Several women in India are exposed daily to violence and sexual harassment from routine ‘eve-teasing’ to sometimes fatal physical beatings at home. In fact, according to a 2005 study by the National Crime Bureau of India, there is one sexual harassment case every 53 minutes in India. Furthermore, one out of every three married women in India report being physically or psychologically abused at least once in their life, according to statistics by the International Center for Research on Women.
Now, a sport is being used to stop eve teasing. Parivartan, an innovative sport-based program, uses India’s most popular sport, cricket, to teach boys how to respect towards women and help reduce violence and abuse.
Through cricket and influential role models like coaches and community mentors, the programme helps young athletes understand that part of being a ‘star’ is stopping violent and abusive behaviour and language towards women and girls, like eve teasing. The program is endorsed by cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar. He says, “Winning a match is important for a coach, but a big part of the job is helping to develop a solid, responsible young player who is able to become an upstanding citizen.”
Starting this month and continuing till February 13, Parivartan will also launch an interactive video van campaign that will reach young students in Mumbai schools and community sites. A video van, led by the international human rights media agency Breakthrough, will use sports, dances, vibrant skits, trivia, and videos to educate the young students to stop and prevent eve teasing.
Sonali Khan, India’s country head for Breakthrough, says, “In many places gender inequality, and the abuse that stems from it, is often socially accepted. The Parivartan video van is a fun but powerful way to teach young students the importance of respecting women.”