Gender a magic word that sends an adolescent boy or girl into a tizzy. This transformation of a child to a teenager is a beautiful experience, which the child realizes today as early as the age of 10. Each family roots the opinion about gender in its own way but when they come to school; they learn that the individual is more important than being a boy or a girl. School also helps them to respect each other’s feeling.
“Gender sensitization is changing behavior and instilling empathy into the views that we hold about our own and other sex”.
The concept of co-education system actually helps them feel better with opposite gender. It helps to have a broad mind and understand the peer group crossing the border of genders. The team projects help them to feel at ease and to maintain good friendships.
The teachers serve as a good bridge and develops a healthy relationship between them. The class teachers play a vital role because they can sensitize any issue that arises among the children since the children feel at ease to open up to them.
The school creates an environment through adolescent education programme and life skill programme, which forms a platform to initiate thinking about the issues. The debate club brings up recent issues, which raised in visual and print media on gender related problems and submits it for discussion, the students stand up to the role they take. This can be one methodology in eliminating the patriarchal norms.
The equality status and women empowerment when openly discussed creates a wonderful vibe amongst students and they come up with solutions. These young minds when used in a productive way can bring laurels to the place they live. The future society should respect each other’s feelings and respect each other by their individuality.
The steps we take now should orient the children in such a way that they start feeling that every human in this earth is important and they have every right to live. Empathy need not be taught among children, if the adults practice in their own small way they will learn.
The respect shown to the fellow individual is so important because that is where the sensitization lays,deep in his heartif the child realizes it, they will understand the importance of equality and giving respect to the inner self.
The issues happening around us now may threaten and make us think how our future generation will be but schools are the only hope where we can sow the seed of respect and empathy, which will yield us the best citizens.
With full rights come full responsibilities
Dr G P Pandey
Delhi Public School
M R Nagar, Mathura
“Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression.” Thus we have only so much time before it dries! In the wake of Nirbhaya’s tragic end in Delhi, a turning point occurred in the mindsets and psyche of generations in India, irrespective of age, class and gender. This sensitivity crept in but at a huge cost of a precious life, a great future and sublime hope.
I as an educator have always had firm belief in the power of education. What a moulding effect it has! Likewise I strongly believe in the vulnerability and volatility of the children who are like livewires, all charged up looking forward to right direction and guidance. A young boy who has seen his father abusing the lady of the house, an elder brother mouthing filthy words for women, has experienced a vacuum in the name of sanskars. Here comes the role of educators and learning environment at schools wherein a child learns the first lesson of gender equality and respecting females as individuals. I envision an action plan for we the educators to follow in different roles that we don in our respective lives:
Inclusive Society: The growing middle class is a powerful educated category with changing perspective and a broader outlook towards life. Here as a society we need to include members from the lower echelons of society which are either illiterates/ semi literates and belong to the so called conservative section. Education as a tool can bring a change in the thought process and this uncivilized behaviour can only be curbed if youth brigade is made a part of the change process.
Curriculum: It is an age old philosophy of teaching that what we do everyday becomes a habit. The same drilling that we employ in our respective classrooms for instilling principles of academics, the same tool needs to be initiated for lessons of life and respecting women is one of them. Also for gender sensitization to be real and effective we need more sensitive teachers who can effectively transmit the right signals across.
Subtle ways: Gender parity can only be initiated when stereotypes of society are removed. Mathematics is for men and Home Science is for Home Maker. This ancient mindset needs to be changed. An educator in classrooms can introduce a lesson in such a manner that gender equality becomes a way of life.
Online parenting: None can deny the growing influence of internet and the mélange of information available to the highly energetic minds of our children. Intensive counselling sessions for parents have also become the need of the hour for them to understand that excess of anything is bad. Let parents make efforts to break shackles of so called age barriers and discuss issues of sex, abuse, good- bad touch with their children. The time is not far when more than daughters, young boys too would need security and protection.
Innovative tools: Group Discussion is one way through which exchange of ideas can take place. Generating a thought process is very vital for the young generation. Let our youth rise high from academic excellence and endeavour to stand tall for what is fair and just. Some audio visual presentations, case studies, role plays and even plays staged can bring a change.
Cinema: Many criticize the media and film industry for portraying women in a derogatory manner. But I sincerely feel that the same cinema can play a powerful role in instilling gender sensitivity among our boys. Meaningful cinema can go a long way in building respect for women.
