The 2nd MenEngage Global Symposium 2014 – Men and Boys for Gender Justice, to be held in New Delhi from November 10-13 is bringing together 900 people from about 70 countries to express the need for men to speak up and partner for gender justice. Organised by MenEngage Global, an alliance of over 400 partners, the Global Symposium has expanded to become a movement for involving men and boys in gender equality. Taking part in the symposium and widening the discourse by their insights are field level activists, UN organisations, NGOs, civil society members including artists, poets, photographers, film makers, ordinary citizens and most importantly, the youth. The issues of masculinity, gender equality and ending violence against women are also being highlighted by the One Billion Rising (OBR) campaign. Collaborating on the central idea of the urgent need to understand masculinities in different contexts, the MenEngage Global Symposium and OBR 2015 have decided to come together on a common platform to demonstrate that gender equality can be achieved if men and women both engage with the issue. Both campaigns are unfurling simultaneously not only in Delhi but in many other parts of India, countries in South Asia as well as across the globe.
The Global Symposium is a milestone not only for those involved with the issue but for the people of Delhi to redefine male responsibility, male engagement and male involvement. The event will enable young people from diverse backgrounds to share their experiences, confusions, uncertainties, struggles, peer pressure, self discovery, successes and alliances and discuss and discover ways of establishing a more gender equitable environment. The Symposium is an opportunity for the City and its young people to reflect, give expression to their agency within their mohalla, campuses, hang-out places, among their peers and continue their search for a new paradigm for male engagement as friends, partners, caring people and through this, building quiet confidence and establish camaraderie that goes beyond age, sex, creed, caste, religion, etc.
The formal launch of the Symposium showcases how this event is a continuation of the journey for a diverse set of stakeholders and also provide opportunity to the youth to focus on the role of men in engaging with gender equality.
Bijayalaxmi welcomed all the participants and reiterated the need of visiting and rediscovering the meaning of masculinities and the areas of our life it affects. Bijayalaxmi retirated that this is both a challenging and opportune time for everytime. Remembering the first One Billion Rising that was launched in 2012, Bijayalaxmi recounted the journey of the campaign. The women’s struggle for empowerment is a shared movement between men and women and all genders. Women’s movement has always been advocating a partnership with men to establish an equitable society. The engagement with men and boys is not new. OBR has brought a lot of hope in the period after the December 16th rape. While Delhi was being called the rape capital of India, it also arose as the centre of protests against violence. OBR rose in India at a time when there was anger but several organisations reinforced the view that justice cannot be retributive and punitive. We are conscious of impunity. We cannot reduce men to one homogenous group and more importantly, we cannot take recourse to violence while trying to end other forms of violence. Several organisations along with CHSJ, were among the partners of OBR who since the beginning have tried to talk about justice and the need to involve men in the wider struggle.
Welcoming the guests, Dr. Abhijit Das said that the global symposium is not merely an event or conference but is the beginning of a long and fruitful association with the women’s movement in India and it is therefore momentous that the Symposium is partnering with the One Billon Rising campaign. Dr. Das asked why men and boys should be involved in the discussions on gender only in closed rooms and conferences. We wanted to take these discussions to the farthest corners and to the places where men are. The December 16th rape case in Delhi was horrific and though it was just one in a series, it has made us look within and question whether violence is something that happens out there and we are happy to read about it at a distance in the newspaper. This is the time for men to reflect and question why those men who do not support violence are often silent and thereby end up not rising in opposition against violence. This symposium is a time for the men to let their collective voices rise in solidarity against violence against women and gender discrimination.
Rupa is from Uttar Pradesh. Her step mother threw acid on her. She did not like Rupa and wanted her to live like a servant. Her own family also did not support her, her father did not help her. It was her uncle who finally helped with the medical treatment. Rupa learnt about Stop Acid Attacks and they gave her the courage and hope to fight for her rights. Rupa is now independent, is running her own fashion designing shop. She learnt tailoring and this has given her the confidence to be self reliant and help other people. Rupa asked how long women should bear the violence in complete silence.
Ashish stated that there is need to look at masculinity, violence and power and reflect on these terms again. Violence can take many forms. Masculinity can also take several forms. Masculinity is often understood as toughness, power, strength and violence. Reflections of masculinity in popular culture and films are also aggressive- actors proclaim on stage that real men do not feel pain. In rural communities also, this is reflected in the limited spaces available to men for expressing their feelings. Fathers cannot hold their children in their lap, cannot talk to their wives in front of others.
