Creating safe spaces to make the voices of women heard and can come together to discuss issues as they face, negotiate and challenge patriarchy.
Video Volunteers’ campaign, Khel Badal (change the game), has gone from strength to strength. The campaign uses video to enable people to expose patriarchy, question it, and dismantle it. The campaign was funded from July 2016 to December 2017 by UNFPA. 2017 was the major year of the campaign with 62 Community Correspondents conducting 311 out of a total of 408 discussion clubs in 2017. Between 2018-19 13 Community Correspondent will be conducting 156 clubs.
In this campaign, Correspondents formed discussion clubs in their villages that meet once a month to watch videos on patriarchy made by the network. After watching the video, the people gathered would talk about how they might have had similar experiences of facing patriarchy, or fighting it.
Khel Badal’s Impact
So far 1000 people have regularly attended these discussion clubs. Over two years, we’ve seen how such sustained conversations on the ground still matter. These discussion clubs have empowered their members — both adolescents and adults — to negotiate and challenge patriarchy in their lives. We saw that many took a stand against patriarchy at home, at work, at school, in cultural and public spaces. For instance, members of a discussion club in Madhya Pradesh, run by Jahanara Ansari, ended up in a spontaneous demonstration outside the office of a senior government officer. Many of the women faced domestic violence at the hands of their drunk husbands, and young.
Creating this space for a dialogue between the gatekeepers of patriarchy and those trying to break the system has been a crucial impact of the campaign. For young girls the clubs were a chance to find allies. Many were already at stages in their lives when they are aching for lives that are different to their mothers and grandmothers. The club gave them a space to voice these ideas of freedom, of wanting to work, finding their own life-partners and so on. It gave them the tools to have these conversations at home so they could take control of their lives. For men it was a chance to question their privilege and to let go of it. Those in mixed groups heard a whole new perspective when they spoke to women of the same generation –realising for the first time how different their lives are.
Read Gender Lens, to learn more about KhelBadal
We published Gender Lens, a report on ten years of our work with women and community media. It drew a bigger picture about how gender-sensitive community media can play a vital role in amplifying women’s voices enabling them to advocate for themselves. It specifically examined the impact that VV’s work has had on the lives of its female CCs and the communities they serve. Using in-depth interviews, it also gathered lessons and impacts from the Khel Badal campaign.