As a father of an adolescent boy, educator and an administrator I believe that a proper guidance is a MUST, at this stage, to neutralise the ill-effects that arise from several factors. While parents tend not to discuss these topics, the boys are left to exercise their brain in a bad school of thought. If only they are made to realise certain things about women and girls, in a scientific way in a classroom environment at the age when it matters most, they will certainly grow up into more responsible men in future.
We cannot expect overnight miracles in thinking. The Indian Society with male member at its centre point has always wrongly felt that being a man is a passport to strength and superiority (over women). Thus abuse and exploitation of women is the after effect of the misplaced superiority complex of man.
Like nutrients, our every act is a building block in a child’s emotional foundation. A loving hug, an acknowledgement of positive behaviour- say a pat on the back, doses of empathy, showers of fun interactions and loads of opportunities to learn life skills. As a cog of the wheel of the society, let us all make efforts to provide this nutritional pyramid to every child of the nation for a society that is more humane, sensitive and sensible!
I conclude with a thought provoking quote from Kofi Annan: “Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance.”
Gender Sensitization in Schools
Army Public School Pathankot,
The drastic increase in crime statistics against women and the recent gang rape of the 23 year old girl on 16th December have forced the educationalists, thinkers and reformers to make amendments in the education system at grass root level. We are well aware that one of the main accused in the Delhi gang -rape case was an adolescent. These damaging psychologies of children at a tender age have made it mandatory to introduce gender sensitizationin schools.
It is a well known fact that attitudes and perspectives develop at an early stage. The two main factors influencing an impressionable childhood are home and school. It is indeed difficult to alter the conditions at the former but the latter can be used as a good platform to bring gender sensitization changes through well planned programmes. Their careful implementation can bring considerable changes in the upcoming society.
It is commendable that C.B.S.E has decided to prepare gender sensitization module to train teachers and help students battle the stereotypes against women at a young age. Not only this C.B.S.E is also planning to launch an optional subject for classes XI and XII on ‘Human Rights’ andGender Studies from 2013. The Moral Education Kit launched by human resource development (H.R.D) minister will also provide further help in these sensitive issues of gender sensitization.
At the same time we should also keep in mind that the launch of various courses and kits will be of no use if they are not implemented properly. This means that all the Principals and staff members of 10,000 schools across the country should shoulder this responsibility collectively and help to change the mindsets of new generation. Though the change in syllabus has been introduced for classes XI and XII but one should not ignore the younger students as well. The mischievous expression in eyes and sarcastic smiles of the VII and VIII class students especially boys show us that the vigilance should start from this level. Dealing with such sensitive issues requires a careful scrutinising of the following.
# We should remember that students are getting information on topics like sex, females from wrong sources hence a pile of filth is being accumulated in their mind. Getting educated through efficient mentors and guides in healthy and clean atmosphere will change the student’s perception regarding many issues.
# Adolescence Education Programme (A.E.P) initiated by the C.B.S.E should be pursued . The programme has been designed scientifically and logically and can benefit our society.
# In India families generally have a conservative atmosphere at home with unremitting gap between the two. The school should work as a bridge between the two by conducting workshops and counselling programmes for parents as well as students
# The teachers as mentors and guides should not forget that they are dealing with a very sensitive and vulnerable topic. The giggles and remarks of the students should be handled in a balanced way. They themselves should be an epitome of patience, knowledge and intellect.
# In schools we will find students with varied psychologies who are stepping in an age of adolescence. They will surely incur many problems. At this stage the school counsellors play a significant role. Counsellors should also conduct regular workshops on this issue and encourage the students to come out of their shells.
# Self defence should be given equal importance as sports. Regular classes especially for girls should be conducted to train them for self-defence mechanism. Training for Martial arts and other techniques of agility should be provided.
# Media, internet and movies are playing a major role in diverting the attention of students towards an obscene world. Such sources of entertainments should be discouraged and educative and informative programmes should be encouraged.
Gender Sensitilization in Schools has become the need of the hour. The students are the citizens of future. They should be well instilled with good values so that we can have a society devoid of male chauvinism, prejudices and discrimination.
GenderSensitization in Schools
Ms Geetika Malhotra
Rukmini Devi Public School
CD Block, Pitampura
New Delhi -110034
Today, in the world’s most industrialized countries there are few lines of demarcation between men’s and women’s role and responsibility. Gender Equity is the process of being fair to men and women. To ensure fairness, measures must often be put in place to compensate for the historical and social disadvantages that prevent women and men from operating on a level playing field. “Gender sensitizing is about changing behavior and instilling empathy into the views that we hold about our own and the other sex”. It helps people in ”examining their personal attitudes and beliefs and questioning the realities, they thought they know.