The problem of violence has to be dealt with in totality. The act of violence is just one event- where some people are perpetrators. However, the mindset which permits and accepts such actions and violence must be questioned and it is this mindset that we have to break. We have to talk about masculinity in the villages. When a woman is successful and is able to fight her battles, she is often praised as being masculine- this trend must be opposed. Strong women should be celebrated- they do not become masculine by being strong. Therefore, when we get together, we must also reflect on the deeper underlying issues.
Chand, representing the youth group of Jamia asked what is masculinity- is it just being able to verbally abuse, to hit, to rape? These were questions that used to trouble Chand while he was growing up. Some teachers used to come to their community to train girls and teach them about gender. Chand approached the teacher and told her that he wanted to be part of the group. The teacher encouraged him. He learnt about discrimination and equality and was impacted by what he learnt. One of his neighbour used to drink a lot and would beat his wife and children. We used to tell him that he should not beat his wife. He thought that he was right and should not be questioned- he was being a man! We have to talk to men that masculinity is not only power.
Avik never questioned his own upbringing or class privileges, while being aware of gender discrimination and inequality in general. When the separate section for women in the delhi metro was reserved, Avik questioned this move with his friends. Avik stressed the need to bring the symposium out of the domain of closed room discussions and to take it to those who are impacted by it in their lives. Talking about the juveniles from the slums of Delhi, Avik stated that these children are only reached out to when they are already within the criminal justice system. Violence for them is a part of their survival. This symposium should reach out to people who are on the fringes.
Violence is not just against women but there is also need to recognize the violence against women and the bullying against children.
Upon joining college, I met people who made me understand about gender. The misunderstanding between girls and boys is also a gender construct. Boys often pass comments on the way girls dress. We have to take into account economic forces also. Often unemployed youth express their anger in forms of severe violence. Similarly, alcohol addiction is also something that leads to violence.
Through trainings by the Manas Foundation, Narrottan understood the problems that women in general face and in particular the problems being faced by women commuters. He has taken steps to ensure that his auto complied with all the measures prescribed by the police and is committed to uphold gender equality.
Moving to Delhi from a smaller city, forced Navdeep to think about gender, to question gender stereotypes. The city also allows people to create their own version of masculinity. While smaller towns have started pushing gender equality and even have pride marches, Delhi provides a good platform to take these discussions forward.
The gender stereotypes prevail in all walks of life. Even in our daily lives we end up reinforcing these. We argue that if you think like a man you are therefore more objective.
Men run the house- all our depictions in culture and images of our gods and goddesses also show our goddesses standing at the feet of the gods. The fight for gender equality is not for women, it is for all.
Men over the course of many years are either seen as the perpetrators, audience or the protectors. We have to move men beyond these stereotypical positions. Rape is not only against women, there needs to be detailed discussion about transgender rape, rape against men and boys. We need to move beyond the internet spaces, the aim of our campaign should not be to get a 1000 likes. We need to take these discussions to the people on the street and in the communities.
Summing up these testimonials and sharings, Bijayalaxmi Nanda stated that there is an intersectionality of generations across genders, stating that they are standing and rising in solidarity for gender equality.
The entire concern in the women’s movement has been that often in conferences on gender, men are missing. This meeting and the symposium in November are going to provide an opportunity to engage with men. CEQUIN is thrilled to be part of this symposium. Even if we look at the purely instrumental approach, Gender equality is important to ensure women’s empowerment, livelihood, education and health. While 16th December was a momentous event and we all came out against the rape and violence, we must move beyond the discussion of rape and start question trafficking of women, dowry, education, access to healthcare and other forms of inequalities. CEQUIN has been trying to shift the focus from pepper sprays and self-defense classes for women to a rights based approach which doesn’t put the onus of violence on women themselves. CEQUIN has been using sports to talk about women’s empowerment. When women are empowered, it is a win-win situation for both men and women.
The concept of breaking the culture of silence has emerged in the meeting and that should be taken forward in the symposium. Jamia has been engaging its youth to work on gender equality. Various departments of Jamia have come together to strengthen the work. Violence is the cross cutting theme today. The experiences today show that it does not matter where you come from and which class, caste, religion or gender you belong to, the stories of violence are being shared. A lot of women are fighting hard battles. By sharing these stories we are connecting people and are reaching out to people. Speaking about the floods in Kashmir, there is need to work with disaster management strategies, the issues raised by any such natural disaster are many. Climate change is also a complex issue that needs more detailed analysis.
