Written By: Ms.P.V. Swati, Officer, Gender Mainstreaming
Allahabad,Uttar Pradesh: IGSSS along with partner organisation Manjul Mahila Kalyan Samiti (MMKS) conducted a series of awareness generation programme in intermediate and degree colleges in the region. The rationale behind the initiative was to understand perceptions of young men about the socially constituted role of father in the family and the gendered dynamics around it.
The activities and exercises organised in various institutions successfully engaged young people in a conversation about conventional definition of fatherhood. The groups of students who participated in programmes actively stressed on the need for a strong message of gender equity in parenting processes and discussed potential strategies to infuse positivity in conception of fatherhood in families.
MMKS’s Chief Functionary Manjula Srivastava in her address to the students of Kisan Inter Collage in Sarpatipur said “women and girls are today being able to avail education in institutions such as these, but continue to be inculcated in the same old male dominated familial settings at home. This is why it is important to engage with young men like you about gender issues”.
In debating programme organized in Salik Ram Jaiswal Inter Collage, Naika the students were divided in two groups to argue for and against the concept of positive fatherhood. The team in favor of positive fatherhood asserted that it was important for families and societies to move towards achieving gender equality, eliminating differences between girls and boys. The other team coming from a rather traditional point of view stated “it is not possible for boys and girls to be equal as history has never allowed it. Men have been the key decision makers and this culture should be preserved”. However, the first team as a counter argument highlighted how men as breadwinners are often burdened by familial responsibilities and financial liabilities. Thus, the team debating in favour of Positive Fatherhood presented a strong case for gender neutral familial roles which are equitable in their nature.
The Principal of the college appreciating the effort on the part of IGSSS and MMKS said “given the current gender inequality in society, this awareness generation programme to positively impact the sensibilities of youth who will future change makers in the society”.