Through our interactions at work with our women and girls we always make them feel proud of who they are – as individuals, as members of the DiDi’s community, as proud citizens of Lucknow and as Indian citizens. We instill in them a self worth which is indestructible and tell them that they are second to non. We make sure they believe/start believing that women and girls are entitled to enjoy the same rights and opportunities at work, at home and in the community as men. Both men and women are individuals of the same human race – so why should there be a gender divide to start with?
Given the huge gender disparity prevalent in India, it is not an easy task to accomplish. It takes many conversations, initiatives, workshops, motivation, support and ongoing encouragement to empower our women. We bring about Gender Equality through mediums like critical dialogue, feminist based pedagogy, leading with examples of the west, sharing experiences of empowered women, through theater and drams, role-playing, poetry writing and self-expression through prose – which we conduct regularly with our staff. We also get motivating women speaker to come in and speak to our DiDi’s and encourage them to stand up for their rights in the community and at home.
Once empowered, our DiDi’s take our message on Gender Equality into their villages and spread the word on Gender Equality – we try and make them personal activists in their own lives and then further encourage and support them to be social activists, so that they can impact the lives of thousands of others women through their determination and strength. We all together, take this dialogueto the next level, into housing communities and villages, where we interact with the male members of families and other community members. We speak to them about gender equality and try to break gender stereotypes that exist in rural India (as well as urban India). We speak to them about women and men enjoying the same rights and opportunities andthat there should be equal participation of both genders in decision making at homes and at the community levels. Also, try and promote behavioral change where aspirations and needs of both genders are valued and favored equally. It is a gradual and ongoing effort that we have taken upon ourselves to accomplish to the best of our ability, though our perpetual efforts.