The Catalyst Conference


Parivartan: Be The Change
Addressing Sexual Violence in India: Transforming Attitudes, Changing Behaviours
Date – 23rd – 24th April, 2014
Venue – The Lalit, New Delhi, India

A Crisis of Violence : In India today, a woman is raped every 30 minutes. A child is raped every hour. About 70 per cent of women in India experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetime. Experts further estimate that upwards of 10 million women and 6 million children have been trafficked into the sex trade in India, and are sexually abused multiple times a day to profit their traffickers. This represents a massively disproportionate 20% of the global sex trafficking "market".

A Call to Action : Clearly, it is time for action. It is time for the next generation of Indian leaders - from all sectors of society - to consider how we can reverse this pandemic and contribute to making India a safer and more equitable home for all.

A Different Kind of Conference : Ananta Centre (formerly part of Aspen Institute India) and EmancipAction are gathering 200 of India's most highly respected young leaders from government, non-profit and the private sectors for a two day, interactive exploration of the issues with some of the highest ranking experts in the field. Participants will gain a nuanced understanding of the key drivers and challenges associated with addressing the violence, but will also have the opportunity to participate in the development and execution of some very pragmatic and cutting edge solutions.

Our Goal : To inspire and equip a cadre of India's top young leaders to become catalysts of change in their workplaces as they engage in and seek additional support for pragmatic solutions to eliminate sexual violence against women and children in this country.

Our Approach : Not Just "Talking Heads": The Action Forum will feature a combination of professionally moderated discussions among topic experts as well as much smaller, focused breakout sessions. A select number of participants will be invited to host (pre-approved) break - out sessions to help develop an idea or project based on his/her area of related interest and expertise.

5 Expert Panels will explore some key drivers (and potential solutions) to the violence:

  • Men's Attitudes Toward Women in India
  • Access to Education
  • Economic Opportunities
  • Arts and Media
  • The Law and How it is Implemented

Smaller Break Out sessions will connect those with similar interests and passions to discuss and support a variety of pragmatic interventions, such as:

  • Initiatives to train and sensitize young, Indian men to act on behalf of women's safety, becoming positive agents of change In their communities
  • Initiatives to provide uneducated girls safe and consistent access to school
  • The use of emerging technologies to track and prosecute rapists and traffickers
  • Using media to change the behaviour of "johns" who create the demand for commercial sex with children
  • Emerging hand phone apps to provide real time alerts to authorities and contacts in case of personal attack

And a host of exciting special extras that will surely inspire the best in all of us, including:

  • New York City's critically acclaimed Battery Dance Company will join the inspiring dancers of Kolkata Sanved, to jointly create and present a dance work of healing and inspiration with a remarkable troupe of young survivors of sexual violence

For further information, to nominate or to apply to be a member of the Action Forum, please contact:

About Ananta Centre

An independent and not-for-profit organization, Ananta Centre – formerly part of Aspen Institute India – is registered under the Indian Trust Act. It focuses on leadership development and encourages frank and open dialogue on the most important challenges facing society at large and to foster the transformation of Indian society. It also engages the civil society, inclusive of business, NGOs, Governments and other stake holders on issues of importance to India's development and national security. Ananta Centre holds discussions on key foreign policy issues as well as security matters and strategic affairs pertaining to India through regular public sessions and round tables. The Centre is headquartered in New Delhi.

About EmancipAction

EmancipAction is an international, non-profit organization working to end child sex trafficking around the world. EmancipAction aims to bring freedom, healing and justice to hundreds of thousands of children who have been sexually abused and exploited, while building up the system to break down the business of sex slavery. The organisation has been combing the globe to bring together the best thinkers and practitioners to test a groundbreaking approach to breaking the business of child sex trafficking. It leads focused projects that increase alignment and coordination among the government, NGO and private sectors, to create measurable, lasting and scalable impact.