Zubaan and IDRC’s SVI project emerged from the cross border collaboration of feminists, academics and researchers across South Asia. Following the legacy of its predecessor, the Stepping Stones and Body of Evidence projects also exist in the context of a larger network that spans countries and cultures—they form a part of IDRC’s Give Youth a Voice initiative that spans the 5 South Asian countries of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. 

South Asia is home to the largest youth force in the world, which faces unique vulnerabilities exacerbated by their geographical and social locations (gender, religion, class, caste, ethnicity, etc). However, they are also best positioned to use the various creative mediums at their disposal to meet the challenges that sexual violence and impunity pose, head on. In this way, they become the drivers of social change. This initiative therefore seeks to support programmes led by the youth in these countries to help them play a critical role in strengthening their communities and societies.

While the youth engaged by the Stepping Stones and Body of Evidence projects (India and Nepal) used performing arts like theatre and slam poetry as a medium to challenge structures of impunity, our sister projects across South Asia looked at youth led research, community-led outreach programmes, art, music and cognitive behaviour therapy sessions with at-risk youth as ways of confronting these structures. 

Read more about this initiative and the work of the 8 organisations implementing it in greater detail here.