Published on March 6, 2014
Next Step 2014 Using Sport for Good Breakaway Session Developing and Implementing Grassroots Programmes Presented By: Sanjana Gaind
It's My Body Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Adolescent Girls through Sports
Initiated in 2009 as a grassroots campaign against son preference to address gender equality. Collaborated with 5 feminist women led community based organisations in U.P and Jharkhand. Worked with over 1000 adolescent and young girls directly through different creative mediums.
Challenged norms and stereotypes around Gender
Use of sports to mobilise, collectivise and empower young girls
It’s My Body Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Young Girls through Sports Increase bodily autonomy among adolescent girls enabling them to be more assertive in decisions realted to their bodies, health and lives. Led by CREA and co-implemented with 15 community based organisations in Bihar, U.P and Jharkhand. Reaches out to over 6000 adolescent girls Engages with other stakeholders in the community -parents, teachers, health service providers, EWRs and other community leaders.
What motivates a young person to get involved in a particular sport or activity? • Created a space for girls that did not exist in communities where we work. This space prirotises the girls, their needs, their rights, their learning and their play Provides information and resources on topics that is essential for every young person and it is not available and/or accessible easily. Sports like kabaddi, kho-kho can be played by girls but Football which have been always associated and reserved for boys and men. Strength of kishori manch is the power of collective
What keeps her involved over a longer period of time? “I take the session on menstruation for other girls in the kishori manch. Every time I explain to a new group, I also learn something new” -- Reena, Khushboo Kishori Manch “I have been with this programme since 2009, when we all campaigned against son preference. Since then, I feel I have changed a lot. Now, if a collective member tells me, she can't come for the meeting, I go and talk to her parents and convince them to send her. This collective gives us all a lot of strength and the confidence to demand for our rights. No one expects us to talk about our rights. Now I feel like a free bird”- Neelam, Block Itkhori, District Chatra, Jharkhand
What keeps her involved over a longer period of time? “When we come for our sessions, or go to school or go anywhere, boys always stare at us, sing songs and pass various comments. Earlier we would just quietly pass by or avoid taking that route. But now, we reply back and stare back at them. Whenever we are in our group, then we don’t let the boys just do what they do. We scream and shout at them.” - Roshni Kishori Manch, Mahboa, U.P “I really enjoy coming for these meetings, as I get to meet my friends, play football and also learn about new things” --- Neha, Block Simariya, District Chatra, Jharkhand
What keeps her involved over a longer period of time? “We really believe that girls and boys are equal now. Even though my parents think that I should be at home, be quiet, and not speak up, I feel that if I believe I am right, I should voice my opinion. Now, my parents let me participate in all the activities of the kishori manch of our village. I go out, play, go to school, and do what I want to”. Alka, Member of Kishori Manch, Itkhori, Jharkhand
What keeps her involved over a longer period of time? “ The combination of sports and health is a unique one. Both are areas which are never priortised for girls and women. We are very happy to see that girls in our village find it useful to participate in your program activities. I will do everything I can to ensure this program continues and more resources are provided for this program” . - Sunita Devi, Elected Woman Representative from Itkhori, Jharkhand
Challenges • Resistance from the family and community • Sustaining older girls in the program • Breaking the silence on issues of Sexuality and Rights for girls • Changing mindsets in the community about girls playing football in public spaces and demanding their rights.
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