Intergenerational Dialogue with Boys to end violence against girls and women in Rural South India
This program, which has run since March 2018, was developed against the backdrop of growing violence against girls and women in India. The International Centre for Child and Public Health (ICPH), the Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP) & Shanti Ashram, using an approach based on intergenerational dialogue and centred on the active participation of boys to challenge gender-based violence, started the “Dialogue with BOYS”.
This programme uses an Ethics Education Approach developed by Arigatou International which aims to nurture a sense of belonging to a common humanity with the goal to help adolescents bring about peaceful transformations in their communities. This programme will empower adolescent boys to challenge harmful norms in their communities that condone violence against women and girls and will motivate them to take action to transform these norms.
Dialogue with Boys is a science informed intervention. Experienced Paediatricians will educate and empower the boys with updated knowledge on adolescence and the physiology of growing up. The growing Brain and the physical and the emotional changes that mark this critical period of development is also discussed. The programme allows for a deep reflection on the root causes of inequality and violence and mobilises boys to end gender-based violence in their families and within communities.
The efforts of the International Center for Child and Public Health (ICPH), the Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP) & Shanti Ashram have continued during the pandemic in order to respond to the uptick in violence against women and girls during COVID-19. In 2021, in this crucial second phase, partners would like to expand on the programme to reach 50 villages and scale up this intervention to systematically engage the families of the adolescents participating in the dialogue.
The 2021 Edition is funded by the Government of Netherlands: This edition of Dialogue with Boys, which will operate in an intergenerational framework that includes the participation of their parents, communities and teachers, aims to create behaviour modification in the communities in which it is implemented. This year, we want to focus on creating a robust system of implementing evidence-based interventions, monitoring and evaluating the success of the program and documenting it as a model for other organisations. In this edition we are going to conduct 25 sessions, 15 for adolescent boys, 5 for their parents and 5 for their teachers from 50 villages.
Dialogue with Boys creates spaces of encounter and reflections with the goal to contribute to behavioural change and social norms change, challenging socio-cultural norms and values condoning and justifying violence against women and girls. The program is designed to raise awareness about human dignity and human rights, focusing on gender equality. Dialogue with boys promotes critical thinking, and awareness about collective realities and contexts, creating a space for participants to reflect on societal values, structural and cultural violence, gender equality and the root causes of violence against women and girls.
This unique inter-generational dialogue provides as a methodology the space for problem assessment & solution development. By including adolescents we embed through dialogue the impetus for behavior modification and social change. The Ethics education framework and the science informed intervention allows for inter-sectional collaboration of two sectors to help end violence against girls and women
Dialogue with BOYS is a strong call to motivate adolescent boys and whole community to think and act for violence free society for women and children.
Reflection from the Adolescent boy: With the help of this session, I came to know about marriage age of men and women and learned how to show respect and empathy on women and if a sin happens to girl child should inform to 1098 – child helpline number and understood that there should not be any gender based discrimination. ‘
Saran.S ,Student, 8th Standard
Reflection from the facilitator:
As a coordinator and one of the facilitators of this programme, I really felt how the learning crisis and mental crisis were impacting children particularly in this adolescents age group. Dialogue with boys gives a platform to these adolescent boys to open up their mind and what kind of challenges are faced in the community. During the panel discussion with boys they can easily open their thoughts on what kind of violence happening in their community and own neighbourhood. Also boys were given wonderful child friendly solutions on how to end violence on children especially girls. The highlight of the session was Influences of Science in Adolescent Behaviors by a Senior Pediatrician from Indian Academy of Pediatrics; they clearly explained about the physiology growing up and mental and brain development of each stage of the adolescents. Dialogue with boys really gives more hope to adolescent boys to express their feeling and challenges and also they came up with their solutions.
Vijayaragavan Gopal, Head, Youth Leadership Programme.