Empower Girls in India Through Sports

by CREA
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Women writing a pro-menstruation slogan
Women writing a pro-menstruation slogan

CREA has been co-implementing the It’s My Body program in Uttar Pradesh Bihar and Jharkhand in India for the past ten years. Over the years, the program has not only capacitated girls in terms of refining their understanding around body, sexuality, and bodily rights, but has also built their leadership largely. Girls, who had been part of the program back from 2012-17, had important roles in the current phase of the program that is being implemented since 2019 with five partner organizations in Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand. These girls aged 17-19 years, whom we are also addressing as young women, are not only integrating the lens of intersectionality in their understanding of gender and sexuality but also taking up small action projects around gender-based issues and creating ways to advocate for and strategically resolve them as well.

Planning and designing the action projects

Post the pandemic the trainers connected with the young women cohort (17-19-year-old girls) to recap sessions and identify how they can translate the knowledge gained over years of learning into action within their community. At locations where young women are not considered as decision-makers and right bearers, 880 of them were engaged through 40 collectives in translating issues of early and forced marriage, the right to choice, gender-based discrimination, gender-based violence (GBV), and sexual and reproductive health and rights into action projects.

As a part of their engagement, these young women along with the trainers identified some of these underlying issues according to their respective Panchayats. As second steps, in their collectives, they planned ways of how to bring these issues to the attention of the community, stakeholders, and major decision-makers. The collectives adopted various methods some of which were conducting surveys, organising rallies, wall painting, performing street theatre, organising signature campaigns. They included younger girls, mothers, elected women representatives, health service providers, men, young men and boys, teachers to understand, question, and receive opinions about all the previously mentioned issues. These processes not only helped in amplifying the need to articulate the existing issues faced by women and girls but also foresee how young women collectives can play a major role in challenging the regressive social norms.

Advocacy and impact as a part of the action project-

Apart from planning, designing, and executing the action projects, the collectives of young women played great roles in advocating for their rights associated with these issues mentioned above. Some of them advocated for the need for regular sexual and reproductive health services with health service providers. A group of young women raised concerns in front of Panchayat representatives about early and forced marriage and gender-based violence and asked leaders for their support. Another group of young women, who had identified issues of gender-based violence in certain households, strategically painted helpline numbers on their adjacent walls with the help of elected women representatives. Some of the other collectives also saw the results of the action project and its advocacy immediately.

A collective from Gramonnati Sansthan in Mahoba Uttar Pradesh surveyed two groups, one being part of IMB (200 girls) and another (200 girls) not part of the program, and compared the results. They developed survey questions on the right to choice, understanding of gender, gender-based discrimination, and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). They asked whether girls have a right to choose their partner, to decide their marriageable age and other choices they can exercise. The study showed that 85% of girls exposed to the IMB showed assertiveness and confidence in making their choices, knowing about sexual and reproductive health rights, and accessing the same. Amongst the ones not exposed to the program, only 12.5% followed their choice. The rest had no idea about gender, sexuality, gender discrimination, or SRHR. The cohort of young women, who did this study gave out a statement of the results to the district administration, asserting the need for intervention of programs like It's My Body for girls. The district administration promised to support them where they needed, such as encouraging them to seek legal support against incidences of gender-based violence through help desks set up by the district administration (to address GBV) in the police stations.

Usha, the trainer, who was supporting these young women to conduct the action project said, “It was a process where these young women were clearly building their networks, they were examples to the non-IMB girls of how the program had impacted their knowledge, confidence, and decision-making capacity. Also, there are instances, when the chairperson (district administration) has been regularly asking us if these young women are doing fine and if she could support them in any manner. It’s all because of the action project that they have received so much recognition.”

Similarly, a collective of young women in one of the villages of Chatra district, Jharkhand began talking to the girls in the community about their knowledge and access to SRHR. These conversations revealed that a number of girls and women did not always seek medical attention on sexual and reproductive health issues as they felt uncomfortable talking to a male doctor. The young women then advocated for a female doctor, specifically for SRHR issues. The district hospital then appointed a female doctor. Since then, there has been a major increase in the number of girls and women going for consultation visits to the doctor.   

