While everyone is busy empowering women in our community, who is preparing the men to handle those empowered women? Because after all, that’s where the discrimination and violence start from.
Hence, with the aim of removing gender based violence and to develop the youngsters through building awareness in the community, a youth based non-profit organization Evolution360 has started a programme named “Campaign Poriborton – #BeTheChange”. In support of SDG 5, this campaign is a replication of the #HeForShe campaign under UN Women which is being conducted by Evolution360 all across Bangladesh. The organization has targeted 100 institutions all around Bangladesh, spreading it in grass root levels including the city level, among which 10instuitions have already been covered in areas like Manikganj, Chittagong, Feni, Rangpur and Dhaka.
The organization aims to teach the young teenager boys attitude toward opposite gender which in the main basis of gender equality. It includes visual gaming sessions on idea of ‘consent’, feminism and empowerment, highlighting the roles of boys in this aspect. While boys are taught respect, Campaign Be The Change is also done in girls’ school and colleges, where they are taught basic self defence techniques.
Upoma Ahmad, the President of Evolution360 who is also UN Women Champion & a Global Goodwill Ambassador from Bangladesh, enlightens the boys about the concept of equality to the college students along with giving trainings on presentation & networking skills for working in national & international platforms. Another part of this campaign is session on spreading awareness among youth about drug addiction , harassment and its consequences through interactive videos. It also highlights stereotypes of the phrase “Like A Girl” and how it is used to demean girls in our society. “We often say, ‘Run like a girl’, ‘walk like a girl’ etc, but whenever we use the term #Like A Girl, we should be careful from now on, that it is not being used as an insult towards women” , said the Vice President Anamika Islam to the young students in one of their event at Notre Dame College. It also includes a public speaking contest for the students where the young boys enthusiastically presents the topics they learned from the whole session and later gets certified from UNMGCY and Evolution360.
While teaching boys attitude towards opposite gender is one of the aim of “Be The Change” Campaign ,#BeTheChange means bringing positive change in mentality in both boys and girls. So, teaching girls basic self defence technique is also a part of the campaign Poriborton- Be The Change which is done in girl’s school & Colleges. In every institution this motivational sessions are designed & conducted in interactive and interesting way, which attracts the young teen-agers to get inspired with the idea.
Written by: Sanzida Emu
Student of Dhaka University