According to the National Crime Records Bureau, the statistics show the harsh truth about crime in India. In 2006, there were numerous reported incidents including:
- Over 32,000 murders
- Approximately 19,000 cases of rape
- About 7,500 dowry deaths
- Around 36,500 instances of molestation against adult females
In India, there are numerous unreported cases of offenses, particularly against adult females. On December 16, 2012, a horrific offense took place. This situation is deeply concerning and necessitates determined and well-planned actions. As a state, we take pride in our heritage, history, and the sacred tradition of respecting and idolizing women.
- Where has all this been lost?
- How are we succumbing to corruption and a complete lack of humanity and civilization?
As a society, it is essential for us to become aware of this unhealthy world.
- Do we believe that females in India are safe? ...
- Do today's education and development contribute to combating stereotypes against adult females from a young age?
- What actions is the Indian government taking to change the anti-women mindsets?
- How can we instill values of gender equality in students?
To address the above questions, it is necessary to acknowledge that attitudes and habits are formed early in life.
What children learn in their early years will have a lasting impact on their lives. Although the settings may be diverse and challenging to standardize, it is feasible to bring about a significant improvement in our schools through dedicated efforts and effective planning. The issue of gender sensitivity holds crucial significance in our rapidly changing society, and schools have a vital responsibility in addressing it. Thus, schools have a advantageous position in this matter.
Schools require a gender sensitization process due to their young and impressionable children, who can be easily influenced
and educated. This is especially crucial in co-educational schools, as the educational system plays a vital role in eradicating patriarchal norms. The Delhi gang rape incident has led India to increase its efforts in promoting gender sensitization within schools.
The University Grants Commission has called on the vice-chancellors of the state's 568 universities and managers of higher education institutes to establish safe campuses for women. In accordance with this objective, Laxmi International School organized a discussion and debate on 'Gender Equality' on December 22, 2012 for higher secondary students. Additionally, two workshops were held as part of The Girls Day Out! program to empower adult female students by enhancing their independence, knowledge, and courage in dealing with society. These workshops covered various topics including understanding physical and emotional changes, hormonal alterations, female physiology, and managing relationships with the opposite sex. Dr. Rekha R. Shrivastav led these sessions as a female gynecologist followed by a question and answer session involving Class 11 female students and all female faculty members of Laxmi Vidyapeeth on December 29, 2012. Furthermore, a post-lunch workshop was conducted by self-defense trainer Ms. Darshana Joshi to boost confidence and equip them with skills for self-protection in different situations.
The programme aimed to provide girls with the necessary tools to make positive decisions and avoid risky behaviors during adolescence, helping them develop a stronger sense of individuality, self-acceptance, and a healthier body image in society. Organized by female students and faculty members, the programme featured activities such as skits, prayer songs, letter reading, and poetry recitation.
During the event, girls performed a skit on 'gender inequality and cyber bullying', while Dr. Rekha Shrivastav addressed them. A total
of 65 female students attended the programme which was considered a great success. It inspired and encouraged the young girls to fearlessly face future challenges. All participants showed enthusiasm and passion as experts guided them through their questions.
Overall Analysis of the Feedback
To reason, a society of well-dressed kids with deep strong beliefs about human rights will never go against them. This can guarantee a safe and unafraid society for our hereafter coevalss, more peculiarly for the female gender. We need to attendant in a society that is barren of biass, unfairnesss, and ill-treatment against a human being, irrespective of his/her gender. We can name ourselves a civilised society merely when we reach that phase. As Gandhiji had justly said, " India will achieve full freedom on the twenty-four hours adult females can walk safely at dark."
Creating a harmonious campus environment in schools can lead to the realization of gender sensitization. However, it is important to understand the meaning of 'gender sensitization'. Is it simply about achieving equality between genders? Gender sensitization involves changing the behavior of teachers, parents, and society towards children. This change can have a significant impact on attaining gender equality. Considering India's rapid development, should we prioritize addressing issues like gender sensitization now? Despite the majority of people being educated or receiving education, relying solely on education has proven ineffective in eliminating gender inequality within our country. Recent horrific events have highlighted the urgent need for addressing gender sensitization. The fear of violence acts as a barrier that prevents women from participating in activities both inside and outside their homes.
Women are currently experiencing physical and emotional victimization and abuse, particularly in the
form of sexual maltreatment. This problem is a major concern in today's society and is further exacerbated by issues such as gender inequality.