Rani, the trainer of Lok Prerna Kendra, who was supporting these young women said, “The change was visible right from the time the doctor started sitting in the PHC twice a week. Imagine the number of women not seeking medical attention on their menstruation issues, pregnant women not being able to travel to the district hospital for check-ups, our young women resolved all of this by bringing a female doctor so close to the village.”

Leadership and movement building to challenge norms around bodies and sexuality

The impact of action projects was not only visible through the actions taken because of the advocacy work that the young women were doing, but also through various other mediums. It acted like a huge movement that was strengthened through networks. The collectives of young women used their right to express their inner thoughts on the issues of inequality and supported arguments with facts and information, when they questioned the social norms around early and forced marriage, restriction on their mobility, and right to choice. This was also an opportunity to refine their problem-solving skills, enhance their feminist leadership, and take strong steps of advocacy by making the decision-makers accountable. CREA strongly focuses on strengthening feminist leadership. Empowering young women’s leadership through these action projects has proved to be one step closer to ensuring change that is sustainable and consistent. At a time when girls and young women are denied their sexual and reproductive health rights and agency over their own bodies, it is also important to continue building their leadership in more strategic and innovative ways. These leaders will not only increase the assertion towards their own rights and create better channels of accessing them, but also build strong collectives for greater societal change. 

Young women in Gramonnati Sansthan in Mahoba
Young women in Gramonnati Sansthan in Mahoba
Young women in East Singhbhum from YUVA
Young women in East Singhbhum from YUVA
A young woman in Mahoba during survey
A young woman in Mahoba during survey
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Girls in Mahoba in a big event on National girls'
Girls in Mahoba in a big event on National girls'

There is light at the end of every tunnel. The way girls from the It’s My Body (IMB) program navigated through the pandemic opened new ways for them to recreate strategies to collectivize for accessing their rights. One of the significant components of CREA’s IMB program is sports, where girls play football and other sports to assert their bodily autonomy and use it to have a conversation around freedom, mobility, and choice. The COVID-19 lockdown had affected these girls’ lives with increasing control of their families on their mobility and restricting access to sexual and reproductive health services. With the pandemic restricting their opportunity to play sports, girls’ accessibility to public spaces became minimal. After facing these obstacles due to the pandemic, the partners and girls fortified their intentions to repave their implementation paths. These paths were that of re-asserting their rights, re-thinking strategies, and recreating enabling environments. Post the lockdown, our partners from Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh (UP), who resumed monthly curriculum-based sessions(1) with the girls, also gradually decided to restart their sports engagement. 

Community-level big events with girls from the IMB program:

Taking the International Day of the Girl Child (11th October 2020) and India’s National Girl Child Day (24th January 2021) as opportunities, 945 girls across 4 partners in UP and Jharkhand came together to celebrate these large events(2) while taking all precautionary measures to ensure protection against COVID-19. 

After months of restrictions, girls took this post lockdown opportunity to express themselves. They used various art methods to convey the multiple types of stigmas and discrimination they faced during the lockdown. They performed theatre-based activities, sang songs, made posters, and took centre stage to question the restrictions imposed on them and their impacts on their mobility, education, freedom, and choices. Girls also highlighted the incidences of increased early and forced marriages that they had seen during the lockdown, some of which they were also able to stop with the IMB trainers’ support. Most importantly, in all the locations where the IMB partners conducted community-level big events, girls from the program also played sports through football tournaments and kabaddi matches. Following are some of the quotes shared by some of the girls of the IMB program about their experiences of joining the above activities and how those experiences reinstated their self-confidence: 

“It’s so good to be finally getting to the field and kick the football. I feel so free and elated”, said one of the girls in Mahoba, who played football during the big event.

“We were missing all of this. It feels so good to be able to be back with our larger collectives where girls from all the Panchayats (village councils in India)  have come together. I feel I am not alone anymore”, said one of the girls in Chatra, where Lok Prerna Kendra implements the IMB program.

“After a long time, I got a chance to express myself. So much was building inside me. Along with all my friends, I was not allowed to go out, while our brother was allowed to go out. Was the lockdown just for us? Not for the boys? Why were we restricted to the use of mobile phones? We had to fight so much in families to resume going to coaching classes to resume our education!”, said one of the girls in Hazaribagh.

