tried to forget. Our personal stories highlight both our shared realities, and the ways in which systemic oppression undermines girls and women in the U.S. and around the world.

While girls and women have advocated for years to transform these structural inequalities, #MeToo is now harnessing the power of new communications technologies — from Facebook and Twitter to WhatsApp — to change the conversation about sexual harassment. And as we look ahead, technology is becoming an increasingly important tool in the fight to end gender-based violence.

In India, Rise Up Youth Champion Gayatri Parameswaran used virtual reality (VR) technology to create a film that enables women and men to better understand when they are experiencing — and perpetuating — gender-based violence. Gayatri created the film as part of a campaign against intimate partner violence led by Love Matters India, the country’s first bilingual platform focused on love, sex, and relationships.
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Rise Up is thrilled to launch an exciting new collective impact partnership with fellow leading global gender equality organizations that aims to increase the economic power of girls and women in India, where currently only 29% of women formally participate in the workplace. 

The three-year project, "Collective Impact Partners: Women's and Girl’s Economic Empowerment Advocacy in India," will be co-led by Rise Up and our esteemed partners, Global Fund for WomenGlobal Women’s Leadership NetworkPublic Health Institute, and World Pulse.

Our collaborative work with Collective Impact Partners (CIP) will strengthen the capacity of civil society leaders and organizations to advocate for girls’ and women’s economic empowerment in India by developing a collective impact model that includes a digital framework for delivering and scaling integrated services.

“CIP’s framework multiplies our collective strengths and contributions—by unifying our advocacy expertise, technological capacity, and collaboration with local NGOs, we will invest in Indian women and girl leaders to increase economic opportunities for all,” says Denise Dunning, Rise Up Founder and Executive Director.

All together, CIP members have ties to more than 1,000 partner organizations across India, on-going relationships with more than 3,000 individual leaders, and more than 100 years advocating for gender equality. 

We are excited to leverage our collective resources through this innovative partnership to help more Indian girls and women access the opportunities they need to boost their economic power.  

For more details about this exciting new initiative, click here or on the button below to read the full press release. 

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Rise Up Youth Champions come together to participate in the IBP Initiative Asia Regional Partners Meeting in New Delhi in February. From left: Jasmine George, Shubham Choudhary, Ados V. May (Senior Technical Advisor for IBP), Ankita Rawat, Franklin Paul, Angana Prasad, and Souvik Pyne. 


In February, Rise Up Youth Champions shared their voices and expertise as emerging leaders in sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) at the Implementing Best Practices (IBP) Initiative Asia Regional Partners Meeting, a three-day convening held in New Delhi.

The semi-annual IBP event gathered participants from more than 7 countries and 45 organizations to strengthen partnerships, share resources, and activate key initiatives to advance family planning in India and greater Asia.

Jasmine George, Youth Champion and enterprising founder of Hidden Pockets, moderated panel discussions on how to effectively engage young people in sexual and reproductive health through games, apps, and other interactive educational approaches.

Among the experts she spoke with was fellow Youth Champion Franklin Paul, Monitoring and Evaluation Manager for Restless Development India. Paul discussed his work with M-Sathi, a comprehensive sexuality education app he developed through the Youth Champions Initiative (YCI), and he also served as Chair for day three of the event.
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Denise Dunning will be the keynote speaker at the Cummins Corporation Women's Conference to celebrate International Women's Day. IWD arrives with added urgency this year following the World Economic Forum's 2017 Global Gender Gap Report declaring that progress in achieving gender parity is backsliding across the globe—and now estimated at more than 200 years away. Join us in this global campaign to #PressforProgress for gender equality—now!
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Rise Up leaders and partners will attend the sixty-second session of the United Nations' Commission on the Status of Women, which explores the theme, "Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls." The Commission collected community input from individuals and organizational representatives in more than 30 countries to compile an insightful preparatory report, "Rural Women: Striving for Gender-Transformative Impacts."
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Rise Up activates women and girls to transform their lives, families and communities through investment in local solutions, strengthening leadership, and building movements. Since 2009, Rise Up's powerful network of over 500 leaders has directly benefited 7 million girls, youth, and women, advocating for over 100 laws and policies impacting 115 million people in Africa, Latin America, South Asia, and the US. Rise Up is based at the Public Health Institute (PHI), a leader in global health and development for over 50 years.
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