The VIDC enjoys historical ties with India: the institute was founded in 1962 by Bruno Kreisky, socialist Chancellor of Austria (1970 - 1983), on the initiative of the Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, together with other politicians from the Global South such as Tom Mboya from Kenya and Ahmed Ben Salah from Tunisia. In 1993, more than 30 years after the foundation of the institute, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action affirmed women's rights as full universal and indivisible human rights. According to Charlotte Bunch, a leading figure at the Vienna Tribunal, this Declaration initiated a “process of integration of women and gender-based abuses into human rights theory and practice that is still on-going” (VIDC Newsletter Nr. 25). The connection between VIDC and India continues to the present day.
VIDC participated in the Second MenEngage Global Symposium “Men and Boys for Gender Justice” held from 10 - 13 November 2014 in New Delhi. It marks nearly twenty years since the Beijing Platform for Action was adopted and which called on the engagement of men and boys for the achievement of gender equality. In that spirit, UN Women, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Centre for Health and Social Justice, the MenEngage steering committee member organizations, Sonke Gender Justice and Promundo gathered 1,200 participants from 94 countries. Notably, one third of the participating organizations were women’s rights organizations.