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Empowering Men To Support Gender Equality

  • JWB Post
  •  June 30, 2015

 

A 17-year-old boy, Goureesh, has taken a brave step charged with power to create a bigger change. This boy went against his own family to curb the menace of dowry system during his uncle’s marriage. Goureesh is an active volunteer in a unique program called ‘Action for Equality’ introduced by the Equal Community Foundation in Pune.

The founders of the organization Will Muir and Rujuta Teredesai began their social work in 2011 to educate young boys between the age of 14-17 about various gender discrimination acts  practiced in our society.

“The best way to introduce discrimination to boys is to make it personal. We ask them if they faced bullying, or if they faced discrimination because of their caste or religion. Then we ask boys to reflect how they had felt when they were discriminated against. It’s that feeling that allows boys to understand how others would feel when they are treated this way,” Will suggests.

The participant boys are involved in the programme through various events like street cricket and street theatre. Initially a strong bond is created to inculcate trust in them. Gradually through various sessions on gender equality, the mentors try to change the thinking of boys about women.

According to a survey by Yuva Nagarik Meter, “A majority of Indian youth has fascist leanings; they were far from progressive when it came to the issue of equality. Around 55% of the students interviewed were of the view that the way women dressed and behaved invited violence from men.  39% of the girls and 43% of the boys interviewed felt that women had no choice but to accept a certain degree of violence.”

These facts are horrible!

Tell us in the comments how you empower your son to walk the path of equality?

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