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Eliminating Gender Insensitive Medical Practices

Eliminating Gender Insensitive Medical Practices: Building Medical Educators Capacities To Integrate Gender Concern

Unintended harm of child marriage laws: The Indian context on 24th March 2021, at 6.30 pm IST

Join PLD's Panel Discussion On The Urgency of Addressing Unintended Harm of Law while responding to Child Marriage

Join PLD's Panel discussion on - NGO CSW65 Virtual Forum, from 14-26 March 2021

One of our researcher Sanjida Arora is a panelist for the following topic: Unintended harm of child marriage laws: The Indian context on 24th March 2021, at 6.30 pm IST

On the occasion of International Women’s Day

On the occasion of Women’s Day, our Dilaasa team from K B Bhabha Hospital, Bandra celebrated women’s day.

What Rape Survivors Want? Change In Mindsets & Accountability

By Padma Bhate-Deosthali, Sangeeta Rege and Sanjida Arora  In

CEHAT signing of an MoU with the Government of Karnataka to ‘Establish a Health Systems Response to VAW’

Maharashtra’s New Act on Sexual Violence: A Misdirected Legislation

By Sangeeta Rege and Sanjida Arora
In The 

Two Weeks Awareness Campaign on Violence Against Women in 13 Public Hospitals in Mumbai

Crisis within a Crisis - 8th National Bioethics Conference

Crisis within a Crisis - 8th National Bioethics Conference

Engaging the Health Care Providers to respond to VAW: A virtual workshop of NHM & CEHAT – Karnataka

Awareness and training course on Comprehensive health care response to VAWG

Medical evidence in rape cases and poor court outcomes

By Anupriya Singh

Domestic Violence during the Lockdown: Experiences of Women's organisations

Domestic Violence during the Lockdown: Experiences of Women's organisations - put together by the network Aman: Global Voice’s for Peace in the Home.
Infographics by Breakthrough India
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Hathras rape case: Right to medico-legal care for survivors has a long way to go…

By Bhate-Deosthali, Padma & Rege, Sangeeta

Ordeal of a pregnant child rape survivor denied timely health care

Authors: Singh, Anupriya; Pradhan, Anagha; Rege, Sangeeta and Bhate-Deosthli, Padma

Stay Home, Kitna Surakshit? Listen to Nirantar Radio

"CEHAT in News"-

Strengthening health systems response to violence against women in Indian hospitals.

Upscaling and Strengthening Health Systems Response to Violence

Mrudula Sawant of Dilaasa Centre quoted on the gaps in implementation of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act.

‘Hospitals as factories of medical garbage?’ Sarah Hodges delivers the 10th Krishna Raj Memorial lecture

10 th K.R. Memorial Lecture on “Hospitals as Factories of Medical Garbage”

Effectiveness of a counselling intervention implemented in antenatal setting for pregnant women facing domestic violence: a pre-experimental study.

Developing a Human Rights Perspective in Sexual and Reproductive Health Care

Maternal health in a changing world: A panel discussion

At Dilaasa, survivors of domestic violence get medical help, and also a friend.

Training at Goa Hospitals

TOI covers Study done by CEHAT.

What Hospitals Can Do to Curb Attacks on Resident Doctors

Surviving Sexual Violence: Perspective and skills on dealing with young Women/Girls 13th June to 15th June 2019, Saint Pius, Sarvodaya, Goregaon

"CEHAT in news" - Efforts to integrate sensitive clinical care for sexual violence survivors - Evidence from the field.

‘2-finger virginity test’ to be erased from Maharashtra syllabus.

TOI-8/5/19: '2 Finger Virginity Test’ to be erased from Maharashtra syllabus

CEHAT and GMC case study award covered by the Times of India

GMCH module on gender perspective wins top award. 

Award for "Stories of Change- Case Study Challenge" 2018-2019.

