Nearly a month after the first Yuva, Yaunikta aur Adhikar Course and we are still riding the wave of excitement and stimulation. The hang-over, endless questions, with the struggle to find an answer, and the itch to write about it, is an over-whelming feeling. The first session in the course was on Gender. The common understanding with which we started the session was that the word gender and woman are not synonyms to each other, that it is a social construct which is maintaining the power relations and patriarchy at a structural level. Additionally, it was made clear that gender is a structure with its own set of norms that if broken are met with punishments and if followed are met with rewards of respect and social standing.
“Issko ABC hi aati nahi, yeh computer kya seekh paayegi??” Ranted the overprotective brother of Tarannum (name changed) to Aisha (field assistant and resource person) on the first day of computer training. The brother went on to ask Aisha to send Tarannum (17 years) back, insisting we are wasting time and resources on her. When we asked Tarannum what she wanted to do, she was determined to learn computers. However, her brother’s phone call had shaken her up. She was now nervous. Continue reading