Binalakshmi Nepram

Ashoka Fellow
India,
Fellow Since 2011

Citation

This profile was prepared when Binalakshmi Nepram was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2011.
The New Idea
Bina recognizes women as a critical force, at both policymaking and community levels that can reduce the availability, misuse, and demand of small arms in society. She brings the micro-disarmament movement to the household and community level by creating new roles for women to check the availability and usage of small arms and deal with consequences of armed societies.

One aspect of Bina’s idea focuses on working with the Central Government to redraft and tighten gun legislation, factoring in gender insecurities into the law through the Control Arms Foundation of India (CAFI), founded in 2004. The second layer of her idea guarantees that new policies are built and reinforced by the most affected communities through the Manipuri Women Gun Survivors Network (MWGSN). Founded in 2007, MWGSN rehabilitates, empowers, and engages women survivors in micro-disarmament. Recognizing that citizens will not engage in larger issues unless immediate economic needs are met, MWGSN adds a unique economic perspective to the micro-disarmament movement by providing women survivors’ access to different services such as bank accounts and interest-free loans to start income-generating activities. With this as an entry point, MWGSN educates women on human rights issues, the legal redress system, and also provides a platform to have their opinions heard by policymakers.

Bina is creating a critical mass of women at the national and regional decision-making levels by building networks of women lawyers, writers, researchers, and members of parliament to engage and develop means to eradicate weapons from individual households and society at-large. By focusing her solution on reducing the tools of violence in society rather than the roots of conflicts, Bina is able to take the issue of disarmament outside conflict zones to police officials, youth, and ordinary citizens to create roles for everyone to be a part of the solution.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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