Building Solidarity Among Youth for Achieving Gender Equality – Experiential Learning from Gender-Responsive Trainings amidst Grassroots Leaders in Rajasthan

Monday, 16 July 2018: 11:00
Oral Presentation
Anita BRANDON, State Institute of Rural Development, Rajasthan, India
This paper is based on the author’s insights of experiential learning in promoting gender-responsive attitudinal change among the rural youth and community leaders gleaned as a trainer-professor at the State Institute of Rural Development (SIRD), Rajasthan. It endeavors to capture the proactive initiatives taken by organizational leaders and elected representatives of local governments for striving to build a gender inclusive society — fostering values of gender equality and gender justice.

The paper aims to draw upon the rich variety of voluntary initiatives for social transformation, uprisings, movements and capacity building undertaken for re-socialization of young leaders of local governments for promoting gender responsive planning with the community to bridge gender gaps in human development and ensure enjoyment of human rights by all, encompassing and enabling the realization of the vision of achieving gender equality as articulated in the SDGs (specifically Goal 5: Agenda 2030).

At the outset, the paper shall explore the ‘Whys’ or the rationale for addressing the young leaders of the communities through ‘Training for Social Transformation’ to achieve the formation of gender-friendly social collectives and networks for instilling a culture of Gender Responsive Local Governance in the developmental planning as well as day-to-day functioning of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs).

The paper shall move on to illustrate the transformative potential of voluntary initiatives such as UN-Women’s ‘He for She’ campaign as well as elaborating the successful grassroots experiments in creating gender-friendly Panchayats (rural elected local bodies) through massive gender-responsive training campaigns undertaken at State Institute for Rural Development (SIRD) Rajasthan and beyond.

Insights emerging from social uprisings and movements in the post-Nirbhaya context in India expositing regional inter-group dynamics and youth leadership in its voluntarist avatar will also be captured and critically analyzed, particularly in how these interact discursively with the elected leadership and its considerable youth component.