After a long gap, these big events brought together various stakeholders such as the health service providers, block-level and district-level officials, teachers, local politicians, and the girls from the It’s My Body program. Admittedly, the girls had been interacting with health service providers and had a lot of support from elected women representatives in the past to counter incidences of gender-based violence. But it was also necessary that other decision-makers in the administration also get an idea of how and why the girls were affected. 

Action projects by young women from the IMB program:

Another cohort of young women, who are aged between 17-19 years, has also started an interesting engagement. After strengthening the understanding around gender, patriarchy, choice, freedom, and sexual and reproductive health rights, these groups of young women have chosen related thematic issues in their respective areas and are designing short action projects to advocate with the local administration for accessing and strengthening their rights. Some of these persisting gender-based issues, which have been chosen by the cohort, include gender-based violence, gender-based discrimination, consent and desire, sexual and reproductive health rights, the leadership of women and girls. The cohorts have designed various methods to implement projects based on the issues described above. Some of them are conducting comparative studies between girls engaged in IMB and girls not involved in IMB in presenting how the program has developed an understanding amongst girls. Some cohorts are also creating short awareness-based projects by conducting film screening, running signature campaigns, summarizing, which they will present to the local administration. 

This is the first time that the cohort is doing these action projects. The idea behind this is also to make the process of advocacy more participatory along with strengthening the leadership and accountability of young women. The engagement with girls in the IMB program has been an ongoing process, as the partners have been engaged with girls while implementing the new phase of the IMB program since 2019. However, junctures, like community events, have strengthened the enthusiasm of girls. The action project, which is still in process, has also increased girls’ desire to access their rights.

1) Monthly curriculum-based sessions are conducted with groups of girls from 12-16 years of age and are inbuilt in the IMB program. These sessions are based on multiple topics around gender, patriarchy, sexuality, sexual and reproductive health rights and leadership. The curriculums are designed by CREA in consultation with IMB partner organisations. 

2) Big events/large events are inbuilt in the IMB program. The objective of these events is to bring together girls from the IMB program and talk about their sexual and reproductive rights, issues in accessing the same to the major stakeholders. The idea is also to spread the message of consent, the need for the leadership of girls, rights of girls to the larger mass. 

Girls in UP on National Girls' Child Day
Girls in UP on National Girls' Child Day
Stakeholders on National Girls Child Day in UP
Stakeholders on National Girls Child Day in UP
Girls during football match during a big event
Girls during football match during a big event
Young women conducting survey for action project
Young women conducting survey for action project
Girls in Hazaribagh practising
Girls in Hazaribagh practising

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Yuva's socially distanced session at Jharkhand
Yuva's socially distanced session at Jharkhand

A community-based program led by CREA and co-implemented with five partners CBOs[1] in Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.

It is a matter of fact that the pandemic has hit us all in an unprecedented way, and the most marginalized in society are experiencing the impact of it even more severely. For over a decade, the It’s My Body program has worked towards advancing the sexual and reproductive rights of girls and young women, supporting them as they claim public spaces, gaining more mobility and movement as they engage with sports and other activities. The pandemic has affected this process of change and empowerment as well. 

The villages in India including where we work saw an influx of migrant workers returning from the cities as the pandemic hit and the health and other state systems have not been prepared to take the burden of this influx. Many marginalized communities continue to face a lot of discrimination and violence due to the stigma attached to the spread of coronavirus and particular communities through fake news circulating rampantly. As the girls we work with also come from these communities, they have been facing multiple layers of discrimination, violence, and control. Girls and women also do not have or have selected access to technology and the internet when the whole world is running online, therefore pushing them further away from information, engagement, and even pleasure. 

The trainers due to limited mobility have been in touch with all the girls through phone calls. Despite many challenges, they have been talking to them and helping them in these challenging times. Through the program, a buddy system has been started. The trainers take a check-in with some girls and these girls, further reach out to 5 more friends creating a network of check-in calls. This was done to ensure that as a community, the girls, trainers, and other trainers are there for each other especially to address the issue of Gender-Based Violence, Mental health, and wellbeing in these times. Continuing the work with stakeholders, the trainers also plan and support Frontline workers. They are engaging with leaders, Health Service Providers (HSPs), and workers who have the mobility to physically check-in with some girls who are facing a lot of Gender-Based Violence at home. 

