AALI is a feminist legal advocacy and resource group addressing women's issues through a rights-based perspective.
AALI envisions an egalitarian social system that recognizes women as complete individuals and equal human beings through advocacy for women's human rights. Our organization undertakes research, activism, and direct response with a strong focus on violence against women and the right to choice in relationship decision-making. Since the organization’s founding in 1998, AALI has aimed to fulfill the following objectives.
Mission and Objectives
- To advocate and work for the issues and concerns of women, especially those from marginalized and deprived communities.
- To undertake fact-findings, legal research, and policy analysis focused on women’s rights issues, particularly on the right to choice in relation to sexual autonomy.
- To act as a legal support organization and resource center with a feminist perspective for other women’s groups, collectives, organizations, institutions, and individuals.
- ~ To create, publish, and distribute material pertaining to women’s rights, issues, and concerns.
- To provide legal and other required assistance to women, especially abused women, as well as initiate legal action and intervene in legal issues pertaining to the right to choice and violence against women.
- To network and maintain links with other organizations and women’s groups at the regional, national, and international levels on issues related to women.
AALI Directly Intervenes in the Following Concerns of Human Rights :
- Women’s Right to Choice and Decision Making in Sexual Relationships
- “Honour” Related Killing/ Suicide
- Rape and other forms of sexual violence (Child Sexual Abuse)
- Sexual Harassment at Workplace
- Acid Attack
- Domestic Violence
- Forced Marriage (Child Marriage)
- Women's Right to Mobility
- Trafficking of Women
- “Witch” Hunting
Advocacy & Networking
AALI’s Advocacy & Networking programme engages with key stakeholders, including civil society organizations, the media and government authorities, to further awareness and understanding of the law and press for state accountability for the realization of women’s human rights.
Casework & Legal Support
Since 1999, AALI has been intervening in cases of right to choice in relationships and violence against women. In line with the organization’s holistic approach toward addressing issues of particular concern to women, AALI has pursued its casework efforts through a human rights framework.
Started in 2008, the Jharkhand programme serves the urgent need of local community organizations to incorporate the justice delivery mechanism into their programme framework. Paralegal trainings help develop the capacity of grassroots organizations to protect the human rights of marginalized women and children and to ensure State accountability in these matters.
Community Initiative, Azamgarh
AALI began conducting regular work in Azamgarh in 2009, holding workshops and trainings in schools and madrasas to build community awareness of human and legal rights. That same year, AALI surveyed multiple villages in Azamgarh to assess local need and evaluate the main issues faced by Muslim communities in the district. During that time, AALI recognized that many Azamgarh women are unable to avail of the legal benefits to which they are entitled, including ration cards, widow’s pensions, and educational schemes. As a result, where necessary AALI has focused on providing community members with information and training on gaining access to government services, in addition to holding rights-based and legal workshops.
Upon AALI’s founding in 1998, the creation of a resource department was identified as a critical need in terms of building the organization’s capacity, and AALI began addressing women’s rights in the private sphere by conducting preliminary research on the subject.
[W]e are perturbed and anguished to notice that…we do not yet have a fast track procedure for dealing with cases of rape and gang rape lodged under Section 376 IPC. … [T]he recording of evidence of the victim and other witnesses multiple times ought to be put to an end which is the primary reason for delay of the trial. … [This amendment] can surely…reduce the duration of trial and thus offer a speedy remedy.
On the first blush it may appear quite jarring to certain quarters of the society that by enacting the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 the legislature has invested a ‘right of residence’ in favour of wives qua premises in which they or their husband admittedly have no right, title or interest and such premises are in fact owned by the relatives of the husband. …[T]he Act does not confer any title or proprietary rights in favour of the aggrieved person as misunderstood by most, but merely secures a ‘right of residence’ in the ‘shared household’. Section 17(2) clarifies that the aggrieved person may be evicted from the ‘shared household’ but only in accordance with the procedure established by law. The legislature has taken care to calibrate and balance the interests of the family members of the respondent.
The caste system is a curse on the nation and the sooner it is destroyed the better. In fact, it is dividing the nation at a time when we have to be united to face the challenges before the nation unitedly. Hence, inter-case marriages are in fact in the national interest as they will result in destroying the caste system. However, disturbing news are coming from several parts of the country that young men and women who undergo inter-caste marriage, are threatened with violence, or violence is actually committed on them. In our opinion, such acts of violence or threats or harassment are wholly illegal and those who commit them must be severely punished. This is a free and democratic country, and once a person becomes a major he or she can marry whosoever he/she likes.
A girl who has attained the age of discretion and was on the verge of attaining majority and is capable of knowing what was good and what was bad for her, cannot be said to be a victim of inducement. … In such circumstances, desire of the girl/victim is required to be seen.
There is no age bar when it comes to valuing the liberty of a person be she a woman or be he a gent. Even a child has a right to avail of his or her liberties.
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[We] are inclined to hold that … the provisions of “respondent” in section 2(q) of the DV Act is not to be read in isolation but has to be read as a part of the scheme of the DV Act. … If so read, the complaint alleging acts of domestic violence is maintainable not only against an adult male person who is son or brother, who is or has been in a domestic relationship with the aggrieved complainant – mother or sister – but the complaint can also be filed against a relative of the son or brother including wife of the son/wife or the brothers and sisters of the male respondent.
An orderly transformation of the society could come only through the instrument of law, for the law is a potent tool of social engineering and fashions and shapes public opinions. If severe punishment to honour killings has not stopped them, if judicial approaches have not reduced their incidence and police would only stand as mute spectators, if not active collaborators, we will come to a situation of accepting these honour killings as unstoppable, that are at once, shameful and abhorrent. The society ought to understand that all the economic progress and developmental goals of what our policy makers endeavour to secure will be trashed, if we cannot respect an adult’s autonomy to choose his or her partner to be together, with or without marriage.
It is well-settled law that a minor cannot be confined in Nari Niketan against her wishes. … In the case in hand, the question of the applicant being a minor is irrelevant as even a minor cannot be kept in protective home against her will.
[T]he purpose of our holding [in this judgment] is to give the wife’s right to residence a meaningful efficacy as dictated by the needs of the times; we do not intend nor do we propose the landlord’s right to eviction against his tenant to be subordinated to wife’s right to residence enforceable against her husband. Let both the rights co-exist so long as they can.