Reported By : Christie Maria James, Officer – Gender Mainstreaming, New Delhi
New Delhi: As part of the direct implementation approach, the Positive Fatherhood Programme was launched in Indira Colony. The programme is already being implemented through partners in Ghazipur, Mau and Allahabad districts in Uttar Pradesh and Thoubal and Wangjing districts in Manipur.
As a beginner approach, a session on the community’s understanding on Gender was conducted. The adolescent girls were enlightened on what the programme will entail. An activity was conducted with the girls aimed at giving them an idea on how society creates gender biases and unknowingly we internalize them. The girls were given a chart and were asked to divide the page into two columns to write ‘Mother’ and ‘Father’. They were further asked to write words that they associate with their parents. Interestingly, the words that came to the fore reflected stereotypes, such for depicting traits of ‘Mother’ words such as then required to ‘kind’, ‘loving’, ‘cooks food’ and the likes were used. Similarly, for depicting ‘Father’ words like ‘Strict’, ‘Breadwinner’ and such were used. Then the words ‘Father’ and ‘Mother’ were interchanged and the list was read out again. The girls were asked would they agree with the words falling under the new category and most of the girls nodded in affirmation. The session ended by giving an overview to the girls about the future discussion topics such as reproductive health and on gender based discrimination.
The Positive Fatherhood programme has been started to challenge the existing traditional roles and break the chain of skewed understanding of gender based relationships and thereby promote the idea of gender equality. And with these activities with the youth, IGSSS envisages to bring out a change in the thought process of the society by making them question the existing stereotypes.