Talking about Dayal Singh College, Delhi University, Prof. Bakshi stated that the college has around 5500 students out of which approximately 50% are girls. Prof Bakshi stated that any opinion making needs to be first done in the classrooms. There is need to treat men and women equally. Women do not require any special treatment, there needs to be equal treatment. The college has taken steps to ensure that women have a safe environment and there are women in various positions in the different posts in the college- from cleaners to counselors. There are steps to monitor the use of acid in laboratories in the college. Anti sexual harassment cells are also aware of the various conditions under which there may be a complaint and how to deal with these. There is also an effort to involve the parents and especially the fathers, when the students are in any crises. Prof. Bakshi reiterated the need for making gender equality a part of the semester curriculum, and at least compulsory in the graduate level. There is need to teach ourselves and the students that we need to honour the opinions of our mothers and sisters and drop the act of only following directions of the father and brother or for that matter the cult of the man of the family directing the women and controlling them. We need to build a society that identifies equality as a compulsory social value.
Monica, mental health practitioner asked what is the cause of violence? This is a very important question in fighting gender based violence or finding a solution for gender inequity. Manas works not only with the victims but also the perpetrator of violence. Manas has combined mental health in their work on gender justice. Monica stated that to change the image of Delhi we have to change the image of the street of Delhi so we reached out to police and also the autowallahs. Regarding the issue of the safety of women, most women commute in autos so the autowallah became the focus group. Manas has conducted trainings of 1 lakh autowallahs. There is awareness of gender based violence and also give them handouts and kits. The autowallahs are made accountable to this issue of violence. We also give them stickers with messages for respecting women and to ensure safety of women. Manas has also started a dialogue between women passengers and the driver. This has helped bridge the gap and the fear that women commuters have in mind. Manas has embarked on a journey that combines mental health and gender justice.
Puneeta Roy – teamwork and yuva ekta
Teamwork and yuva ekta believe in the power of young people. Connect with young people from various background and then use theater and art to explore questions/sense of the self – to deiscover what it is to be :human"
Theatre enables one for role playing. That helps break their own sense of identity and sense of self and help them explore other possible identities.
Gender has been unconsciously a big part of how we identify with self. Empowerment begins with how you define yourself.
Teamwork is organizing a concert- Sounds of Freedom.- bringint together Indians and foreign artists and the theme of freedom.
A theatre group- Acapella group we should be out performing in Delhi.
Shailaja Chandra stated that three developments can be seen- gender and gender justice is coming on the platform and is being discussed. It has credibility in the eyes of organisations- it draws attention, money and media. Lastly, NGOs and CSOs have found time and inclination to address these issues. We should be happy that we have reached this stage of evolution. However, even now the birth of the girl child is not seen as a celebration even in the most educated of homes. People outwardly proclaim happiness over the girl child but within the homes, there is discussion of dowry and how much will have to be given as jewelry and cash. Violence against women is the final stage which has to be confronted and faced. Long before that there is discrimination. Girls are conditioned that they have to ask for permission for anything they do. When the Prime Minister spoke about this on Independence Day speech, it was also a turning point. Sensitizing about gender, colour and race has to start from childhood and not when people are in colleges or working. Habits can be changed and new practices can be developed. Children today tell their parents they do not want to use fire crackers during Diwali and chemical dyes during holi- these habits were discouraged by eco- clubs in schools. Discriminatory social institutions are what has to be changed and can be done.
We don’t have purdah in all of India, we do not have Female Genital Mutilation. Let us rejoice in these. However, let us also try to understand why women, even after years of marriage and child bearing, still need permission to carry out decisions in their homes. Most perpetrators of violence in Delhi are children in the age group of 14-18, who come in search of a job and are misused by employers and contractors who make them work 18 hours. In the absence of stringent laws, labour laws and rampant availability of alcohol and drugs, they are often pushed into crime. Now is the time to demand for change. Today politicians know that people are demanding change and they are interested in making these changes.
