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
Feb 25, 2020

Empowering Girls Through Dialogues and Sports

                                            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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Twitter: @ThinkCREA
Project Leader:
Anuradha Chatterji
New York, New York United States
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