Updated: Nov 15, 2018
The below 4-part series highlights the conversations had among women participants of a facilitated workshop exploring and challenging traditional gender roles in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India in 2018.
What is the value that we cannot live without? This was the activity that we started with to get deeper into gender stereotype and gendered roles. This normative question is very simple, yet is laden with a lot of layers. These layers influence our being and our values. How does one form these values? Knowingly or unknowingly our values get formed by the society that we live in. Let us test this out? What is the most important value to you? We asked this question in our focus groups with women in Mahashakti Seva Kendra, a Bhopal based non-profit organization. The answers included being caring, love to the young ones, respect for the old, confidence, peace, self–respect, following customs and traditions etc.
Where do these values come from? We are social beings and get influenced by our environment and our surrounding. Does being caring, loving, respecting elders are a part of our gendered self? Questioning these values and their origins is a good self-introspection exercise.
Our focus group discussions led us to question many practices, customs and traditions. We hope that through this research, we uncover and discuss gender-based marginalization of many forms. We become aware of these undermining practices and become more self-reflective. The change that will come, will come from within.
Find more of the research in our forthcoming chapter.
Iyengar, Radhika and Witenstein, Matthew (2019). Amplifying Indian Women's Voices and Experiences to Advance Their Equitable Access to Technical and Vocational Education Training Programs. In Interrogating and Innovating Comparative and International Education: Decolonizing Practices for Inclusive, Safe Spaces. Edited Volume. Sense, forthcoming (2019).
Part 1 - Picture Activity
Part 2 - Picture Activity
Part 3 - Value Exercise
Part 4 - Participatory Approach to Discussing Gendered Values
A version of the workshop guide used to facilitate this workshop can be found on our Resources page.