Even though a lot has been said and done across the world about establishing gender peace and acceptance, we still witness that the mindset of a chunk of the world population across the world has yet not come to terms in accepting the same.
People for Parity, a Delhi-based non-profit organization, works with the youth to promote a culture of gender peace in India. Started by Aditya Gupta and Arushi Mittal, who had experienced gender-based issues in their personal lives, People for Parity is striving to develop this thought by penetrating even the deepest, largely untouched rungs of the society. Thus, to achieve this vision the organization has started Pratiti – A Gender Peace Fellowship Program for the youth who represent all the sections of the society and are keen to establish gender and societal peace in any form.
The participants of this program are young folks belonging to the age-group of 18-30 years who are keen to learn and discover a world free from gender violence. Through Pratiti, the organization works with people belonging to different genders and castes to empower them by transforming their persistent cultural and social beliefs and unlocking their minds to create a world that is beyond these dogmas of bigotry.
It is a six months experiential program with around 10 days of workshops. The topics that are taken up in this program are those which relate to the real-life experiences of the participants, primarily focussed on challenging the rooted norms of pursuing something forcefully on the basis of their gender. The participants of this program are both the trainers and trainees of the concept of gender-peace. The people are associated with this program through various community organizations that also help People for Parity in designing the entire program that is aimed at the perspective building of the individuals.
The youth associated with the program find their learning extremely useful in taking up immediate decisions of their lives concerning marriage, higher education, and careers and using the tools to tackle the similar problems existing around them by initiating small projects and start-ups. Ashish, a participant of the fellowship, said that “Now I want to learn stitching, an activity which is socially considered as female’s job.” Jyoti, another participant, said that “I want to learn how to ride a bike; a vehicle usually equated as a symbol of masculinity”.
From a linear perspective of awareness, these statements might sound inconsequential in the longer fight for gender peace. But, the strictly traditional communities that these participants come from, statements like these are monumental pillars.
The ultimate aim of the program is to empower the youth to confront the problems of rape, domestic violence, eve-teasing, forced marriages, dowry, gender roles in cooking and earning, violence against transgender, LGBT community, and sex workers. The Pratiti fellowship is run in three cities of India – Delhi, Bhopal and Jaipur- and has worked with over 75 fellows, 17 organizations, and 3100 community members since its inception.
The participants of the fellowship assimilate their learning in their organization’s work and continue to act as revolutionaries as a part of the larger Pratiti Community by developing themselves and those around them.
You too can share about the gender-based stereotypes that you have seen and experienced around you and how can you take actions to solve them by writing a comment below. You can also contact and share your views with the team of People for Parity at firstname.lastname@example.org
NAZNEEN KACHWALA | TOC[infobox]
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