Women’s Rights Movement Icon Mohini Giri Passes Away at the Age of 86

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After a brief illness, renowned women’s rights campaigner Dr. V Mohini Giri passed away on Tuesday. She was eighty-six.

Dr. Giri served as the Central Social Welfare Board’s and the National Commission for Women’s (NCW) chair from 1995 to 1998. In addition, she presided over the Guild of Service, a social service organization with headquarters in New Delhi that defends the rights of women and children to financial stability, work, and education.

In 1972, she established the War Widows Association. In recognition of her contributions to women’s rights, she received the Padma Bhushan in 2007.

“Dr. Giri has been an icon of the women’s movement with her strong advocacy for a gender-just world,” the Guild of Service stated in a statement. Inspired by her vision, the Guild operates schools for impoverished children in Delhi, Rajasthan, Kashmir, and Uttar Pradesh, as well as shelter homes, family counseling centers, and capacity-building centers. Her trailblazing work brought attention to the particular challenges widows confront on a national and worldwide scale. She worked willingly, walking many extra kilometers out of selflessness and positively and indirectly impacting the lives of hundreds of women.

The women’s movement lost a significant cornerstone, according to Meera Khanna, President and Trustee of the Guild of Service, who had known Dr. Giri for 23 years. To me, Dr. Giri served as a mentor, a mother figure, and a guide. She gave me the motivation to start working on gender rights activism. Dr. Giri led everyone on this activism journey for gender rights. Khanna described her as bold and a person who lived up to her words.

Having worked with Dr. Giri at the National Commission for Women in 1997, Syeda Saiyidain Hameed, a women’s rights activist, writer, and former Planning Commission member, declared, “I am Dr. Giri’s disciple because she loved humanity regardless of class, caste, gender, or religion.”

A son and a daughter survive Dr. Mohini Giri, the former president’s daughter-in-law. In addition to leading multiple organizations, Dr. Giri founded and served as a trustee for the following: Navdanya; Justice Sunanda Bhandare Foundation; Women’s Initiative for Peace in South Asia; and Foundation for Academic Excellence and Access (FAEA).

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