Parisar Vikas conducted Yuvati Melava

blog2

Parisar Vikas conducted  Yuvati  Melava on  17th April, 2014 at  Vashi,  Navi Mumbai. The venue was the NGO forum’s office  at CIDCO community Centre, Sector 3.

During the course of our work in the slum pockets of Navi Mumbai, we have observed that young girls in the communities are unable to access community resources due to the problem of eve-teasing and sexual harassment on the streets. It is even more disturbing to note that most of the teenager girls accept eve-teasing and sexual harassment as a way of life. To create a platform for discussion on these issues, impart information regarding social and legal recourses available, and gender sensitization  we designed  a  one day programme  named  Yuvati melava.

blog150 adolescent girls from different communities of Vashi suburb participated in the Melava. Most of these girls come from such families where their mothers are the only earning members. Though these women  are concerned about their daughters,  neither have  they time to spend with them  nor skills to discuss adolescent problems. besides the taboo to speak on issues like sex, attraction to opposite sex, eve-teasing, molestation and rape is also a big problem in having a good child-parent relationship. This programme helped to  bring about a discussion on these issues on a secured and non-threatening platform.

The programme began at  2.00 pm with a poster exhibition base don the theme Eve teasing. This set the mood for the day’s topic. It also gave them an insight into the thinking process of the girls and there-by of the community. Many girls thought that often the main reason for eve teasing was girl’s attire. Most of the girls said that they felt guilty after being eve teased. They often found it difficult to communicate these matters to their parents or guardians.

Followed by  the welcome speech given by Pooja & Seema, the members of Inner wheel Program( Women’s wing of Rotary club) inaugurated the programme by garlanding  Savitribai Phule’s photograph.

Ms. Lambe, a member of Inner Wheel club  while addressing the girls mentioned that often parents end up discriminating between male child and female child. She requested the girls not to discriminate between their children when they become mothers.

Ms. Shukla, another member of Inner wheel club , said that it was extremely important for the girls to establish proper communication channels with their parents or guardians. She said that the girls should be able to freely speak with their parents. It was important for them to be able to confide in someone when trapped in problematic situation.

Ms. Malati Dharamsen explained the difference between safe touch and unsafe touch. She said that it was imperative that the girls be able to differentiate between these touches for their own good.

Ms.Vrushali Magdum, co-ordinator Vashi branch of SMS conducted the first session on gender equality. She elucidated that gender roles are established since childhood. Through discussion she also motivated girls to think about the need to change gender roles. She explained that it is, not clothes but the mindset of the men, responsible for sexual assault/harassment. The need to establish proper communication channels with parents was also emphasized.

A film on eve teasing directed by Anurag Kashyap was screened in the latter part of programme. The them of the film is how girls from a particular locality were regularly eve teased and how they fought to combat the problem. It was a very positive film which highlighted the need for unity.

This discussion followed by the film was moderated by Ms. Pooja,  the Student social worker at SMS. The girls were very engrossed in the film and participated wholeheartedly in the discussion. They drew parallels with the film and recounted their experiences about eve teasing and how they encountered the problem. The girls also agreed that they should not keep quiet and tolerate the harassment. Before the problem gets  aggravated  they should must learn how to face the situation bravely and take action.

blog3A demonstration on self defense was organized by  PSI Maya More to give a demonstration on self defense. Akash More and Rakesh Jadhav  demonstrated how in tricky situations the girls could take care of themselves. They also demonstrated some kicks and punches which could render the molester or eve teaser senseless. The girls were very impressed by these sessions.

Sushama Bidave and Rashmi Karle took a recap and feedback of all the sessions that had taken place till then. Eve teasing, molestation, flashing, rape, sexual remarks, winking, taking pictures of girls without their consent, showing films which were of pornographic nature all constituted sexual abuse. The session ended on a positive note with many girls mentioning that they would not feel guilty and that in a tricky situation they would use self defense techniques taught to them in the programme.

Declaration

Crowd gathers

The Constitution of India as well as other laws have conferred equal rights and status on women. These however have not been actualized as yet. In every field, viagra 60mg women occupy a secondary and subsidiary place. The role of the Stree Mukti Sanghatana therefore becomes necessary to help liberate women from economic, cialis social, online political, cultural and psychological oppression.