Worked with the bank to get accounts opened for members of the community. In a population of 4000, there were only 20 public toilets. Women were worst sufferers in this. The local politicians closed the few toilets that existed. Amit rallied people to get together to speak to each other and the local authorities and they worked to get the toilets opened. For the first time, women came out to vote in the local elections. Amit Das won the election and women supported him. One of the things that he achieved after the elections was to open more toilets for women. There is some fund available with the locally elected body which can be disbursed for widowed women. However, there are other women who are not widows but married at age of 16-17, whose husbands drink or have abandoned them without any source of income. The community has again come together to generate resources and goods for them. The Delhi Government had started a scheme where Rs.600/- were given to women. Amit told these women, most of who are working as daily maids, that with this amount, one household time is reduced. The woman should spend this time with their children.
There is a difference between engagement and involvement. Engagement comes from the heart and is sustained. Involvement is in bits and pieces. In the ministry, on the issues of family planning, the female involvement in family planning was advocated. The service providers and law makers think that it is easier to involve women. Once during the 1970s men were involved but this led to the cases of vasectomy. The problem with involving only women is that in the context of gender, policy making becomes more masculinised. There is too much masculinity in policy making and implementation. How do we advocate with policy making bodies- politicians and bureaucrats etc., to bring in the issue of gender and the issue of entangling the policy environment with masculinity. Although there are efforts to do this, it is saddled with masculinity. As citizens we have to be the watch dogs and constant vigilance is required by the CSOs. The Two Child Norm still rampant. On the issue of population, it is argued that we are increasing one Australia each year. CHSJ and many other NGOs have been trying to work on such gender insensitive policies. The adverse sex ratio in birth is linked to a problematic construction of gender.
Satish spoke about FEM (Forum to Engage Men), MASVAW (Men’s Action for Stopping Violence Against Women) and MenEngage. We are working to understand why some men change, how they change- what are the processes of change and what are the challenges that they face during the change. Men used to fear that if there is gender equality, they will lose their power and women will control them. But this myth has been dispelled. The men who have changed have in fact seen a positive impact of this change. They have developed deeper relations with the women- mothers, wives, daughters, etc. If men change individually, they are ridiculed, but when men form groups and take responsibility, they establish a new social order and peer group. Brothers have taught their sisters to ride bicycles. Earlier when girls reported incidents of sexual harassment, the usual response was to curtail their mobility. It is here that brother and friends took a decision and supported their sisters.
Men do not get up and rape one day. Men also test their boundaries and keep seeing how much they will get away with. Men will change if men have a secure environment to reflect and analyse their own actions. We have collected 500 stories from various states in India. When men improve their lives, women lives also change. We actively advocate that men do not need to do anything for the benefit of women; they need to work for themselves.
Through the Bell Bajao Campaign, Breaththrough has worked with the issues of gender equality and violence against women for many years. When Breakthrough collaborated on the Mann Ke Manjeere project, the predominant opinion was that men were violators and perpetrators. Now we also see them as equal partners. Breakthrough has started working towards ensuring that men and women come together on gender justice. This issue is now being advocated by many people- several celebrities are speaking up about this. We should channelize their voices also. Breakthrough also does intensive workshops with girls and boys. In one such workshop, when boys said that teasing is just a hobby or something they get fun out of, many girls broke down and shared their experiences of how their mobility was curtailed or their education stopped because of the teasing. This made boys reflect the consequences of their actions. This kind of sharing is also instrumental in leading to change.
Abhijit Das, summing up the session stated that the panel has raised the task that we cannot only raise these discussions in seminars, we have to take these to the larger community and we have to begin at home. Dr. Das formally launched the symposium and invited everyone to be part of the journey.
Addressing the Press Conference were Shailaja Chandra, A.R.Nanda, Abhijit Das, Abhishek Choudhary, Chand, Bijayalaxmi Nanda and Monica Kumar
Abhijit Das stated that over 900 participants from 70 countries will be present during the symposium. Various stakeholders will be involved in various stages, including CSO’s, colleges, universities, community members, auto drivers and most importantly, the public from Delhi will be part of this symposium. Starting from now till November, several activities will be held throughout Delhi, India and the rest of the world.
Chand stated that the work that we are doing in the symposium and for gender, should be shared with our family members. Our fathers should also know that their sons are aware and can even file a complaint if they commit violence against our mothers and sisters. We should feel that we can do something for our family, locality, colony and society.