“When will we play again? What about our education? Will we be promoted or will I have to repeat this year? How will we convince our parents if we have to repeat a year?” 
These are some questions which constantly come to our trainers from girls. It has been a struggle for girls to reach and continue their education and the pandemic seems to bring a very difficult time and many questions to their uncertain futures. Menstruation has been one of the major challenges with so much taboo around it and access to pads to even those who can afford to buy sanitary pads. With no time with friends and support systems, the girls also face violence as they navigate their lives in their personal lives. As they dress up or use mobile phones to call their friends or partners, they not only face taunts and violence from their family but even neighbors, labeling her as “the bad girl”. 

 However, the girls are also navigating to enjoy their right to pleasure rightfully. 

 “We decide to meet each other at the vegetable market or near the handpumps, we say at our homes that we are going to get some chores done or fetch water, plan and meet each other...” a girl described her plan to meet her friend as the control over them increases. 

 “Whenever we get the phone, we make funny videos and have fun!” said a girl from Jharkhand.

It is powerful to see the resilience of these young girls and women. Even in these difficult times, they navigate and try and look for multiple ways! That is probably what the program through its politics of making choices and having control over one’s life and agency has constantly emphasized on using sports as a medium which has proven to be a great tool. 

CREA and its partner organizations after the assessment of the COVID -19 situation in communities started engaging with the girls again using specially designed sessions on sports and perspective building. From July/August, IMB trainers started meeting with girls in physical spaces, in smaller groups, by taking all necessary precautions. The response of girls was extraordinary as they joined in huge numbers. Months of lockdown had made it difficult for girls to meet, talk to each other, express their thoughts, anxieties, and wishes. They also faced greater control and discrimination. Wanting to come out of their houses and experience freedom, they grabbed the opportunity to meet, play, talk to each other.       

[1]Lok Prerna Kendra, Hazaribagh and Chatra; Mahila Mukti Sansthan, Hazaribagh; Yuva, at Jamshedpur in Jharkhand Gramonnati Sansthan, Mahoba; Sakar, from Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh

Session at Lok Prerna Kendra, Jharkhand
Session at Lok Prerna Kendra, Jharkhand
Sakar's program at Uttar Pradesh
Sakar's program at Uttar Pradesh
Sakar's program at Bareilly
Sakar's program at Bareilly
Sports Session, Yuva
Sports Session, Yuva
Sakar's program at Uttar Pradesh
Sakar's program at Uttar Pradesh

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Gender and Technology at SELF
Gender and Technology at SELF

SELF academy has Gender and Technology as one of its themes. The theme interrogates the politics of gender, sexuality and technology, enables girls to understand access to tech, control and discrimination women and girls face through the technology or when it comes to using technology i.e. phone, social media and so on. Within this broader perspective the participants learn skills of computers, social media, self-expression, safety and security and explore the fun and pleasure of using technology. The concepts of choice and consent, importance of staying connected with others, developing online content, building self-confidence and understanding rights are the aspects SELF academy build during the 15 days of the training.

There is a huge gender gap when it comes to technology and there are a number of notions, taunts and norms that stereotype women and girls’ relationship with technology. A few examples are –

They will not be able to handle or learn to use technology, it’s enough if they are even able to make round Rotis (Bread)”,

“They are not interested in tech; they are not tech savvy”

“They will press wrong buttons and device will be stop working, mobile balance will be gone”

“They won’t be able to dial numbers on mobile”

Majority of women have grown up listening to one or the other of these from the people they interact most with. Of course, with some context specific variations. Through SELF academy, CREA has been able to shake this thinking by analysing the politics together with the girls.

Today, we all are going through a difficult phase due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, it is not the same for all, the most marginalized communities are also the most hit by the pandemic. With the spread of the coronavirus, the social inequalities are becoming more evident. It is impacting people especially women and girls in the most adverse ways; violence, abuse and burden of work has increased, they have restricted or no mobility, leading to limited or no social connection with others.  We all have been experiencing and reading about the increased mental health issues during the pandemic. The girls we work with are facing similar issues and challenges. A majority of them belong to the most marginalized communities including Tribal, Dalit, Other Backward Class (OBC) and Minority from states such as Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh in India. CREA has been working in these areas for more than a decade now, we have run 5 SELF Academies with more than 250 girls graduated so far. They have gone through a series of workshops on skills and leadership building during the academy including Sports, Gender and Technology, Grassroots Comics and Story-telling, Choice and Consent and Relationships are a few to mention.

