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SALT helps in reflection on gender equality

We at Avani NGO are working on gender equality.

Recently, I had individual SALT conversations with three people from Village Nandwal, Kolhapur (India). Two were farmers, one male and one female and one is a clerk at the local university.

SALT is allowing open conversations with people. The lady shared that when she was in high school, they had take a bus as the high school was far from the village. At the bus-stop, while young boys and girls waited every day for the bus to arrive, boys started harassing and troubling the girls. When the parents of the girls got to know this, they decided that girls will not go to school anymore. Thus, this woman as a young girl had to end her education and soon her parents married her off. She could not complete her studies. The pain is still with her, She mentioned that now as a mother she will assure that her daughter's education does not get hampered, and she is open to working with Avani on gender-based violence. The male farmer shared a story from his family. He lived in a joint family with the families of his four brothers. But when one of his brothers passed away, the brothers decided to live separately. No one wanted to take care of the deceased brother's wife and two small children. His brother's wife felt very bad about her brothers-in-law abandoning her but now is managing her life independently.
The third person, a clerk said that gender inequality exists in society and he will be happy to support Avani program.

Girls in rural areas are at an increased risk of gender-based violence as the schools are far from their village, resulting in a restriction to mobility by their families. In the second example, we see that society considers a single mother as a burden who needs male support and protection. We hope we can motivate this village to think about issues around gender and take action.

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