Bijayalaxmi stated that OBR is a global campaign which rose on the call of Eve Ensler and is being led in India by Kamla Bhasin. On the 14th Februrary, we rise for love and justice. The vision of MenEngage is unique as men are not seen as just perpetrators but also as partners of women in the fight for justice. Joining this movement will be colleges and universities, auto drivers and also the communities. We must raise our voices such that the media is also energized to cover this. The OBR needs volunteers to take forward its call. The intersections are evident in OBR- disabilities, sexualities, caste, gender, etc., are all part of this. From OBR and MenEngage this is a joint coalition and the culmination on 14th February 2015 will be held and we would like to invite the press.
Abhishek reiterated the need for the youth to be part of this. Youth happens to be the most important target group for all activism. Media must support youth ventures and the voices of youth need to b given prominence. Media needs to validate the various youth ventures.
Questions by the Press-
1. How many organisations will be participating?
The symposium is being held during 10-13th November in Delhi. It is organised by CHSJ as the local host and MenEngage which is a global alliance of organisations and individuals working on these issues. Institutions in India have decided to not limit it to a meeting but to use the occasion to take the issue further and reiterate that men and boys should be engaged for gender equality. The Government of India, Dept of Health and Family welfare are part of this. All OBR partners are part of this. Being a global campaign the number of organisations should be beyond 1000. It is a large network.
2. When we talk about a gender just world, we must incorporate the women with disabilities. When we talk about autowallahs , they should be specifically sensitized towards women with disabilities.
The trainings with the Autowallahs covers people with disabilities but the point was accepted for future action.
3. A lot of people working with policy spaces have a traditional outlook and we need to be working towards changing the mindset. How should we do that?
Things have been changing and the perceptions of family planning and population control are changing. However in policy making, masculinity comes up. Gender insensitivity comes up in various ways- political leaders end up giving statements which are insensitive. We have to have the constant vigilance from the civil society. Some of us also have the same mindset. What is required is continued teaching. This has to be done in a sustained way. The changes will not come about immediately. Bureaucrats and policy makers need time to change.
4. Who among the Government are involved?
The symposium organizers are in conversation with the Department of Social Justice, HRD Ministry, Department of Women and Child Development. OBR has been involved with the Delhi Police also.
5. This is the 2nd Global Symposium- what is different and what is new from the 1st symposium?
The first symposium was in 2009 in Rio De Janiero. During this symposium, establishing the issue was important. To a great extent the audience was development professionals and UN agencies. One positive outcome of that symposium is the UN backing for the 2nd Symposium. The second positive outcome is that everyone is a stakeholder- this is a horizontal discussion and not in a closed room. It is inclusive. The principles are part of the action and practice in organizing the symposium itself. If you look at the tracks, there were three earlier and now violence, health and humanity are different tracks. If patriarchy has to change, then men have to change and if men have to change then masculinity has to change.
6. If we talk about gender justice, then our MPs and Politicians need to be sensitized. Will the MenEnegage organize something through this symposium by which the politicians can be specially educated?
The organizers do not feel that any single section requires to be taught urgently. All persons and sections need to make an effort to change. During all our programmes, in Madurai and Pune, etc, political parties are being reached out to. Our strategy for this symposium is to strengthen our base and coalition and establish a dialogue with various people.
New Delhi: 16 September 2014: The capital, which is playing host to a Global Symposium titled ‘MenEngage’ from November 10-13, 2014, bringing together 900 delegates from across 70 countries, is doing its bit to raise consciousness about male responsibility and accountability. Spearheaded by young people from across campuses and bastis, the city witnessed a unique event that demonstrated Delhi’s readiness to host the Global Symposium for involving men and boys in achieving gender equality.
Drawing inspiration from and led by brave-hearted Rupa, who is spearheading the Stop Acid Attack Campaign and Ashish, who is quietly and undauntedly supporting it, both young and old, men and women who were present expressed their solidarity on the theme of ‘MenEngage’.
Exhorting everyone to counter the trauma experienced by victims in the aftermath of an acid attack, Rupa emphasized that to get due justice we must be prepared to fight back. “Hence, we prefer to be known as fighters and not just survivors.”
“We are not just tending to the many crippling after-effects of the burns we experience day after day but rebuilding our lives so that we tell all these perpetrators that we will not be cowed down by their cowardly and inhuman acts.” Supporting firmly the victims of these attacks, Ashish urged all men to find different ways of standing up and being counted. “We cannot just feel bad or stay away from all that we abhor or hate. We need to speak up and walk the talk and do everything in our power to enable them to fight back” he added.