Gender Sensitization should be considered synonymous to peaceful and respectful living. After the Delhi incident, Gender Sensitivity is a very important aspect of value education. Special efforts should be made to teach students that both boys and girls are equal and they should learn to respect each other. Children should grow up seeing women in their homes being respected by the men in the family. This will certainly help them become more sensitive towards women and they will respect them. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has also decided to come up with a manual on gender sensitivity common for boys and girls, which will be provided to schools to help them to familiarize students with gender issues.
Gender Sensitization in schools is an appreciable step. Workshops and regular orientation programmes enable students to discuss and express their views. It is important to make children aware about the issues from the school level, as they are shy to discuss them at home. Besides, parents should prefer co-educational schools for kids. According to the Constitution of India, Article 15 Prohibits discrimination on the grounds of sex. For example, in India, unskilled labor is considered ”women’s work while in Africa it is men’s work”.
The education differences between females and males are among the most significant indicators of gender inequality; as it is one of the most important sources of opportunity in any society. Political office, social dominance and jobs with higher status and higher pay are nearly associated with higher level of education. But women are not given equal opportunities in education as to the men. Parents in many countries including India are more willing to let a daughter than son drop out of school, because they see less value in daughter’s education. A son’s education in contrast, maybe valued as an investment that will bring his parents higher income in the future and will ensure them a more secure old age. But the experience of majority of old people is different. Many well to do people in Old Age homes says they are always cheated by their sons but not by their daughter.
This article is an academic attempt to pen down a few thousand words suitable for upcoming generation. It serves as a vehicle to share innovative ideas and best practices with the teaching community, raise awareness about current thinking and serve as a forum to seek opinions about new academic initiatives.
Students are the most active people within an institution. They are also the ones who are most vulnerable to sexual harassment. This exploitation could take many forms: student vs. students, staff (teaching or non-teaching) vs. students. Students are also the ones who are most vigilant against this issue. Only if the students are awake and keep guard, a solid mechanism for prevention and prohibition can be satisfactorily devised and implemented. Students are young and emotional; they react and act more comfortably unlike the old people who are shy to radical and drastic changes.
Students have a huge role in the school. Students can change attitude, people, governments and administration and history is a testimony to the fact. The students are at the forefront of activities within a school. They are poised to contribute to gender sensitization more than any other mechanism, institution or administration. According to the DPI’s, gender sensitization should be included as a part of curriculum to wake the entire nation. The Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry too has been toying with the idea of including this issue in school syllabus for some time. It will make a child aware of gender issues right from school. For instance, it will make him/her aware about a good and a bad touch and will also empower them to react accordingly which is not seen in many persons today.The proposal for curricular inputs towards gender sensitization may be more effective because they will have an academic content. Given the increasing number of women who spend long hours in educational institutions and the professional field, interaction between boys and girls can no longer be left to evolve on its own in the absence of adequate counselling, especially for those who are from a background where friendship with the opposite sex is frowned upon. For inculcating responsible conduct, the gender sensitisation process should start in schools since most of them are co-educational institutes nowadays. The educational system has to play a cardinal role in eliminating the patriarchal norms. Bring up children who believe in gender equality and moral traditions.
In a nutshell, the students can take up the following initiatives so as to bring a change in the society:
The students can talk about issue and take a pro-active stand. It is important to talk about this subject which still many consider a taboo and the role of students here is enormous.
Students can remain active and vigilant which will be a discouraging proposition to the would-be harassers.
Students can choose to voice their opinion instead of choosing silence or neutrality. Neutrality only helps the oppressor, needless to say. Unfortunately, many students today embrace silence on this issue.
Students can be sensitive to social issues like women’s empowerment, gender disparities and social evils like dowry.
Students can begin the process of reform by reforming their own family, first of all and changing their orthodox and traditional parents, family members, kith and kins who subscribe to the age-old view of gender role stereotyping steeped in caste, religion and tradition. The subordinate position of women in family is also reflected in the society. Reforming the family will reform the society as well.
Students can choose to be sympathetic to the cause and the victim. Unfortunately, there are students who do not take such cases seriously and some even do not consider it a serious crime.
To sum up, the role of students in gender sensitization, its prevention and prohibition is immense. Without the active participation of the students no formal mechanism can succeed in any democracy. Prevention, prohibition and sensitization can be fully achieved through the regular unstinting cooperation and support of the students. An attentive and careful student is the most effective antidote against gender sensitization.
To summarize, I would like to say that –
“Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you,” And, if everyone realizes this then we would be able to make a wondrous change in our society and in the future of the nation.