A group of 45-50 young leaders located in different districts and villages across three states are emerging as the hope and energy especially during the pandemic. They are the ones who have access to phones and social media, and are using it to stay connected, coping with the situation, reaching out to others, sharing their thoughts, accessing information and having fun. Most of them use social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, TikTok and know how to do their privacy settings, create strong passwords to ensure privacy and security. They are making videos, taking photos, editing and sharing them on social media platforms and with each other through their phones. A few are also reaching out to those who do not have access to phones; others are attending zoom meetings with support from their organizations to understand issues that are relevant to their lives. They are taking part in the meetings organized by CREA’s partner organizations and listening to the mobile based campaign content on various aspects of gender and COVID-19. 

Natasha (Name changed), age 18 year, a coach from Jharkhand is using her phone to take pictures of girls playing, editing those to create motivating videos for girls to join sports.

One of the trainers shared – They had learnt about social media and using Facebook in particular during the SELF academy. Girls have become confident to use machines and explore other social media platforms like TikTok video. Understanding the politics of gender and tech during the academy has an important role to play. They have even stated negotiating for phones with their parents.  

Clearly, it is not about the ability of women and girls to learn technology or any new skill but, as the examples above establishes, it’s about the opportunity, resources, encouragement, non-judgemental space, equal treatment and realization of one’s rights. 

SELF academy has Gender and Technology as one of its themes. The theme interrogates the politics of gender, sexuality and technology, enables girls to understand access to tech, control and discrimination women and girls face through the technology or when it comes to using technology i.e. phone, social media and so on. Within this broader perspective the participants learn skills of computers, social media, self-expression, safety and security and explore the fun and pleasure of using technology. The concepts of choice and consent, importance of staying connected with others, developing online content, building self-confidence and understanding rights are the aspects SELF academy build during the 15 days of the training.

There is a huge gender gap when it comes to technology and there are a number of notions, taunts and norms that stereotype women and girls’ relationship with technology. A few examples are –

They will not be able to handle or learn to use technology, it’s enough if they are even able to make round Rotis (Bread)”,

“They are not interested in tech; they are not tech savvy”

“They will press wrong buttons and device will be stop working, mobile balance will be gone”

“They won’t be able to dial numbers on mobile”

Majority of women have grown up listening to one or the other of these from the people they interact most with. Of course, with some context specific variations. Through SELF academy, CREA has been able to shake this thinking by analysing the politics together with the girls.

Today, we all are going through a difficult phase due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, it is not the same for all, the most marginalized communities are also the most hit by the pandemic. With the spread of the coronavirus, the social inequalities are becoming more evident. It is impacting people especially women and girls in the most adverse ways; violence, abuse and burden of work has increased, they have restricted or no mobility, leading to limited or no social connection with others. We all have been experiencing and reading about the increased mental health issues during the pandemic. The girls we work with are facing similar issues and challenges. A majority of them belong to the most marginalized communities including Tribal, Dalit, Other Backward Class (OBC) and Minority from states such as Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh in India. CREA has been working in these areas for more than a decade now, we have run 5 SELF Academies with more than 250 girls graduated so far. They have gone through a series of workshops on skills and leadership building during the academy including Sports, Gender and Technology, Grassroots Comics and Story-telling, Choice and Consent and Relationships are a few to mention.

A group of 45-50 young leaders located in different districts and villages across three states are emerging as the hope and energy especially during the pandemic. They are the ones who have access to phones and social media, and are using it to stay connected, coping with the situation, reaching out to others, sharing their thoughts, accessing information and having fun. Most of them use social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, TikTok and know how to do their privacy settings, create strong passwords to ensure privacy and security. They are making videos, taking photos, editing and sharing them on social media platforms and with each other through their phones. A few are also reaching out to those who do not have access to phones; others are attending zoom meetings with support from their organizations to understand issues that are relevant to their lives. They are taking part in the meetings organized by CREA’s partner organizations and listening to the mobile based campaign content on various aspects of gender and COVID-19.

