”As per the census data 2011, Sex Ratio in Madhya Pradesh is 931 i.e. for each 1000 male, This is below the national average of 943”.
Low sex ratio is one of the manifestations of Gender Inequality and in Harda district. Girls of the tribal community are often sold as child brides to communities of higher castes where there is a lack of girls.
Gender discrimination therefore is a very crucial issue for the youth in the local community, especially the girls. The youth (girls and boys) in the Rahetgaon community in Harda distict of Madhya Pradesh too faced such discrimination themselves or have seen it manifest up-close.
Under the aegis of My Life, Mere Faisle program run in Harda by Synergy Sansthaan, the Youth Group (both boys and girls together) organized a campaign to create awareness on the issue of Gender Inequality and stop gender discrimination.
Through the medium of street play they tried to show discrimination between girls and boys, the mentality behind it and its ill consequences on the lives of young girls and boys. Through the play they also stressed on the Right to Equality which our constitution protects and spread the message to encourage Girl’s education. The campaign raised pertinent questions on stereotypes around gender roles and addressing gender discrimination. It reached a total of 500 people from Rahet Gaon community area.
The youth followed this up with a meeting with teachers in a school, where they had done the street play, about such practices and inspired the teachers to continue discussing on these issues with youth. They also connected teachers and members of the panchayat, with a view to involve them as important stakeholders and make the change sustainable.
Their effort was appreciated by the community members. The positive response from young people in the community, parents and teachers has given them the confidence to continue the discussions and with repeated efforts-encouraging dialogues within the families, involving community members, they are working towards eradicating gender based discrimination within their community.
From their experience they share their learnings:
“It is important for the youth members to go in the community and work to connect with them and to understand ground issues. Through community exposure, we have been able to gain more confidence and improve our skills to connect deeply with ground issues.”
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