Take step towards gender sensitization
CD Block, Pitampura
New Delhi -110034
Gandhiji had said, “India will attain full freedom on the day women can walk safely at night”. If schools begin to imbibe such conducive atmosphere, that day shall not be far off.
Gender discrimination in India has developed various social and economic confinements. It is found that number of girls per 1000 boys is decreasing day by day. Females face difficulties to complete the schooling and higher education. Even the qualified women are not in workforce. The males are always placed in a more advantageous position than women in Asian region especially in India. Girls are discriminated not only in the womb and childhood, but while giving her access to education also.
Given the increasing number of women who spend long hours in educational institutions and the professional field, interaction between boys and girls can no longer be left to evolve on its own in the absence of adequate counseling, especially for those who are from a background where friendship with the opposite sex is frowned upon. For inculcating responsible conduct, the gender sensitization process should be initiated from schools since most of them are co-educational.
Wordworth said, “Child is the father of the man” Paradoxically it means childhood determines the manhood. Children in the formative years easily nurture values and virtues which are taught at school. Academic contents with lessons to sensitize gender equality and moral traditions will unconsciously mould the character of the tender minds.
While the initiative is taken by government, there is a need to ensure that it does not remain only a paper exercise where an advice is issued for country’s sake and little is done for its implementation on the ground. The need of the hours is to form a society with a changed mindset which brings about the advancement, development and empowerment of women. The views should be widely disseminated so as to encourage equal access to participation and decision making of women in social, political and economic life of the nation. It’s time to change the mindsetâ€¦it’s time to educate all the generations and not only the next generationâ€¦it’s time to rise.
Gender Sensitization in Schools
Mrs. Arshy Kalam
(PGT English Teacher)
Unit- II, Bhankrota, Jaipur
The concept of ” Sex” and “Gender” may be defined as follows :
“Sex” refers to the biological differences between women and men. They are generally permanent and universal.
“Gender” refers to the socially constructed roles and responsibilities of women and men, in a given culture or location. These roles are influenced by perceptions and individual or institutional bias.
So, there should be Gender Equity, the process of being fair to a boy and girl. The present scenario is very different from the past. Now we identify the situation with the contribution of a women is becoming increasingly important and visible, but still we are not able to achieve the gender sensitive education and pedagogy as a possible tool of occupational gender desegregation.
Crime statistics persistently indicate that the country’s school education is failing to curb male prejudices against women. It can be seen by the educational standards and crimes against women according to National Crime Records Bureau data that Kerala, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh rank significantly higher than Bihar or Uttar Pradesh in most educational parameters. But these educationally performing states also fare much higher in incidences of crimes against women.
Howcan the teacher develop Gender Sensitivity in school:
In this series we have to make our classes more sensitive to gender issues. There should be gender equality in the school meaning giving the same reward to all, regardless of their contribution there should be societal upbringing and education for the Nation’s boys and girls.
Students are the future of our Nation therefore they need to be appropriately and adequately sensitized and alarmed about social issues. Schools should ethically take up cudgel to inculcate gender sensitivity among their students.
There should be adequate counseling, especially for those who are from a background where friendship with the opposite sex is frowned upon.
A school has to play a cardinal role in eliminating the patriarchal norms in bringing up children who believe in gender equality and moral traditions.
Gender Sensitization refers to theories which claim that modification of the behaviour of teachers and parents towards children can have a casual effect on gender equality.
Gender sensitizing is about changing behaviour an instilling empathy into the views that we hold about our own and the other sex. It helps people in ” examining their personal attitudes and beliefs and questioning the realities they thought they know”.
Gender Sensitization in Schools
Mr. Bhushan M. Alone,
Sanskar Bharati Public School,
Marda Road, Warora
Tah-Warora, Dist- Chandrapur 442907
State : Maharashtra
God, without making any difference, sent both Adam and Eve to the earth with the noble purpose of continuing cycle of human life on the earth. Actually, God made sex, and man made gender .Sex is a biological difference while gender is a social and cultural difference. Gender is not merely a girl’s issue; it is a people’s issue. While girls endure undue social control, boys also have to follow patriarchal stereotypes. This social and cultural difference has created such a skewed sex ratio in India that there are 940 females for 1000 males. The other sixty have fallen victims to parents preference for son over daughter; to their illogical idea that son is the successor of family; to the insensitivity of parents to commit the sin of female feticide to earn the punya of getting their pyre lit by the hands of their son; to the mercenary attitude of medical community to practice sex selective abortion without showing any mercy to an innocent life. As a nation, we take pride in our civilization of revering and respecting women and in believing that Worship to Women is Worship to God. Where is our culture?
