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MAGE 2010-2011

CHSJ believes that to move towards gender equality requires working with men to understand their privileges as well as the compulsions that they face within a patriarchal system.

Support of Actions to Eliminate Violence Against Women in Uttar Pradesh - This action research project was initiated in April 2009 in 3 districts of Uttar Pradesh in collaboration of SAHAYOG and International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW), New Delhi. The goal of the project is to promote increased involvement of men and boys in promotion of gender equity and the reduction of violence against women and girls.  

  • Three rounds of trainings were held with youth and adults in the districts of Pratapgarh and Jaunpur in collaboration with Tarun Chetna and Azad Shiksha Kendra on the issue of Sexual/Gender based discrimination and violence, Masculinity, Human Rights, and Sexuality in the family and community. A three days leadership development workshop was organized in Pratapgarh to increase the capacity in youth. Monthly meetings were conducted with youth groups to increase understanding and action around the issues of single women, equal opportunity, masculinity and PWDVA.
  • On the occasion of the local Panchayat election, the youth group organised campaign to highlight the issue of Violence Against Women (VAW) and the need for advocating it through local government platform.

Changes:

·      Denial of violence has decreased in the region. Reporting on the VAW cases has increased in the area.

·      Gender Mela held on the occasion of Women’s Day in Jaunpur, attracted various stakeholders i.e. women’s organisations, PRI members, social activist, lawyers.

Enhancing Male Participation for Improving Gender Equality in Maharashtra - CHSJ was successful in getting the support of UNFPA, India in starting this project in 125 villages in 3 districts of Maharashtra. The project was initiated in 5 clusters of 25 villages each in partnership with Halo Foundation, Astitva, Nari Samta Manch, Savitri Bai Phule Mahila Mandal, Yuva Gram in the districts of Beed, Solapur and Pune.

Several activities were conducted during the year:

  • A baseline enquiry was conducted to document the knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of men on gender equality and violence. The findings have been incorporated in the programme design.
  • A curriculum for community level animator and a resource kit for community awareness was developed.
  • Animators and facilitators were trained on gender, masculinity, sexuality, health and violence against women.
  • A campaign was organized in November-December on occasion of 16 days of activism against violence against women and was launched from Beed district. Local Newspapers had widely covered the campaign and articles as well as case stories were also published in the newspapers highlighting the importance to engage with this issue.

 Though it is early days some changes are visible at the community level

  • Around 240 groups have also been created at the community level, which provide a platform to their members to share their concerns, and take up issues of gender justice.
  • Men have started sharing household work, taking care of children and demonstrating more affection.
  • Animators have started analyzing their role in domestic violence and started intervening.
  • Men have tried to stop early marriage of daughters and are supporting higher education of girls and even refusing to give dowry.
  • A referral mechanism has started for men’s sexual and reproductive health services. 

Mobilising men to challenge Sexual and Gender Based Violence in institutions - The goal of this project was to develop male leadership to challenge some of the more common forms of violence against women in institutional settings for example in the workplace, on campus and on shop-floor. It focuses on male activists/leaders within labour unions, student groups and human rights organizations.

A two-phase programme was organised for 18 participants from Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, West Bengal and Delhi,  working with institutions like PRIs, trade unions, youth wing of political parties. It aimed at developing a leadership potential in the activists as a key point to challenge violence against women as well as to create a culture of collaborations between individuals working in different settings to achieve common goals. The case studies and stories of change were collected and are available on our website. This programme was done in collaboration with SAHAYOG, UP and Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, UK.

Networking - CHSJ continued networking on the issue of masculinity and gender equality at the national, South Asian and Global level.

·   Participation at National Level - CHSJ continued to host the secretariat for Forum to Engage Men (FEM). In June, FEM collaborated with SWAYAM, West Bengal to organize a workshop for its state members on the theme of gender and masculinity.  A national meeting was organized in Delhi during November to review the FEM process and plan for strengthening the network as well as to review its linkages with regional and global alliances. 

  • Participation at South Asian Level - CHSJ is a member of South Asian Network to Address Masculinities (SANAM) - a network of NGOs, academicians and activists and participated in its training activities in February. CHSJ has also been strengthening the Men Engage Alliance, South Asia Region and this year we participated at Men Engage regional meeting organised in Delhi during May and also participated and facilitated the South Asia Regional strategic planning meeting with the secretariat coordinator in Dhaka in December.
  • Participation at Global Level - CHSJ has been a founder member of the steering committee of Men Engage Global Alliance (MEA) and this year we were invited to make a presentation in a conference on men and masculinity in October as well as facilitated a workshop on mobilising men to change men organised by FORUT in Oslo, Norway.

We made a presentation on our work on men and masculinities in a conference organised by Masculinity and Society, Lavel University in Quebec, Canada. We facilitated the exchange visit of two FEM members to South Africa and also hosted MEA members from Brazil, South Africa for an exchange visit in India during September. CHSJ also participated in a series of events namely the executive committee meeting held in Washington DC, the Planning Meeting for a Global Campaign on Men, Care giving and Fatherhood organised by Promundo and MenEngage during March.