People for Parity conducted a workshop with KatKatha, a non-profit organization based out of GB Road whose aim is to educate and spread awareness amongst the brothel owners as well as the children of the sex-workers. Gender based violence has grown from a mere social occurrence not being seriously addressed to a fully fledged social monster, gripping and consuming lots of unsuspecting victims. The oblivious bystander, evading responsibility by turning his or her eyes to the other side can become a victim of the social evil any given day, and this workshop was aimed at discussing and understanding the roots of this social evil.
The workshop was conducted by Aditya, and was attended by PfP as well as KatKatha volunteers at KatKatha’s centre in GB Road. The session started with us introducing each other, and it was an eclectic crowd with people from lots of different work, social & educational backgrounds. The workshop revolved around gender sensitization and how the lack of it causes gender related violence and inequality. It started off with a simple activity where various day to day activities were listed out on separate chits, and we were supposed to pick one up and classify it as something associated with a male or a female. This simple yet interesting activity helped us understand the kind of social structure existing around us which makes us classify cooking and cleaning as a female oriented activity while playing video games and supporting a family is solely thought of as a male activity.
After this we were divided into various groups and each group was told to pick up a gender based stereotype and discuss it amongst ourselves. The depth in the group structure enabled us to have an eye-opening discussion with people discussing various personal experiences and views. In between we had few fun activities and we got to know each other. In the second part of the session, we were again divided into groups, and were shown images depicting gender based violence. We were to understand what was happening in the image and discuss the personal experiences and views as well as the impact of such an activity on the victim. It was again an enlightening experience as lots of beliefs and stereotypes which were held before were transformed or broken down. Volunteers discussed the situations they have observed or they themselves have been in and what goes on in their mind. The session concluded with an enactment of a gender based violence scene, and we gave our inputs to the steps which are supposed to be taken in the event we come across this.
Gender Sensitization is not about learning something new but changing the way we think. It is the first step in understanding the social evil of gender based violence and also is one of the keys to solving it. It was a very refreshing and learning experience and I am definitely looking forward to the next session.