It’s Possible: Where women and men are treated equally!
Phia strongly believes that gender inequality is one of the most crucial issues that need to be tackled in India. Without direct action with men and boys, gender disparities, inequality and a lack of true gender fairness will continue.
Over the years several organisations and movements have campaigned on various aspects of gender equality and have had influence in time and spaces. We acknowledge the effort that has gone in and we also recognise the need for continued action and dialogue!
In an effort to build on this work and add to the momentum, Phia Foundation along with PACS partners and CSO partners have come together to launch the campaign – ‘It’s Possible’. We strongly believe unless there is a direct action with men and boys – inequality, exploitation and violence will continue only to aggregate and spread.
It’s possible aims to challenge the popularly perceived notions around masculinity to bring about a change in attitude that ultimately affects behaviour. It plans to initiate dialogues around the ‘Self’ – exploring values, believes as these are the basis of one’s actions, consciously or unconsciously, and, ‘public’, where the personal perceptions are manifested basis how the herd is moving! We also hope to reach the unreached areas where civil society partners, networks and collaborators are present on the ground. It also envisages building a critical mass of men and boys who will lead the change in their respective local context. We are committed to build on and extend the good work already done by others organisation. The Campaign plans to incorporate learnings from other initiatives and create a cohesion in the quest towards gender equality.
Mapping campaigns on Gender/ Violence against Women (VAW) – online and offline – revealed the need to work with boys and men to bring about a long-term impact on the socio-economic status of women. Patriarchy perpetuates gender inequality and violence against women, which is systemic in nature, therefore the campaign will challenge and target to change the patriarchal stereotypes manifested in attitudes, beliefs and values.
Why on changing attitudes, beliefs and values: It will address the root causes of gender disparity and violence against women
Why Domestic sphere: Attitudes, beliefs and values that promote gender stereotypes are mostly formed and reinforced within the domestic sphere and play a crucial role in shaping the personality of an individual.
Why young people as potential change makers: Because they are impressionable and more open to changes. Bringing changes in their attitudes, beliefs and values can positively impact gender equality while creating a cadre of gender leaders/champs.
Why on Redefining Masculinity: Sanctioned norms and values reinforce notions of masculinity; the campaign will aim at redefining masculinity which will question the existing social norms that perpetuate inequality.
The campaign will work on changing the perceived ‘masculine’ attitudes and behaviour around the following five key themes:
- Freedom of choice
- Division of labour at home
Campaign Spread and Target
The campaign will work across ten states and will reach out to boys and men in the 16 to 35 age group. While those on one end of the age spectrum would be young and impressionable, the other end would include young parents who would directly affect the world-views of this society’s saplings. As such, this demographic would be a petri dish for catalysing change in the domestic arena, which is where the strongest influences are made, and from where attitudes spill onto public spaces. Regions for on the ground action will cover Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Andra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and the city of Delhi.
The campaign will engage with the 500 ‘Change Makers’ who will be identified, oriented, trained and intensively engaged throughout the campaign period across the above-mentioned states. The other set of interventions would be ‘public facing’ and towards a larger outreach including the use of digital space, discussions, debates, week of actions across the 10 focus states. The digital campaign aims to reach out to 5 million people.
We plan to have a series of strategically designed ‘Week of Action’ (WOA) around all the chosen 5 themes of the campaign. WOA will be organised involving a basket of activities covering, series of workshops, support and solidarity actions, the release of testimonies, celebrity endorsements, radio programs, musical and cultural events etc. Around the alternative narratives on masculinity, teams locally at state/region level will come up with their own action plans to involve others and take the messages across to the general public.