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Educating boys to respect women

Saturday January 29, 2011 08:01:01 PM, IANS

Mumbai: International human rights organisation Breakthrough is using sports, dance, vibrant skits, trivia and video to educate students to stop and prevent public harassment of women.

The initiative called Parivartan will reach out to over 25 schools in Mumbai in a video van and will interact with students between 13-15 years.

It is also using India's most popular sport, cricket, to teach boys how to be respectful towards women and, in turn, help reduce violence against the fair sex.

The van has a variety of interactive elements like games and quizzes where children can win prizes, an audio-visual video and a street play as well. The programme, which kickstarted Jan 17, will continue till Feb 13.

"The programme disseminates information using pop culture to educate the audience and re-define the concept of masculinity as is taught to boys," Sonali Khan, country head of Breakthrough, told IANS.

"In many places, gender inequality and the abuse that stems from it is often socially accepted," she added.

The programme is endorsed by cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and according to Khan, a role model helps to reach out to youngsters in a simple way.

"Through cricket and influential role models like coaches and community mentors, Parivartan 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 (harassment of women)," Khan said.

"Role models make things easier as it is believed that young men have access to peaceful, gender-equitable men in their lives and they are more likely to embrace these characteristics," he added.





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