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Safety begins with equal rights

Sign our petition to make gender sensitisation programmes compulsory across schools.

Alarm Bajne Se Pehle, Jaago Re

Petitioning Union HRD Minister

According to National Crime Record Bureau, crimes against women in India rose from 41.7% to 53.9% between 2011 and 2015. In 2015, 3,27,394 cases of violence against women​ were reported, including 34,651 cases of rape, 4,437 cases of attempted rape, 59,277 kidnapping and abductions, 7,634 dowry deaths, and 1,13,403 cases of domestic cruelty, among others. These numbers barely paint the whole picture. Gender-based discrimination continues to encourage selective abortion of female fetuses, child marriages and limit opportunities for girls.

SOURCE: Tata Tea

It is time we as a nation, listen and understand.

We need to be more aware of the challenges women and girls in our country still face, and build a gender-sensitive and gender-equitable society. Attitude formation among adolescents is important to understand, since they are still at an age where attitudes are malleable, and could be reformed with targeted policy interventions.

Justice R Banumathi, who was a part of the bench that upheld the death penalty to four convicts in the 2012 Delhi gang rape case, suggested that gender equality be included in the school curriculum.

"In our tradition-bound society, certain attitudinal change and change in the mindset is needed to respect women and to ensure gender justice. Right from childhood years, children ought to be sensitized to respect women. A child should be taught to respect women in the same way he is taught to respect men. Gender equality should be made a part of the school curriculum. Schoolteachers and parents should be trained, not only to conduct regular personality-building and skill-enhancing exercises, but also to keep a watch on the actual behavioural patterns of the children so as to make them gender sensitized."

With this aim, CBSE has developed a gender sensitivity kit for teachers to enable them to ensure unbiased participation of both boys and girls in the learning process. In addition to this, the POCSO Act compels schools to be create a more inclusive environment. All these are simply guidelines to schools and teachers, and not compulsory changes.

Gender sensitization cannot be a 'subject with marks' and can't merely rest as one of the prescribed books in the curriculum. It needs to be a programme that is custom-developed with storytelling, experiential learning, and other empirical methods to imbibe the value in children, in a fun, interactive way.

Our Petition is to the HRD Ministry to bring in compulsory Gender Sensitivity Programmes across schools.

Sign the petition to change this now!

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