Natasha (Name changed), age 18 year, a coach from Jharkhand is using her phone to take pictures of girls playing, editing those to create motivating videos for girls to join sports.

One of the trainers shared – They had learnt about social media and using Facebook in particular during the SELF academy. Girls have become confident to use machines and explore other social media platforms like TikTok video. Understanding the politics of gender and tech during the academy has an important role to play. They have even stated negotiating for phones with their parents.  

Clearly, it is not about the ability of women and girls to learn technology or any new skill but, as the examples above establishes, it’s about the opportunity, resources, encouragement, non-judgemental space, equal treatment and realization of one’s rights.

 

 

Gender and Technology at SELF
Gender and Technology at SELF
Gender and Technology at SELF
Gender and Technology at SELF
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                                            Update for GlobalGiving

                                       November 2019- January 2020

It’s My Body (IMB): Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Adolescent Girls through Sports

We are realizing that we can speak and express. We can have opinions and we can put them out in front of people. At least, I have always obeyed whatever my parents and elders say. Now, I see the need to be critical, to not just, obey, but to question. It is not easy. But didi (IMB Program trainer) has explained to us about patriarchy and gender roles, it is true, we are discriminated against, as girls” said a 16-year-old participant of the IMB program in Jharkhand.

The participant has been a part of this batch of the IMB program from Chhatra, the field where our partner, Lok Prerna Kendra (LPK) co-implements the program. As the pace has picked up for curriculum-based sessions, many discussions, joy, and realizations have become a part of this journey of learning and unlearning.

 “Before this, we have rarely come together to just talk about our issues. We would not speak only. We did not know that we could engage and discuss this. It is new, we are learning,” said the same participant.

The program, especially through its curriculum-based sessions, also tries to create a space where girls understand their lives closely, connect with each other and co-create a safe space for themselves. The very act of speaking about your wants, needs, and desires becomes an act of courage when obeying and conforming to the ideas of. “the good girl” that is the norm.

With these sessions, the young girls and women are able to recognize patterns of violence, everyday functioning, and the impact of Patriarchy and gender roles in their lives. As they start recognizing gender-based discrimination in their lives, the unfair distribution of household work bothers most of the girls and young women. The girls are also identifying how their brothers go to private schools for education and they are sent to government schools where they are not cared about.

“The girls when they came, had to play football, they wouldn’t touch the ball. The ball would roll towards them and they would get aside, almost as if the ball was something explosive.  They would always have a dupatta covering their breasts; they felt restricted and could not run freely. After 4 months of the sessions and playing; now, look at them, they tie their dupatta firmly around their waists now; to play without any problems is their aim now. It is improving…,” said one of the trainer's from Lok Prerna Kendra.

In Jamshedpur, where the program is co-implemented by our partner organization YUVA, the girls were also able to identify some issues, which they put in front of the State Representatives. One group of girls, as they completed around 8 sessions, understood the need and importance of being exposed to and knowing new things. The girls wrote a letter to the authorities asking for a library in their village where they can access books, which will help them know more.

In another Interface meeting with the Self Help Group (SHG) representatives, Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) and Health Service Providers (HSPs), the girls raised the issue of having safer spaces for playing. This led to a discussion around the issue of substance abuse and its gendered nature in the meeting as in the playing space; some boys and young men were engaged in substance abuse. Due to this, the girls were not being allowed to play there by themselves.  The participants in the meetings decided to further, take this issue up and start conversations about it with other groups in the village.

Through this phase, we also aim to work with young women between the age group of 17-19 years, on building their leadership and advocacy skills. The work with this group has just started in the month of January. The sessions with these girls will also lead to the girls doing an action project in their villages as a collective. CREA believes in the role of collectives for powerful and sustainable change. Through the program, the idea is also to build these strong collectives of young girls and women in all the villages. The work with the 17-19 years old young women and girls is yet another element for furthering this belief.

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CREA

Location: New York - USA
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Project Leader:
Anuradha Chatterji
New York, New York United States
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