Vanshika Kalsi joined the Women Win team in 2022 as an intern on the Economic Resilience team where she works on several projects, including analysing the under-representation of women in STEM fields, ensuring democratisation of philanthropy through participatory grant-making, and shared governance mechanisms for women workers in the garment industries in Myanmar and India.
She is the Regional leader of the Europe and Central Asia clubs at Girl Up, a global initiative of the United Nations Foundation to advance girls’ skills, rights, and opportunities to be leaders. She co-founded and was vice-president of “Girl Up Ascend”, India, 2020. Through this organisation, she worked at voicing women’s grievances, especially sex workers and campaigning for their rights. Creating a platform for women to discuss atrocities openly, her team held sessions to destigmatise the taboo of sexual health and marital rape.
Vanshika is presently specialising in Human Rights at Erasmus University’s International Institute Of Social Studies to further her expertise in gender equity. She also runs an NGO in her hometown in India that strives to strengthen rural women’s economic resilience by giving workshops to cultivate handicraft skills and bridge the gap between market and domestic production. Finally, the organisation works to alleviate the food shortage in its community, which has worsened due to COVID-19, by giving monthly rations to rural households.
In 2020, Vanshika graduated from Delhi University (DU), India, with a bachelor’s degree in Politics. During her time at DU, she was voted Sports President and worked to raise funds and donations to improve the situation of female athletes at her university by obtaining sports scholarships at the district and national levels. She then pursued her MSc from the London School Of Economics and worked as a researcher on gender inequality and women’s movements across Asia.
Vanshika has extensive work experience in the government and nonprofit sectors. She interned with the National Human Rights Commission and delivered a detailed report to the Prime Minister’s Office with recommendations for combating Gender-Based Violence. She served as a representative of Niti Aayog (The Planning Commission of India) at the grassroots level, interacting with migrant women employed under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005. She wrote a report on the policy’s implementation gaps, favourably received by the Ministry of Rural Development and was put to constructive use in their planning. Given the current pandemic, she lately submitted a suggestion paper with recommendations for raising the guaranteed days of employment.
Vanshika spends most of her leisure time with her family and friends, watching movies, reading, and practising yoga.