Economic Oppression
Even now the rightful place of a woman is considered to be within the confines of the house. National plans and planning processes do not include women. They are mostly offered low-paid and subsidiary jobs. The responsibilities of child care and cooking are not yet considered social responsibilities and lie primarily with women. Lack of inexpensive eating places and crèches add to their burden.

Social Oppression
Systems like dowry traditions continue unabated even today. Male chauvinist attitudes are perpetuated and promoted. Women are considered and treated as sex objects. These attitudes lead to occurrences of rape and create and maintain systems like prostitution and devdasi.

Political Oppression
Since most women are not economically independent as yet and as the electoral system today requires huge expenditures, the proportion of women legislators is very low. Participation of women in party politics is also low due to the very same reasons.

Cultural Oppression
Scriptures, literature and other arts depict a woman in her traditional weak and secondary role. Cinema, theatre, and advertisements repeatedly stress the traditional and sex object image of women.

Psychological Oppression
As a result of all these factors the woman herself accepts her secondary status and role. She is unable to perceive the possibilities of liberation created by the technical facilities available in the new industrial society. She cannot therefore cherish the aspirations of liberation. The other side of the picture is provided by the man who remains a slave of male chauvinist attitudes. He is unable to adopt the attitude of equality about his wife and other women at home or with women colleagues at work.

Dynamics Of Women’s Liberation

s3

Total women’s liberation is not possible at an individual level. Even if some women, recipe for example, malady free themselves from mental slavery they cannot change the attitude of the society towards women. That requires a social and collective struggle. The struggle has to take place at three levels:

(a) An intellectual struggle with oneself
(b) A struggle in individual practice and
(c) Collective struggle

We believe that it is necessary to launch a collective and organized movement for struggles at all the three levels.

The inequality between men and women seen in every sphere of life today is related to the general social inequality. We believe that we are organically related to any and all efforts, story wherever they are going on to abolish this inequality. Wherever possible, we believe, that we must cooperate with such efforts. This is the necessity of our own movement since we shall have to appeal to activists in different fields for our own movement.

It is necessary to investigate the historical reasons and processes whereby the woman has been relegated to this secondary social status. Stree Mukti Sanghatana will therefore take up as its main tasks:

(a) The theoretical study of women’s problems
(b) Making women conscious about their rights
(c) Organizing women to address different problems in their life and helping them to struggle for the solution of these problems

The problems of women in different spheres of activity and from different economic groups are quite different in today’s situation. It is necessary to recognize and admit that the educational levels and cultural atmospheres of the women from different groups are different. Hence, the organization and movements of the different groups will need different methods of building up. The activities and programmes will also differ. The Stree Mukti Sanghatana has a broad and comprehensive outlook about the general problems of women. It will therefore aid women from different groups in getting organized and will make efforts to give these organizations a definite direction.

The Stree Mukti Sanghatana will function as a nuclear organization, and will make efforts at coordination so that women from different strata and groups can share and exchange thoughts and experiences as well as develop an awareness of the existence of common problems faced by all the groups as women. It will be the task of the Sanghatana to create a united movement of women through these efforts.

Women from the working class, agricultural, labour and white-collared employees have been fighting along with men regarding problems in their own field. There have not been sufficient efforts, however, to make them aware about the specific problems of women. It was believed that such efforts would create a split between the men and the women. This notion is totally erroneous. The obstacle in the path of women’s liberation is not men but the entire social system and, the male chauvinism and mental slavery engendered by the system. If this is borne in mind it will be seen that the struggle and movements launched on specific problems of women will in fact strengthen the unity between men and women as well as the general unity of the movement. We firmly believe this. The participation of women in movements as well as men’s participation in housework will as a result increase and a healthier relationship will develop among colleagues as well as between husbands and wives.

We believe that women’s liberation is not an issue exclusive to Indian women but an international issue. We shall therefore extend support to the women’s liberation movements at different places. It is necessary that we draw inspiration from these movements as well as carry on an exchange of views.

Any woman who shares the above perspective, irrespective of her religion, sect, caste or economic group, can join the Stree Mukti Sanghatana. The Sanghatana will function democratically. Men also are eligible to enroll as members. Cooperation with other organizations will be on specific issues and programmes. The decision has to however be taken democratically in a general body meeting. The office bearers will be elected in the executive committee meetings. The office bearers should be generally well versed with the aims and activities of the Sanghatana. If it becomes necessary for the activities, subcommittees will be appointed, which will be elected by the Sanghatana.