Somehow girl, a God’s creature takes birth to see this beautiful nature, a God’s creation; but what she gets in her life is low esteem. Our family tradition is yet patriarchal to see man as the chief bread winner while woman as a mere caregiver, a temporary member of the family, a constraint on family resources. Hence, parents find little interest in sending her to school depriving her of her of her right to education .Consequently, the Literacy rate for women stands at 65.40% against 82.14% for men. Only 1 out of 100 girls enrolled in class 1 reaches class 12 in rural area, and 14 in urban as they have to look after hearth and home. Even though they try to peruse their education, there are lions in sheep’s clothing even in the pious field of education. Moreover, Parents prefer to provide more promising education to their sons and girls are made to walk on less challenging tracks. The worldwide female enrollment in tertiary level science is less than male enrollment and less in other in subjects also. Though Government has ensured them equal right to education, parents deprive them of their right to equal education.
Being deprived of education, how can she get access to politics and economics? Most of the democracies today have accepted federalism but has the power been decentralized between man and women? The bill for the 2/3 of women’s reservation in the parliament is yet pending for more than a decade. The constitution assured equality of sexes but it is not established yet. The number of women M.Ps in the parliament is not more than 10%. Women’s status does not reflect its true role in economic field also. While man is involved in lucrative careers, woman has to be happy with household affairs which are relatively given little recognition. Women account only 1% of scientific personnel in India .The ROCK BAND of Kashmiri girls has been banned by the orthodox people. The discrimination against women has led to wage difference of underpaying her for the same job which is done by man. She doesn’t have inheritance to parental property nor do they own property of their own .The socially determined division of labor is also a negating efficiency. As per the United Nations statistics women perform 2/3 of worlds work, but they earn 1/10 of the world’s income.
Thus gender is not a mere difference ;it is a domination by man who has deliberately made the fairer sex the weaker sex so that survival of the fittest can be followed. Mans utter insensitivity is seen when we happen to read or watch the disgusting news of female sexual assaults and harassment. The most heinous act done by six devils on 16th December, 2012 at Delhi was not new; it had been and it is being repeated despite the efficient and immediate judiciary. During 2009-11, there were 68,000 cases of rapes and 1, 22,229 cases of sexual harassment. These numbers are enough to show that in girl is unsafe and insecure almost at every moment and everywhere.
Owing to these insensitive acts, gender sensitization is the urgent need of the hour. Gender sensitization is a process of changing our age-old views and instilling sympathy for our own and other sex. And in this regard it is rightly felt by honorable Mr. Vineet Joshi, the chairman of C.B.S.E. That country’s education is failing to curb male prejudices against women and school education needs to do something to prevent anti-women mindsets. The former President Mrs. Pratibha Patil also feels that the process of gender sensitization should start right from the school education. However, gender sensitization is not an external compulsion, but an internal stimulus. Hence schools have to play a very crucial role in it .They have young hearts and heads in their hands to inculcate attitudes and values upon them. Therefore, schools have to take a wholesome approach to gender sensitization. I n fact schools are on the vantage ground here. Matthew C. Ninan writes A safer and fairer world for women can start with gender sensitization in schools. Since most of the school are co-educational institutions, gender equality must be practiced by adopting different measures like founding a school cabinet including the designation of the Head Girl to dignify her , should by registering first Girl’s name in the attendance register to give her identity , should by giving equal importance to Mothers name in Childs every document to that of fathers to establish equality of gender, by following honestly the Supreme Courts directive to have a lady counselor to look into the matter of gender issues ,by implementing positively A.E.P.(Adult Education Programe) recommended by C.B.S.E. to create awareness in students about sexuality ,by providing self defense progammes to girls besides physical education.
Much depends upon how teacher treats girls because gender discrimination can happen if teacher casts aspersions on girls or woman in course of his/her interactions. Being a role model for students, it is imperative on the part a teacher to treat girls with respect. Parity should be the prime objective of schools. .Thus democratic reconstruction of gender is possible through schools. A teacher should always be committed to challenge sexism and gender inequity by raising the conscience of children by using critical pedagogy of addressing gender concerns integral to any relevant topic in the subject.
However, teachers need to be provided with orientation progammes like GATE (Gender Awareness through Education). It is welcome decision that recently CBSE has brought out a teachers handbook on value education to impart values through innovative means of books and cinemas; and is preparing gender sensitization module also to train teachers in creating gender sensitization in students, and to help them battle stereotypes against women.
As schools follow a particular curriculum, there is an urgent need for a serious inquiry into it. . A more serious and pro-active approach to the gende