Looking at spates of violence against women in various forms happening continuously in the past two years, Stree Bal Shakti & PUKAR, in collaboration, launched a timely new project “Journey Towards Dignity” in September 2015 in a Municipal School at Sewri Cross Road. This project aims to empower adolescent girl students enrolled in class 7-8 with knowledge related to their coming of age, including physical and emotional changes, onset of menstrual cycle, importance of menstrual hygiene and its impact on their future health, gendered identity, sexuality and gender based violence.
A team of professionally trained facilitators would conduct 22 activity-based workshops designed by them specifically to incorporate all these issues. These workshops cover subject from self-identity, body literacy, and menstrual cycle to relationships and gender violence. Workshops are conducted every Saturday at the school premises for 2 hours followed by a dialogue and include many creative instruments like theatre and poster making to make it easy on the girls to talk about these difficult and taboo subjects. Each workshop consists of a pre- and post- evaluation of the contents of the workshop and students’ knowledge gained. Parental meetings also form a part of this empowerment strategy. There is strong support from school teachers to this program. The eight sessions completed so far revealed that the girls have learnt some critical issues and they look forward to this activity-based alternative pedagogy.