Over the years MASUM has developed as a credible training resource in the areas of women's health care, gender sensitisation and mainstreaming of gender issues, violence against women, human rights, reproductive and sexual rights, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR).
MASUM has functioned as the training unit for the Maharashtra Women and Health Programme (MAH - WAH). WAH was a multiregional collaborative effort, working for comprehensive, gender sensitive and sustainable holistic healthcare, with a special concern for women, girl children and for other disadvantaged persons through training and advocacy. MASUM shouldered the responsibility of co-ordinating the training of 26 middle-level health functionaries from 18 NGOs over 11 districts of Maharashtra between April 1998 – April 2000.
MASUM in partnership with IWRAW – Asia Pacific has conducted intensive training programmes for NGOs in Maharashtra as well as from other states of India on the CEDAW. This ongoing process started with the Maharashtra level training on the CEDAW with Shanthi Dairiam, Director IWRAW-Asia Pacific and Madhu Mehra (PLD, New Delhi) as the resource persons, in December 2001. This was followed by CEDAW training of trainers in December 2003 in which twenty-one participants representing fifteen organisations from Gujarat, Delhi, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra participated. This training was conducted with the support from two external resource persons - Madhu Mehra (PLD, New Delhi) and Tulika Srivastava (AALI, Lucknow). MASUM is part of a group – Beyond the Circle which comprises of individuals, representatives of NGOs and academic institutions committed to advancing ESC rights in the Indian Context. MASUM along with Beyond the Cirlce has organised training on the right to health and health care, right to food and right to shelter in the year 2004 for community based organisations in Maharashtra.
In addition to the above resource persons from MASUM have been regularly training other NGO's as well as government organisations on gender issues, women's health, micro-credit etc. Capacity building of rural NGO's on above issues is an ongoing activity of MASUM.
MASUM's work has always centered around rights. Right to health care through public health services, right to credit, vocational training and employment, right to minorities in the community and women's rights within and outside home have been the focus of MASUM's programmes. In the present context it is essential for all NGOs whether working at community level or doing research or involved in advocacy, to engage with the rights framework to make their work sustainable. MASUM initiated MASUM's Institute of Training in Rights-based Activism (MITRA) in October 2003 to train people in the rights based perspective and framework. The MITRA training is particularly designed for people who work with non-government and community-based organization working on diverse issues(women's issues, children's issues, health, HIV-AIDS, micro-credit, rural development) in urban, rural as well as tribal areas. So far four intensive and specialised trainings of 10-12 days each on the topics - Women's Empowerment, Health Rights, Child rights and Right to Natural Resources have been organized in two phases (See the brochure for more details). The participants are introduced to the rights based perspective and the specific issue based trainings, potential trainers from within this pool have been identified and an intensive training of trainers course has been organised for them. The aim of this specialised training has been to create a pool of trainers within the country. MITRA trainers are highly experienced, national level activists and academics from propeople movements and NGO's working on issues related to people's rights.During the first phase (2003-05) of MITRA, one hundred forty participants from thirty nine NGO's in Maharashtra successfully completed 12 day trainings on the above subjects in Marathi, followed by a five-day 'refresher' training for all participants. Fifty participants from the above trainings also participated in a fifteen day Training of Trainers. In the second phase (2007-08) the training was conducted in Hindi to train eighty four participants from 51 NGOs spread all over the country. 19 of these participants participated in the training of trainers that followed the issue based trainings. A manual documenting the first phase of training is available in Marathi. Kindly refer to the Publication section for more details.