Friday, March 27, 2015

Blog 6: Slum Kids Confront Sexism as India Grapples with Abuse of Women

An Indian woman named Yojana Salunke teaches a class to teenagers on gender inequality. She asks the girls in the class to raise their hand if they do housework before or after school. Every girl in the classroom raises their hand. Then she proceeds to ask how many boys in the classroom help their mother with chores and only a few boys raise their hands. The boys who did not raise their hands say that there is no need to because their mothers and sisters do all the work. Activists say that classes like these are needed in order to change attitudes on gender abuse. A boy named Shakir Shaikh says that they talk about how boys and girls are equal, yet, girls are treated differently. Girls are not allowed to go outside because it is not safe or watch as much TV as boys since they are supposed to be doing the housework. Indian women have always faced many threats. Since the incident of the gang rape of a woman on a Delhi bus, the government enforced stricter penalties on gender crimes. In India, crimes against women have increased 26.7 percent from 2012 to 2013. In over 12,000 school, teachers use activities such as role play, games and group assignments to create discussion on discrimination. Girls say the classes have boosted their confidence. A boy admits that his grandfather and great grandfather never would have looked at men and women being equal, but he says he has learnt this and will teach his children about equality.

I have always believed that men think women are inferior to them because that is what they are taught. Helping younger generations become more aware of women’s rights will help future generations eliminate the idea of inequality. This two-year program is the solution to what society needs to enforce equity among our children. It even proves to be positively effective among both genders. Boys are less likely to be violent and girls are less likely to endure it as adults.

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