This sentiment was affirmed by other men of similar grit and strength. Mr Onler Kom, spouse of the boxing champion Mary Kom describes himself proudly as, “the life-partner of five-time World Amateur Boxing Champion, ranked No. 4 in International Boxing Association (Amateur) AIBA World Women's Ranking Flyweight Category and Olympic medalist MC Mary Kom.”
He urged “Every man to reach out to your life-partner in ways that enrich both” and added, “Women for centuries have helped us grow strong, efficient and progress further. It is time we stop reducing women to just being a wife or spouse, demonstrate support and do our duty in assisting our life-partners to realize their full potential, encouraging them to be persons of their own standing and ability with dignity.”
Mr.Valerian Santos, who lost his son, Keenan Santos, to an ugly brawl while trying to protect his girl friend, said that “every young man must step in to stop violence especially those inflicted on minorities and women. Some people say my son Keenan should have run away from there but I ask what about the girls, would they be able to escape? If Keenan would have run away and if any harm would have come to the girl I would have not been able to look at Keenan’s face forever.”
The ever-ready advocate on gender equality, Mr. Rahul Bose emphasized that, “Men need to practice a new masculinity if you will - that which rejects the notion of power and patriarchy, that which walks side by side with women in the quest for a more peaceful, more meaningful existence.”
Messages captioned, ‘Making Sense’ have come from many well known advocates such as Gautam Bhan, representing Voices against Section 377, who called upon men to first understand the power and privilege they command and voluntarily relinquish these so that they do not raise generations that inherit their fights. Others who messaged were feminists such as Ms. Nandita Shah, Akshara, Mumbai and from Vimochana, in Bangalore.
As the Secretariat of the Global Symposium, Dr. Abhijit Das, Director, Centre for Health and Social Justice (CHSJ), stated that the Global Symposium organized by ‘MenEngage Global’ was an alliance of over 400 partners that has expanded to become a movement for involving men and boys in gender inequality. “I agree that today more than ever before there is both an urgency as well as an imperative for men to not just engage quietly, in small ways as and when a crisis occurs but all the time, as publicly and as collectively as possible to bring a critical shift in the public perception of men; particularly to change the view that the archetypal Delhi male not only revels in machismo but is often its face. Time has come for a more caring male persona to assert itself.”
Taking the appeal forward more candidly, Ms. Kamla Bhasin, the pioneer and doyen of the women’s movement, urged the boys and men to understand how patriarchy was also destroying them. “Like girls and women, you too are being stereotyped, and your choices are being restricted. And since you are not expected to cry or be emotional it is not surprising that men and boys erupt into violence for any and every small reason.”
Several young men, who are in many ways becoming champions of change, also shared their insights about the city. Navdeep Sharma, a budding documentary filmmaker, said that he reveled in both the anonymity of the city as well as in discovering the many young people who are in search of alternatives. “Looking back at the not-so-happy moments what gave me the courage to stay on were the scores of young people from all walks of life who wanted to strike out differently and listen to all that was being said in an inclusive way; sans the usual shouting or male tantrums.”
Bharat, a 15-year-old class 10 student living in Joshi Colony, wanted to know whether people knew how young boys were equally traumatized and brutalized by incessant violence from every possible quarter. Shaman and Avik Roy, budding professionals and theatre activists, responded that setting right the wrongs done to many young boys was the need of the hour and urged that, “we listen to them.” While doing so they queried, “Can we first ask of ourselves- many of whom are privileged by class and power- as to why young people commit crimes in the first place?”
This unusual launch event brought together people from all parts of the city, following different trajectories and professions. A former Chief Secretary of Delhi, Ms. Shailaja Chandra, made it clear that men need to understand that now is the time for “business as unusual”
Lauding the decision to hold a Global Symposium ‘MenEngage’ and One Billion Rising Campaign she said that focusing on men to promote gender equality is a “novel beginning.” “Women have for long been lectured to on protecting and defending their womanhood; what is now essential is for men to recognize that they are equally capable of both promoting and benefitting from gender equality.”
Responding to the many of the predicaments that was voiced by the young, Mr. A.R. Nanda, former Union Secretary, Health and Director, Population Foundation of India, said that young people have to be empowered and facilitated to bring out their positive vision and aspirations.“Our education system and pedagogy have to be re-organized.”