Despite the role of social determinants in health care being well established, neither medical education nor public health services in India have taken cognizance of it. This non-recognition has led to several biases in the dispensing of treatment and care to patients, especially those who are marginalized. Scholars have critiqued the field of medicine as being gender-blind and male-biased because the body of medical knowledge views the male body as the norm, with men’s experiences forming the basis for describing signs and symptoms of illness. 

CEHAT in collaboration with Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) and Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) undertook a research project on integrating gender in medical education in MBBS curriculum in Maharashtra. The project was conceptualized so as to integrate gender in medical teaching by building capacities of medical educators.

The award ceremony will be held on Saturday, April 20 (09.30 am onwards) at Azim Premji University, Electronic City Campus.

Stories of Change 2018-19 : Case Study Challenge.

CEHAT Receives Grant award from “SVRI World Bank Group Development Marketplace for Innovation on Gender-Based Violence Prevention and Response”.

Relooking at providing equitable healthcare to all on World Health Day 2019

International Women's Day Celebration at DILAASA- 8th March 2019

Dignity Award to Dr. Meena Savjani. 22 Feb 2019

Training of Trainers on Responding to Violence Against Women on 1st and 2nd February 2019, At Hotel Atithi, Mumbai

Training of Trainers on responding to violence against women:

In 2013, the World Health Organisation (WHO) developed clinical and policy guidelines on ‘Responding to intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women,’ for low and middle income countries. CEHAT has been involved advancing the health care sector’s response to violence against women. The purpose of this study is to implement these guidelines, generate evidence on feasibility of implementation, and also the possibility of developing a model health care response in tertiary medical setup. This project is implemented in collaboration with the WHO and Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER). Two medical colleges in the state of Maharashtra (GMC Aurangabad and GMC Miraj) have been identified for the purpose of rolling out the guidelines.

Training of Trainers have been conducted with set of health professionals including doctors, nurses and social workers from these two medical college. These Health care providers became the core group of trainers who conducted on site trainings of other HCP’s from Gynecology, Medicine and Casualty department. As a part of project an incremental training of these core trainers was conducted on 1st and 2nd February 2019. During this training, the trainers learnt about covert signs of violence, shared their experience of providing LIVES including their challenges, myths and facts related to sexual violence, and details of PWDVA act.

Understanding Dynamics of Sexual Violence Study of Case Records

Violence is now widely recognized as a global public health concern. Evidence shows that violence, may take various forms such as caste/race violence, homicide, domestic/sexual violence, rape etc. and causes immediate and long term health and social consequences. In the context of sexual violence, women and children have an invariable contact with the health system. This report provides important learning and insights into the interface between the hospitals and the survivors of sexual violence. It also presents the analysis on the contentious issues such as marital rape; mandatory reporting to the police.This will be an important learning document for those who are keen on creating a comprehensive response to sexual violence. The report highlights the need to establish long term engagement between the health institutions and the survivors of sexual violence.

Demystifying Medical Evidence; Guidance Documents for Police, Judiciary, Public Prosecutors

Gaps in responding to “sexual violence” came into public notice subsequent to force after rape and murder of a young medical professional in New Delhi .The government of India set up an expert committee, Justice Verma Commission ( JVC)  to review the gaps in rape response in India . Subsequent to the report findings the rape law was amended to include all forms of sexual violence such as oral, anal sexual assaults as well as non penetrative sexual violence. JVC made specific recommendation to ministries of home, health, women and child and the like to develop a sensitive response to sexual violence survivors. MoHFW took the lead in establishing a protocol and medico legal guidelines for rape response and issued it to different states for implementation.

 The Guidance documents for the Police, Judiciary and Public Prosecutor are situated in the context of demystifying medical evidence to them. These guidelines  were developed by CEHAT with the contribution of the task force inclusive of Feminist lawyers, mental health experts, health researchers and representatives from health ministry. The documents put forth the role of all the three and the objective is to provide a scientific understanding about the medico legal care to police in the context of sexual violence.

Police: Document aims to equip them with scientific understanding of medical evidence, enabling them to frame requisitions to the health professionals regarding medico-legal examination and evidence.