Research shows that the ratio of girls to boys continues to worsen, despite government efforts to combat female infanticide. Sadly, there are cases where girls do not survive beyond their first day. Shockingly, every 42 minutes witnesses an incident of sexual harassment. Additionally, a woman is kidnapped every 43 minutes, and every 93 minutes a woman dies due to violence related to dowry.
Although the majority of colza incidents involving girls under 16 are not reported, it is evident that there is a significant disparity in the number of adult females pursuing higher education. Numerous studies indicate that widows experience violations of their legal rights and endure societal isolation. Furthermore, educated women also encounter discrimination in the workplace. The dowry system has transformed women into a rare commodity.
Various factors contribute to the sudden death of women, including crimes committed against them such as violence, rape, harassment, dowry abuse, domestic violence, and trafficking of young girls into brothels. In India, women experience inequality, discrimination, and other forms of abuse. Consequently, it is imperative for both higher authorities and the entire nation to tackle this issue.
Every issue, regardless of its size, has an underlying cause.
- Why does gender inequality appear to exist?
- Why do women endure in our society when they play such a crucial role?
- Why has gender inequality persisted despite the significant changes in technology and culture that have greatly transformed societal, economic, and political
The closer we examine these issues, the more questions are raised. A thorough examination and observation indicate that society itself is responsible for creating this unfortunate state of affairs for women. Men and women have inherent biological differences that are universally recognized. However, the disparity in gender roles within society arises from socially constructed expectations assigned to men and women based on their particular culture or location. Various factors such as cultural, political, environmental, economic, social, religious, customary biases at both individual and institutional levels influence perceptions and expectations associated with the roles imposed on women.
The family holds significant influence over individuals and plays a crucial role in personal growth, shaping one's identity, and imparting cultural values and traditions. Parents serve as primary educators, making the family an ideal platform for fostering gender sensitivity.
In Indian households, girls often face diminished value compared to boys, resulting in feelings of inferiority for girls and superiority for boys. Furthermore, schools and colleges have a significant impact on shaping individuals' lives as children spend most of their formative years there.
Despite the influence of biased upbringings rooted in faith, civilization, and traditions within households, schools offer an impartial environment free from such prejudice. Schools are not influenced by religious, cultural or traditional factors and guarantee equal treatment for all children regardless of their gender. They serve as a great platform to cultivate awareness and sensitivity between genders, creating an atmosphere where tolerance towards one another can flourish. In the end, it is the teacher's duty to prevent any discriminatory thoughts from entering students' minds irrespective of their age.
Children between the ages of 5 and 12, regardless of gender,
do not show favoritism towards each other. However, as they enter adolescence, negative feelings begin to emerge. It is crucial to address this phase with care and attention by enrolling students in reputable schools with experienced teachers. These schools can raise awareness among boys and girls during this critical period. Consequently, boys will develop understanding and respect for girls not only within the school environment but also throughout their lives. If all schools work towards instilling in the current generation the belief that boys and girls can coexist harmoniously with mutual respect, we can expect a decrease in acts of violence and discrimination against women in our society.
By shifting the focus of schools from academic learning to holistic development, consciousness can be created. It is crucial to acknowledge government initiatives like National Girl Child Day, Vigilance Awareness, Violence against Women, and Literacy Day as they draw attention to important issues and promote awareness among students regarding fair treatment of women. Furthermore, equal priority should be given to sports for both boys and girls in schools.
It is important to promote equal participation in athletics for both genders as it can help decrease feelings of inferiority in girls and raise awareness among boys about the capabilities of girls in all areas. Sri Sharada Public School, Mysore, partnered with Pearson Schools to organize a range of activities aimed at creating awareness on various aspects. The school's main focus is on nurturing the overall development of students rather than solely emphasizing academic achievements. All special occasions are celebrated and involve the participation of every student.
As part of the history of watchfulness consciousness, a street drama was directed to address
the issue of female infanticide. This street drama featured pupils aged 12-14 and was held in a popular tourist location, attracting considerable public interest. The impactful performance not only touched the audience but also increased awareness among the participating students. On national girl children's day, the entire school had the opportunity to watch the drama and learn about infanticide. Moreover, students were motivated to design posters and write slogans advocating against discrimination towards women.
School: A Cradle for Gender Sensitization
In general, the school plays a vital role in shaping one's future. I urge all educators to actively foster gender sensitivity.
Both the school and home serve as environments where children learn about the real world they will face. The impressions made during these early years at school and at home have a lasting impact on their lives. What they learn during their formative years will stay with them indefinitely.
