*Rita’s International Women’s Day Statement March 2013 ‘No Silence on Violence’
* Feature Article Published in The Times January 2011 ‘A Sari State of Affairs’
Vice President and Country Director, The Hunger Project, India
Rita Sarin, Country Director of The Hunger Project in India, leads a nationwide alliance of more than 60 organisations implementing strategies to empower women in local democracy. She has committed her life to igniting and sustaining the leadership spirit of elected women at the grassroots level in India.
Under her leadership, our programmes are empowering and building the capacity of elected women representatives in village councils called panchayats so that they effectively exercise their socio-economic, political and cultural rights.
Rita was on the team which set up India’s first women’s non-governmental organisation, the Centre for Women and Development Studies. This phase in her life gave her an opportunity to live in villages of India for 7 years and work with local communities on issues of gender equity and development.
Prior to joining The Hunger Project eight years ago, Rita served as a National Programme Advisor for the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) for 15 years, where she established and supported a network of 120 NGOs in 18 states working on the empowerment of women in local governance.
Rita currently is a member of the National steering committee for sustainable nutrition security in India; and is a member of the Government of India’s joint working group with the Government of Afghanistan to build a strategy to forge the agenda of locally elected women forward in Afghanistan. In addition, Rita recently served as an advisor on all India research study on elected women representatives.
In April 2009, Rita was recognised as one of 25 Women of Excellence by the FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO).
Rita loves spending time with her family, especially her daughter, who has witnessed her journey, and is herself a young independent woman chalking her own path to work on the same issues as Rita, and shows great promise in following in her footsteps.
Rita has an MPhil in Sociology from the University of Chandigarh and a post MPhil in Development Policies from the University of Nottingham, UK.