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Gender Sensitisation Trainings

                                               Gender and Mental Health

Gender inequalities continue to be a reality, even, with a favorable economic and political environment. We believe that in order to achieve gender equality and justice in the truest sense, it is not enough to just empower women, it is also important to engage men as equal stakeholders in the society. This will positively change the collective consciousness of our community, leading to greater equality and gender justice in practice. Manas aims to remove gender-based violence that is highly prevalent in India by building an unbiased society through our unique gender-sensitization trainings. Manas is creating positive attitudes and behavior changes by using the principles of Mental health and psychology.

 

Our trainings impart information on gender equality and related laws, and create behavioral activation that results in pro-gender behavior from the outset. Our key programmes in this area include the Building Bonds programme and Police Trainings. Apart from these, we also integrate gender-sensitization trainings into our work with disadvantaged youth, school and college students, juveniles in conflict with law and residents of Homes for custodial care. We have also, worked with the Delhi Government in 2005-06 in providing mental health services to women beneficiaries through the Bhagidari scheme.

 

 

Manas Engaging Men

Manas’ interventions engage men from different sections of the society including public service providers like police personnel, auto-rickshaw and taxi drivers and DTC staff. These service providers have direct contact with the masses and if transformed, will not only change the quality of transport services, but, can positively influence behavioral transformations in the larger public.

 

Psychological Techniques

We include psychological techniques for behavior modification, such as cognitive dissonance, social conformity, commitment, and assumption of personal responsibility. It has been proven that when a person engages in such behavior and his actions are reinforced, it results in a deeper level attitudinal and cognitive change. Through workshops, individual-group and family sessions and several other creative targeted interventions, we promote knowledge.

 

Some of our key achievements:

Ø Building Bonds for gender-sensitization has reached over 150000 commercial drivers by December 2015, resulting in a perceptible change in making Delhi a safe city for women commuters and creating safe spaces.

Ø Over 2500 police personnel have undergone gender-sensitization training workshops.

Ø Over 800 juveniles in conflict with law have been exposed to concepts of gender equality, resulting in reduced repeat offences of a sexual nature.

Ø Over 1000 students from different colleges have been involved in group sessions, workshops and campaigns focused on understanding gender justice.

Ø More than 4000 school students and staff members including principals have been touched by our interventions.

 

 

Building Bonds for Gender Sensitization :

 Building Bonds for Gender Sensitization is a one-of-its-kind intervention with drivers of public transport vehicles aimed at enhancing safety in Delhi by engaging men in gender justice. The Building Bond trainings sensitize all commercial vehicle drivers including auto-rickshaw, taxi and bus drivers in gender justice and equity through interactive workshops. This act as a tipping point and will bring about a cultural change. The programme has successfully trained over 86,000 commercial drivers since January 2014. This has been possible with the support of Delhi State Transport Department, the Ford Foundation, Indraprastha Gas Limited, Maruti, and the Driving Training Institute, Ashok Leyland.

In a city where 80% women commuters opt for autos and taxis as their mode of public transport, taxi and auto drivers are critical to creating a safe transport experience. By engaging men involved in delivering everyday public transport, Building Bonds program fosters empathy and support; and bridges the gap between the drivers and the women in Delhi. This ensures that the drivers are actively involved in ensuring safety and respect for women.

 

Policy Impact

Manas has been a key participant in working with the Delhi State Transport Department in bringing a policy level impact. We have got in place a mandatory issuance for drivers to undergo gender-sensitization workshops prior to renewal/issuance of their fitness certificates.

 

Innovative, Behavior Change Module

Our innovative one hour, face-to-face training module is based on scientific psychological principals and employs pictures, storytelling, group discussions and experience-sharing methods. The training exhorts the participants to bring about a behavioral change in response to the cognitive dissonance that is intentionally created during the training. The training combines mental health with gender justice.

 

The Building Bond module provides training that generates Social Responsibility, Professional Behavior, Empathy and Care [SPEC-Approach] among the drivers. Through these internal changes and reinforcement of their importance with respect to creating an accessible and safe transport system for women, we aim to develop a sense of ownership among the drivers.

 

After Training Support

A unique feature of Building Bonds is the Auto-Sahara and Taxi-Sahara helpline, a medium by which auto and taxi drivers can ask questions and receive responses on gender sensitive behavior. This increases the possibility of a two-way dialogue on gender, and creates an ongoing engagement with the drivers. Drivers can call and share their concerns, peculiar situations and challenges that they may face that are gender-specific and are facilitated aptly.

