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Young Dharwad Girls Champion Gender Equality In Their Communities

Basavannemma and Mallamma represent a generation advocating for gender equality, a generation that has witnessed changing times. What sets them apart is not only their observation but active participation. Hailing from the rural district of Dharwad, they are part of the Enabling Leadership’s Play program, where they learn to play football—a sport traditionally dominated by males.

Chosen as members of a 5-person team collaborating with the Goals for Girls organization, they aimed to extend the lessons of equality they learned on the field. Selecting “Gender at Home” as their project topic, they engaged with the community, pondered diverse opinions, and pinpointed the major challenges to gender equality. They showcased their insights through a video at a National Seminar in Goa.

In this project, each girl connected with two families to exchange ideas and understand the embedding of gender stereotypes in daily life. They shared success stories of women to inspire these families, emphasizing that change begins at home. Asked about changes they’d like to see at home to promote gender neutrality, both Basavannemma and Mallamma stressed the equitable distribution of household chores among family members, regardless of gender.

This project empowered the girls to be change agents. In a short span, they visited families, imbibing diverse perspectives, learning to respect differing opinions, and aiming for consensus. Moreover, they had the chance to travel to a different state and present their views to a nationwide audience.

Achieving complete gender equality necessitates immense effort. The 5-member team from Dharwad has already contributed significantly and remains eager to seize every opportunity for further progress.

By Garima Kumar
Communications Associate