Judiciary: The document aims to assist courts with the scientific understanding of medical evidence, enable them to frame questions for doctors as expert witnesses in instance of sexual violence.

Public Prosecutor: The document aims to assist public prosecutors in presenting the medical evidence in the courts, guide them to enable presenting medical professionals as expert witnesses and to prevent irrelevant and unscientific questions related to medical evidence in court proceedings.

National Conference on "Health Systems response to Violence Against Women: Emerging Evidence"

“National Conference on Health Systems Response to Violence Against Women: Emerging Evidence” on 3 rd December, at Indian Habitat Centre organised by CEHAT (Centre for Enquiry into Health and Allied Themes) and ICRW (International Center for Research on Women) in the context of 16 day activism beginning on 25 th of November i.e. International Day for the Elimination  of Violence against Women. Gender equality and prevention of violence against women is an important determinant of  men’s empowerment. SDGs 5 and 6 recognise the wide spread impact of such violence and emphasise the role of health systems in responding to violence against women. The health sector has a critical role in addressing violence and this also stems from the fact that health services and health care providers are the first and trusted point of contact. Since the advent of PWDVA 2005, POCSCO 2012 and CLA 2013 efforts by the health sector on responding to VAW are underway in different states. CEHAT has been working with different states in India to develop, replicate and adapt the Dilaasa model of health sector response to VAW.  This has led to replication of Dilaasa models and generation of evidence on several aspects (health consequences, facility prevalence, signs and symptoms of violence amongst others). It is important to present this evidence and foster a dialogue across states to learn from collective experiences and strategies. This event seeks the involvement of the key delegates from health departments of various states, presentation of their work with respect to addressing violence against women. The conference will feature the presentations on the learnings by various states on the implementation of health sector response to VAW. This is crucial with regards to the directive to the health sector to address gender based violence by the National Health Policy, 2017. Further, our engagement with the health sector on developing a comprehensive response to VAW, experiences of designing and implementing crisis intervention services with a feminist perspective and interface with the legal frameworks has prompted us to systematically research our service records as well as carry out empirical studies on different aspects of

The event was graced by the eminent speakers which include the government officials, representatives from civil society organisations and researchers from the health sector. 

The first session will be Addressing gender inequalities: Engendering Medical education in Maharashtra, an intervention project by CEHAT in seven medical colleges of Maharashtra on integrating gender in medical education. The second session on strengthening service delivery for VAW and generate evidence for policy development will focus on lessons learnt from implementing health sector models in different states and findings from an intervention study based in a hospital. The third and fourth session will be on assessing health systems response to VAW within legal framework and multi-sectoral response to VAW- principles & strategies to respond to VAW respectively.


Report on the 9th KR Memorial Lecture

Report on the session conducted by Dr. Sunil Pandya and discussant Dr. S.P. Kalantri on  Contemporary Issues in Health and Social Sciences.

Dilaasa crisis centres prove a haven for women facing domestic violence.

Report on National Course on Comprehensive Healthcare Response to Survivors of Violence Against Women and Children, 30th August to 1st September 2018, Mumbai

CEHAT conducted a three-day intensive training for the health care providers on comprehensive response to violence against women and children, their roles and problem solving methods. There were 37 participants who were deputed from government hospitals from various states of India namely Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Delhi. The participants were doctors and nurses from departments such as Gynecology, Pediatrics, Forensic, Surgery, and Casualty that are likely to come in contact with survivors of violence. The objective of the course was to build the perspective to identify the survivors of violence based on health complaints and enhance skills to provide first line support.

The methodology was experiential and interactive, informing participants of theoretical concepts with scope for hands-on learning through discussion of case studies and role plays, followed by Q&A. This provided opportunity for discussion and debate. The participants were inquisitive and enthusiastic and shared various examples of instances that they had intervened in.

