We, at Apeejay School, Pitampura, believe that education and schooling is a process through which society builds the kind of individuals we wish to see in the world. Therefore, it is imperative that we lay strong emphasis on inculcating values of equality among our children.
Upholding this ideology and to help our children understand the need for gender equality, School is part of UNESCO (Equal Community Foundation) led global initiative on “Engaging Boys for Gender Equality”. Around 50 boys of Class VIII participated in this programme that aims to raise gender equitable boys by equipping them with knowledge, peer support, skills and leadership abilities and to change their learning through presentations.
The programme, comprising a series of 10 sessions, addressed unequal power relations and deep rooted beliefs of patriarchy and human rights. These sessions were conducted by Ms Seema Chauhan and Ms Mamta Sharma who were trained through a series of webinars conducted by UNESCO (ECF).
The participants participated actively in the open house discussions and were appreciative and realised that every individual is different and unique in their own special way and ‘Diversity is to be celebrated and not be a cause for division’. Students participated with great enthusiasm in the group exercises, picture analysis to enlist the stereotypes and how umpteen examples of role reversals are making a mark in the growing Indian society. The participants were encouraged to do their part to ensure that everyone moves towards a more equal and inclusive society, a society devoid of discrimination, one where women are not treated as inferior, and where equal opportunities and rights are given to all.
At the end of these sessions, students conducted presentations on various topics pertaining to gender equality, like empowerment of women, portrayal of women in advertisements, how gender discrimination leads to violation of basic human rights, domestic violence, common myths leading to gender discrimination and peer pressure & masculinity.
Thes online sessions became a space of transformation where children learnt to question gender roles, identified areas of gender discrimination and worked towards changing them.