Gender bias is a prevalent issue in our society, resulting in unequal treatment and expectations for both males and females. However, promoting open-mindedness and positivity in schools is essential to foster positive change. Given the current prevalence of violence and crimes directed towards women, gender sensitization becomes even more crucial.
The terms "sex" and "gender" are causing confusion, and it is important for educators, curriculum planners, parents, and students to pay attention. It should be noted that these terms have different meanings. "Sex" refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that distinguish men and women. On the other hand, "gender" relates to the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a specific society considers appropriate for males and females. Men and women are differentiated based on biological, physical, and
genetic differences when it comes to sex. Meanwhile, gender roles are influenced by tradition as well as societal, economic political factors.
"Male" and "female" refer to biological sex categories, while "masculine" and "feminine" refer to socially constructed gender categories. According to this perspective, sex is biologically determined and unchanging, while gender is flexible. In our society that favors males, specific roles and expectations are assigned based on sex, reinforcing traditional gender norms such as men being providers and performing physically demanding tasks.
In contrast, women are expected to be homemakers, care for children, and handle kitchen activities. These societal attitudes have led to gender disparities that need addressing. It is crucial to prioritize the elimination of discrimination by adopting a new approach towards the issue of gender.
This involves educating children about gender sensitivity from an early age in order to instill respect for women in them. As they mature, they will comprehend the significance of equality between genders and treat women with the respect they deserve.
Through promoting these values via education, we can contribute to reducing levels of crime and violence against women.
Gender sensitization in schools can create a safe and fair world for women
Schools have the potential to create an environment where all students are treated equally, by raising awareness about gender. The CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) has led various programs in this direction. One such initiative is the Adolescent Education Programme (AEP) introduced by CBSE. However, it is disappointing that many schools do not take it seriously nor follow it with the same enthusiasm. The entire program was designed so scientifically and logically that it can still be
rejuvenated for the betterment of our society.
It will be an effective tool for understanding and responsibly managing human gender. Since most schools are co-educational, it would be beneficial for them to take the initiative in promoting gender sensitisation among children. By revisiting small everyday practices within the school, adjustments can be made to reshape the mindset of children, which they have absorbed from society. Here are a few suggestions for schools to implement: discontinuing the practice of listing male students' names before females on attendance registers. This sends a clear message that girls are just as important, if not more so, than boys.
It is necessary to put an end to the practice of assigning certain tasks like sweeping and cleaning to girls in schools. All work should be assigned without favoritism or stereotyping. All types of work are respectable and should be given to both male and female students. The Supreme Court of India has directed that every school should have a committee to address complaints of sexual harassment. This committee should meet once a month and discuss the issues faced by girls. Any complaints received should be addressed promptly to ensure a safe environment for girls. The behavior of school staff such as attenders, drivers, cleaners, and gardeners towards girls should be monitored, and male employees should receive regular training to sensitize them.
Senior female members of the school should adopt the misss and read to them regularly, while also taking care of their biological changes. This will provide them with comfort and help them build self-confidence. Additionally, a commission can be formed to guide and advise boys from grade six onwards on how to
interact with their female classmates. They should be taught to show respect for their individuality, be helpful to them, and become their good friends in both good and bad times. This will create an understanding among boys about their responsibilities towards girls and encourage them to act as shields to protect them. Schools can also introduce courses on self-defense mechanisms for girls, which will provide them with physical and psychological training to boost their self-assurance.
All male instructors must display a responsible demeanor in order to provide a fatherly and brotherly affection towards the female students. Their mindset should always be unified and wholesome. In today's society, incidents like the ones in Delhi, where a girl was gang-raped and murdered, which caused widespread shock throughout the entire country, as well as more recently on February 18th of this year, three minor sisters in Maharashtra were raped, killed, and thrown in a well, have become quite prevalent. We need a society with well-groomed children who possess strong values and a thorough understanding of human rights and their protection.
This can ensure a safe and fearless society for future generations, particularly for women. We must demonstrate in a society without biases, women's atrocities, injustices, and mistreatment towards anyone, regardless of their gender. We can only consider ourselves a civilized society when we reach that stage. Gandhiji had once said, "India will achieve full freedom on the day women can walk safely at night." All educators, school administrators, and policymakers must recommit ourselves to providing such an environment in schools that will help every child develop a positive attitude and good character.
That day is not too far away when
we can achieve Gandhiji's dream.