U.Vindhya, Professor and former Chairperson, School of Gender Studies at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Hyderabad campus, oriented the participants about the difference between sex and gender and root causes of gender based violence. Participants found the concept of intersectionality interesting as it brought forth the underlying complexities and helped place the survivor in the social context. This was followed by a session on understanding the link between violence and health and recognizing types and forms of violence.

The second day was facilitated by the CEHAT team. The day began with a session on legal responsibilities of healthcare providers, providing clarity on their role vis. a vis. various laws related to VAW. This was followed by day long practice sessions on strengthening communication with survivors. Participants were introduced to the LIVES model (WHO) to provide first line psychological support. The model was demonstrated by Dr. Sneha Khedekar, the nodal person of Dilaasa at M.T. Agrawal Hospital, Mulund and Matron Sneha Chandan, core group member of Dilaasa at  Rajawadi Hospital.

Following the demonstration, participants tried their hand at practicing the model in small groups of threes where they got a chance to play the role of survivor, doctor, observer with the help of case studies.

The third day focused on the response to survivors of sexual violence. The session was facilitated by senior forensic expert, Dr. Jagadeesh Reddy. Participants were familiarized with the nuances of the protocol and guidelines laid down by the Ministry of Health. They got hands-on experience of drafting opinions through sample proformas assigned to them in groups.

The major learning of the health care providers was the understanding of violence, patriarchy being the root cause, strengthening skills on how to ask survivors about violence and communicate first line support and understanding of medico legal care – both theoretical and application.

Participants gave feedback that the well structured training encouraged them to critically analyze and apply the concepts to their work with enhanced understandig

Some health care providers also showed keen interest in setting up hospital-based centers back at their hospitals. They shared that there is a shift in perspective which helped them understand their therapeutic role as well as how to reach out to survivors in a more sensitive and empowering manner.

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Orientation to Gender Integrated Modules Workshop, 27 - 28 February 2018

Gender in Medical Education (GME) is a pioneer initiative in India to include gender in medical education. The need to include gender in a predominantly biomedical curriculum which reinforces patriarchal notions was recognised by CEHAT. The GME project is a joint initiative of CEHAT, DMER and MUHS. As part of the initiative, a two-day workshop was held on February 27 and 28 at St. George Hospital, Fort, in Mumbai. It was attended by around 40 mid to senior level medical educators hailing from public hospitals of Mumbai Pune, Kolhapur, Solapur and Miraj.

Workshop on building perspective and skill-development on response to VAW and children for POs and DSWs

CEHAT carried out a workshop on building perspective and skill-development on the response to violence against women and children through a survivor-centric approach on January 8-10, 2018 at Bharathiyar University, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. The participants consisted of 25 protection officers with upto 10 years of experience from various districts, one counsellor appointed at the OSC (Kanchipuram District) and 7 District Social Welfare Officers. The Social Welfare Department of Tamil Nadu showed its commitment to the issue of VAW and children by deputing senior officers who participated in the 3 day workshop.  The purpose of holding the first round of training with this group was to ensure that the state response is sensitive, since they are major stakeholders.

CEHAT Calendar 2018 Universal Health Coverage

The 2018 calendar uses simple case studies to demonstrate these principles in practice. The cases are adapted from real incidents from CEHAT's research and experience. 

Training session on comprehensive healthcare response to violence against women and children, 14-15 Dec 2017

Evidence-based Clinical Practices: A joint initiative of DMER, KEM, UNFPA and CEHAT on Nov 24-25 2017, Mumbai

The Centre for Enquiry into Health and Allied Themes (CEHAT) is conducting a 1.5 day workshop on ‘Evidence-based Clinical Practices’. This event, organised by CEHAT in collaboration with DMER, KEM and the UNFPA is aimed for senior medical college faculty members of government medical colleges across Maharashtra, such as heads of the department and associate professors of disciplines such as gynaecology, forensic science, internal medicine, community medicine, psychiatry, paediatrics and surgery departments. CEHAT initiated project “Integration of Gender in Medical Education Project (GME)” in select medical colleges of Maharashtra with the aim to sensitise medical students and healthcare professionals to gender inequality and its interaction with health.