Partner Organizations such as Jamia Millia Islamia, Cequin, Jagori, Yuva Ekta Foundation and Manas Foundation also participated in the event
Abhishek is visual artist based in New Delhi. He has recently finished his M.A English from Delhi University.
Chand is 15 years old confident young boy who lives Jamia Nagar area. He studies in 9th class and has been actively associated with the Gender Resource Centre run by Cequin and been actively involved in Awaz Uthao Campaign of Delhi Government. He wants to pursue higher education and secure a job that helps him to grow as a person.
Avik Roy graduated from Hampshire College, USA, in May 2013, with a major in political science, and a minor in music and theatre. He is focused on blending his engagement with social issues into his passion for the performing arts, attempting to pose critical questions that revolve around key domestic and global conflicts. He interned at the Planning Commission for a 7month period, and is currently free-lancing as a researcher, writer, and artist.
Bharat’s father is working as an electrician and mother as a homemaker. He is studying in class 10. He is extremely good in studies, tops the class and is not just a bookworm but also enjoys a good game of cricket too.
Kunal is a studying in Class 9; very talented in handling and repairing electrical gadgets. He is a keen member of the youth group working on stopping violence against women. Much of the conviction about this work stems from the challenges he has faced as a child in a family of five siblings.
Manowar Hussain is enrolled in the School of Architecture, Faridabad; migrated to Delhi from Jamshedpur a few months back
Narottam Singh is 35 year old auto driver in Delhi. He lives in Mangolpuri with his mother, wife and two children and has been plying the auto for the last seven years. He is actively associated with the whole initiative of sensitizing auto drivers on gender.
Having grown up in cities outside Delhi, I came here to pursue my Bachelor's in English Literature from Delhi University. After that I did my Masters in Mass Communication from Jamia Millia. I have an abiding interest in gender and sexuality rights and activism, and am working toward creating media art work that reflects the same.
Shaman is a lawyer by education and profession and has had a longstanding relationship with theatre and acting and hopes to be a filmmaker.
Manak Matiyani is a trainer and consultant on issues of gender, sexuality and violence working with a focus on youth development and leadership. He has worked with national and international organizations and programs on using digital storytelling to enable young people to reflect and lead action against gender based violence. He has also made films on issues of gender and sexuality.
· Dr Abhijit Das, Director, Centre for Health and Social Justice - Opening Statement & overview of MenEngage Global Symposium processes
· Ms Bijayalakshmi Nanda, One Billion Rising (OBR), South Asia – Introducing launch of OBR South Asia Campaign 2014-15
· Ms Lakshmi Dixit and Alok Dixit, Stop Acid Attacks – Need for new social contract
11.05 – 11.45 am
Second Session: Exploring Principles of Change
Sharing by Youth on men standing up to be counted
· Chand – Youth from Jamia Nagar
· Navdeep Sharma – Delhi University alumni
· Auto driver
· Abhishek Chaudhary – Artist
· Tanmay Tanvi – Ambedkar University student
Second Session: Exploring Principles of Change
Sharing by Partners on building enabling environment
· Lora Prabhu, CEQUIN
· Bulbul Dhar, Jamia Milia Islamia
· Monica Kumar, Manas Foundation
· Puneeta Roy, Teamworks
Second Session: Exploring Principles of Change
Sharing by other Stakeholders on commitment to gender justice
· Shailaja Chandra, Former Chief Secretary, Delhi
· Robin Hibbu- DCP Delhi Police Training
· Principal of Dayal Singh College
· Skype interaction/Recording of Mr Valerian Santos from Mumbai (father of late Keenan Santos)
· Sarpanch, Rajasthani Colony
· Shyam Menon, Vice Chancellor, Ambedkar University
Third Session: Practice
Engendering New Discourse
· Satish Singh, Additional Director, CHSJ- Sharing experience as practitioner and change bearer
· Meghana, Breakthrough- Engagement with men and their accountability
· Arvind Gaur, Asmita – Theatre as agent of change
1.30 – 2.00 pm
To be addressed by:
· Abhijit Das, CHSJ
· Devika Menon, OBR
· Youth representatives
· Bulbul Dhar, Jamia Milia Islamia
· Mr A R Nanda, former Health Secretary, GOI and former Director, Population Foundation of India