Gender Sensitization in Schools
Education is what unites us all. Just as the twig is bent, the tree is inclined. These words from Alexander Pope may serve as the foundation for the recent decision made by CBSE to incorporate Gender sensitisation and Human Rights into the school curriculum. CBSE's effort to establish a team for training teachers on both subjects is a commendable step forward.
The recent incidents of violence against adult females have shed light on the failure of school education to address male biases. There is a growing demand for enhanced gender sensitization, particularly in schools. This effort is part of an ongoing debate on the upbringing and education of boys and the factors that contribute to criminal behavior. By introducing gender sensitization at a young age, we can help students combat biases against women. The alarming rise in crimes against women in recent years has served as a wake-up call. As both a teacher and a mother of two school-going children, it has made me realize how vulnerable our children are.
I am appalled by the notion of a society in which one gender lacks empathy towards another. The recent protests by children and their determination to bring about change give us hope. This also positions our schoolchildren as the ideal agents for promoting gender sensitivity. The new India is optimistic that they will ultimately dismantle the existing societal norms that perpetuate stereotypes against women.
The deeply rooted perception of traditional gender roles pervades our society. Women and girls are viewed as commodities and lacking independent thought. It is crucial that we contemplate how we raise our
boys and men. We discourage their natural tendencies towards gentleness and nurturing, instead instructing them to be domineering, aggressive, violent, and disrespectful towards women and girls.
Gender sensitivity is lacking, even among the educated middle class. This has resulted in a surge of crimes towards women in recent years. Furthermore, we must not overlook the numerous instances of humiliation, mistrust, abuse, and torment she endures from both society and her loved ones. I believe it is crucial to highlight the following points to our child.
Girls should not have to be submissive or fearful without any valid reason. They should not be conditioned to be conscious of their worth, unequal, and constantly concerned about others' opinions of them. These harmful ideas can greatly damage their self-esteem. Both genders should show respect and appreciation for each other. They should be willing to make compromises to deal with the unpredictable challenges of life. Women have traditionally held a special position in our society and have been valued and revered.
The contribution of a mother is just as valuable as giving birth to a child. Therefore, children should also be grateful to their mother for her acts of kindness. They should be taught the importance of being a boy or a girl and the need to stay updated with news and issues in society, not just on social media.
Organize outreach programmes for sensitizing pupils on gender issues, including categories for self-defense mechanisms for girls, workshops, seminars, and runs. Boycott all curses, including those that are gender derogatory and caste declarative. Provide thorough treatment on the issue of offenses against adult women and educate them on their role and behavior
for a healthy and safe society. There are many issues that require more sensitivity and consciousness among parents and educators. We need to teach our children the distinction between appropriate and inappropriate.
It is difficult and the world is varied for various individuals, households, and societies. It is crucial to openly address all these thoughts. Can we at least initiate open discussions about these matters among our friends and peers, within our homes, and at our workplaces? Let's start somewhere. Only then can we truly make an impact. You may have read books, attended workshops, consulted doctors, counselors, teachers, friends, etc., but it seems you neglected self-reflection. Many of you have children to nurture who will eventually become teenagers.
Take note of the crucial words, "turn up to be". This implies that the fundamental basis already exists for the kind of teenagers they will become in the future. Allow me to clarify here. It is believed that children can hear you while they are in their mother's womb.
They can understand you when they are out and turning. They can manipulate you when very young, imagine what they are capable of when they are grown! Adolescents have hormones going out of control in "risk-seeking" behavior, pushing parents to the edge. They become moody, self-absorbed, obsessed with looks, seeking approval and being "cool" by defying parents and teachers, experimenting with drugs, abusing alcohol, etc.
All this is a strong message to parents, instructors, household members, neighbors, and others. The message is clear: Do not give up! Instead, confront the challenges, making it evident that you are present and engaged. These challenges stem from the age of the individuals involved; their
hormones may be causing them to behave erratically. It is crucial that you prioritize maintaining rationality and refrain from reacting or retaliating. This expectation is fully justified in such desperate circumstances. Ultimately, it is important to remember that we are not divine beings; we are human. Hence, resorting to physical or mental harm, such as slapping or verbally abusing them in a derogatory manner, would only exacerbate the situation.
By using this approach, you are pushing them away and into a negative and distant place. This can be powerful.
What should we do?
According to a psychologist, parents should set boundaries, especially with younger children. It will be easier to do so. Stick to your word, show concern, assert your authority, let them know the limits, and explain the reasons behind them.
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