Until now, social determinants of health were rarely included in pure medical studies. The need for awareness and sensitivity regarding patients’ gender and social backgrounds among medical practitioners has been acknowledged by the World Health Organization (WHO). Right from the patient’s approach to the doctor’s evaluation and treatment, gender disparity is evident and clearly visible in the medical field, as proved by CEHAT’s ongoing work in this field.

This workshop, sanctioned by Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS), is a pioneer attempt to include gender as a component in medical education in India, and would dwell on the need for gender in medical education, current efforts, informed consent and communication strategies, privacy and confidentiality, respectful maternal care, care for survivors of violence and clinical checklists for implementing gender-sensitive health care. CEHAT will also release gender integrated medical education modules on Forensics and Toxicology, Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Preventive and Social Medicine, and Psychiatry.

The timings for the workshop are as follows:

Friday, November 24: 9:30 am to 5:00 pm

Saturday, November 25: 9:30 am to 2:00 pm

It will be held at the YMCA, Mumbai Central.


CEHAT – TISS conference on Health Insurance and Universal Health Care (UHC) in India - Core findings and recommendations 13th and 14th of October, 2017, held at TISS, Mumbai



The One Stop Scheme by the Ministry of Women and Child Development has presented the opportunity to influence the current crisis intervention services. Through this scheme, crisis intervention centres called One Stop Centres have been established or are underway in various states across the country with the objective to provide integrated support and assistance to women affected by violence, both in private and public spaces and to facilitate immediate, emergency and non-emergency access to a range of services including medical, legal, psychological and counseling support under one roof to fight against any forms of violence against women. For effective implementation of these OSC, counselors must work in coordination with the hospital within which or near which they are located. Violence against women has been recognized as a health issue under the National Health Policy, 2017. The link between violence and health has been acknowledged along with the recognition to create services to respond to survivors. In 2005, The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, was developed to offer civil remedies and reliefs to women facing violence. In 2012, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act was introduced. Both these laws have brought in the role of support persons and Protection Officers, generating a growing reliance on counselling services. It is imperative that counselors be trained to respond to different forms of VAW and children and be equipped with the perspective and skills in responding to VAW.

CEHAT has been instrumental in developing an evidence-based model to respond to VAW and children. In 2014, the MOHFW laid down the guidelines and protocols for medico-legal care for survivors of sexual assault including psychosocial support. CEHAT had the opportunity to present its evidence based work of having established Dilaasa, a hospital based crisis centre in collaboration with the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai. This evidence-based model has also featured in the leading international medical journal Lancet.

CEHAT is pleased to announce its National Course on counselling survivors of violence. The course is aimed at building a critical feminist perspective on the issue of violence against women and children and enhancing skills of the participants in responding to survivors of violence.

Feminist counselling has been accepted as one of the most effective counselling method for women living in abusive relationships as it questions power and inequality within the relationship. It encourages women to understand what they are experiencing in context of inequalities that arise out of larger oppressive structures. This form of counselling is gender-sensitive and has been used effectively while engaging with various vulnerable groups including transgenders and boys.


  • To understand violence against women and children as a public health issue
  • To identify the social and cultural determinants of VAW
  • To be equipped with skills to provide psychosocial support to different age groups of women and children
  • To be equipped to respond to special groups (children, intersex, sex workers, persons with disability)
  •  Learn the principles and values of feminist counselling and their application while engaging with survivors
  • To ensure self care and prevention of burnout

Press Note “Government funded health insurance scheme in Maharashtra: Study of Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayi Aarogya Yojana”

Cehat Calendar 2017

This year's calendar is aimed at creating awareness about gender in medical education.

Campaign Week Activities towards Elimination of Violence Against Women

Culminating in the celebration of Human Rights Day, the fortnight from 25th November-10th December 2016 is observed worldwide as a campaign to end VAW.