My Choices Foundation in partnership with Telangana State Police conducted a 1-day workshop on 25 March 2022 to sensitize Police officials about gender, patriarchy and human rights.
Pearl Choragudi, Head of Interventions, Operation PeaceMaker of My Choices Foundation led the session where she discussed various topics with the officials –
- Understanding Gender
- Sex, Sexuality and Gender
- Stereotypes surrounding men and women
- Defying gender roles
- Understanding Patriarchy
- Human rights
- Identifying violence
- Talking against gender-based violence
These diverse topics were covered through presentations, interactive activities and examples of stories from the field which helped the participants to understand the deeply-rooted societal issue and gender-based violence in India and across the world.
One of the engaging components of the workshop is the Gender walk, interactive activity to explain the importance of gender and power. In this activity, we presented the participants with various identities and asked them to follow instructions according to their identities. Even before the activity could start, everyone was standing in different locations, based on their understanding of how gender and power manifest in society. This activity helped everyone connect as they could see the reality of others – they understood how everyone starts from different social positions based on their sex, gender, social background, education, religion, caste and class.
Some observations made by the participants during the Gender walk –
“I understood the reality of how people are still suffering because of all these social issues.”
“They had to suffer because they were not treated equally”.
“I realised that men also suffer because of Patriarchy.”
We believe in the power of partnerships to drive social change. By working closely with the police officials we aim to create a behavioural shift in understanding the issues of gender, patriarchy, gender roles and gender-based violence. This will help in bringing about an institutional shift in the response to domestic violence victims who approach the officials for support. Working closely with the Police officials is helping us further the agenda for women’s rights and safety.