EFFECTIVENESS OF THE TRAINING CONDUCTED BY MANAS FOUNDATION WITH AUTO DRIVERS

The effectiveness of the training conducted by Manas Foundation with auto drivers under the Building Bonds programme was assessed using

a)      A follow up survey covering 399 auto drivers

b)       An exit poll with 404 auto drivers

c)      Documentation formats of the trainings

 

Key Results emerging from the survey:


  • 64% of auto drivers were able to recall messages about legal measures to combat VAW. 86% of them were able to recall messages around forms of gender discrimination and the unacceptability of VAW.
  • ·         Almost 70% of the survey respondents rated the training 5/5. Overall, the average score is 4.62/5, indicating that the trainees found the experience to be very positive.
  • ·         The respondents have also reported heart warming gestures, such as:

o   “If someone is following the auto I slow down so that this person is forced to move head.”

o   “I have placed a first aid box and water bottle for passengers in the auto”

o   “Now when I see a woman at night I definitely stop the auto for her.”

  • Many auto drivers have reported more consistent use of the meter. Some heartening responses regarding the application of the training inputs include:

--Have stopped smoking

--Used to hesitate taking women as passengers in the evening but do not do so now

--Give preference to women passengers; never refuse to take them

--Have shared about VAW with friends, family members



Police Trainings:

 Manas’ Police Trainings project focuses on engaging and training police officers in gender sensitization to adopt a more conscious approach in their professional and personal lives towards women. The training also looks at developing interview skills while dealing with female victims. It brings to conscious awareness the specific gender stereotypes of the group and maps the process of how these stereotypes are formed. It helps the participants understand the differences between the biological “sex” and the socially constructed “gender” and how gender identity is constructed in our minds from the time of our birth.

 

Through this mapping exercise and an understanding of subsequent patterns of bias in thought and action, we discuss positive alternatives for approach and behavior with women. This introduces gender equality in context with the roles of the police personnel. The officers also learn how to interview victims and possible perpetrators using principles of psychology that are discussed during lectures. These trainings help them understand the difference between an abuser and the abused, and develop skill sets and empathy to manage walk-in complainants, especially women. They understand how to assess and interview victims of different abuses as well as the abuser.

 

Over 2000 police officers underwent this training and wanted it to be part of basic police training. They found it useful for their everyday situations and in interviewing women victims and abusers.

 

Our trainings are delivered through lectures, group discussions, role plays and other objective based activities and touch upon several themes of relevance like:

Ø Conscious awareness of specific gender stereotypes of the group and process mapping of how these stereotypes are formed

Ø Understanding the differences between the biological “sex” and the socially constructed “gender”

Ø Understanding the different types of abuse that women go through

Ø Awareness on why it is important to rewire ourselves to become more gender sensitive in the current context

Ø The meaning and need for gender-sensitivity in personal lives and professional practice

Ø Skills required to conduct a just, fair and unbiased interview with women

 

 

DTC Marshal Training

 Under our campaign“Barabari ki Dagar...Surakshit Safar”aiming to enhance safe public transportation for women we are imparting Gender Sensitization Training to home-guards who have been deployed as marshals in DTC buses. The key role of these Home-Guards as marshals is to take appropriate action in case of any incident of sexual harassment in the bus. 

 

Our initiative of Building Bonds for Gender Sensitization with marshals is an effort to engage men in the process of achieving gender justice and equity. This project was launched on 17th September 2015 by ShriGopalRai, Minister, Department of Transport and Rural Development, Rebecca Tavares, UN Women Representative for India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka, and Shri C.R. Garg, Managing Director, Delhi Transport Corporation, and the DTC Marshals.

 

The Initiative:

It is a participatory half-day training program that imparts knowledge about gender sensitization, sexual harassment: meaning and legal implications and lastly also helps to behaviorally equip the home-guards to address the gender-related issues commonly faced with regard to women commuters. A structured module for the training has been developed by us with the help of UN Women for imparting these trainings. We have also provided the changed and developed meaning and legal language of sexual harassment to equip them to perform their job through a gendered lens rather than moral policing. Another specialty lies in creating a sense of responsibility for women safety among them.

 

Till now approximately 1475 home-guards have been trained for this. The trainings have been successful in igniting a change in mind-set among them and trigger a sense of sensitivity towards women travelers. Inferring the feedbacks collected during training it is perceived that it has motivated the marshals to perform their duty optimally. The marshals have been able to engage and relate themselves during the dialogues as our facilitators are touching various prevailing common concerns of society like- violence, discrimination and social responsibility. They also feel that the training has been very useful with the information on legal implications of sexual harassment. Such information is beneficial for them to identify and stand against instances of sexual harassment as well as spread awareness among their social circle about the same.

 

The Impact:

Marshals have felt that change in outlook and attitude of public towards such gender issues is a prerequisite to establish equality among all. For the same, they have assured to join hands with us in answering the mounting call for gender equality in our society. Many have stated to initiate this change primarily through their own life and homes by providing equal opportunities and resources to their family members irrespective of gender. They have also ensured to treat all women with dignity and respect and prevent incidents of sexual harassment in DTC buses. They believe that through this they are able to safe-guard self-esteem and protect human rights of women travelers.

 

Following this assurance, each trainee signs a pledge indicating his commitment to women safety, and is given a badge to be worn during duty hours as a social display of his responsibility to the cause. Messages about women safety in the DTC buses have also been pasted for spreading information and awareness about this among all.

 
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