Strengthening youth mobilization & leadership to encourage them to emerge as gender sensitive and inclusive leaders in their communities

Working with Adolescent Girls

Equidiversity Foundation started working with adolescent girls on addressing the issues of vulnerability due to child marriage, trafficking, gender discrimination , lack of opportunities for girls or any other form of violence through encouraging their initiatives. The idea was that the adolescent girls from the community who are themselves in the throes of vulnerability due to their gender, socio-economic condition, family pressure, will find a safe space in the form of ‘Samhita Clubs’ shaped and run by them. Moreover, the concept of a ‘club’ is very unique to boys and men’s participation in social life. We wanted to break that stereotype.

The rationale for this work was to address rising elopement among young boys and girls (we found through a study that the average age of boys getting married was 19 years while for girls it was 15 years and a significant percentage of girls (84%) were studying when they got married but (88.6%)% boys were already working by the time they got married. These ‘Samhita Clubs’ will be empathetic and democratic spaces where they can ask questions, have critical dialogues, get information about rights and entitlements and most importantly act as a support group-listening, problem solving and supporting each other.

Currently we are working with 578 girls in 35 groups in 6 Gram Panchayat areas. In Pathar Protima, post covid, Samhita Club for girls have started Sanitary Napkin Bank and Library for adolescents in the community.

Working with Men and Boys

Equidiversity Foundation has been making efforts to engage men and boys as part of the solution that recognizes that men also have many strong motivations for ending men’s violence against women and promoting gender equality.

We are trying to engage boys and men to-

  • Increase their ability to understand gender norms, citizenship rights, critical life skills, masculinities and challenge gender stereotypes at a personal level
  • Encouraging emergence of new thought & youth leaders at the community level to promote rights, gender equality & stop GBV
  • Reinforce and create spaces for both genders to come together as allies and partners in the private/domestic and public spaces to promote gender equality.
  • Strengthen the eco-system and governance promoting youth inclusion in decision making in promoting gender issues, stopping GBV and enhancing citizenship rights

Strengthening the Eco-system to become gender responsive and inclusive

AWe work to create an enabling and improved ecosystem around women, children and youth by creating inclusive practices among Gram Panchayats & institutions by creating a milieu where all the stakeholders feel the need to interact with the other.

Our Strategy
  • Engaging in a dialogue with male political leadership and elected representatives regarding impact of patriarchy and the role that gender equitable governance could play in catalyzing social development.
  • Preparing the political machine and system to accept, seek and support active women leaders, promote women’s issues through Gender Responsive Budgeting and gender mainstreaming and include youth and children as participants in the governance process.
  • Strengthening community-based systems eg. Village Child Protection Committees to promote and uphold rights of the marginalized.