Khel Badal discussion club is creating a safe space where women can talk about gender, violence and patriarchy.
Over the years, many people have started questioning patriarchy. Patriarchy, an invincible mechanism which is being used to structure society, development, and seemingly ineradicable inequality that still continues to prevail. It’s trivial that the persistence of male dominance is simplified in a manner that is difficult to identify. Patriarchy, literally means, ‘’rule of a father’, the idea of male supremacy built on misogyny and exploitation of women. Video Volunteers, as an organisation wants to make the voices of women heard by creating safe spaces so they can come together to discuss issues as they face, negotiate and challenge patriarchy.
We started the Khel Badal campaign by selecting 13 Community Correspondent from 8 states who were interested in conducting discussion clubs in their village and community. They produced videos related to issues of patriarchy in day-to-day life. Some of the videos talk about male dominance and female subjugation, how the custom of veiling is rooted in patriarchy, stigma associated with periods, among others. On the day of discussion, Correspondents screened these videos to participants of the club to introduce the concept of patriarchy and show how the oppression of women is multilayered. They also reflect on how challenging patriarchy can be a difficult task, but the importance of fighting this together.
“Sharada Devi has been a part of Khel Badal Discussion Clubs and it has changed the perspective of not only her, but also her two daughters. These discussion clubs are safe spaces to have conversations and build stories of change. Sharda realised the importance of education and how it should be imparted equally to boys and girls. Today, both her daughters are teaching in a school, help their younger brother in his studies, and also do the household work.”
Gradually, the members of the discussion clubs started building conversations and sharing insights from their experiences. These conversations grew stronger when women became aware of their rights, realised they have a right to equal pay, laws which can address marital rape, and domestic violence. They began to understand the ways in which they have been discriminating against their own sons and daughters.
Most of us learn about patriarchal attitudes from our own families. The manifestation is there on reinforced in schools, religious institutions, and further every day in our lives. The extremely important idea is to dismantle and question patriarchy. To question, why can’t our daughters get equal education? Why menstruation is still a taboo? Why women have to be silent about domestic violence?
“Shahjahan Khatun is a participant of a discussion club. Shahjahan shared her experiences with the club members, about how she was facing domestic abuse. Gradually, after discussing with participants, she realised the importance of being strong and standing up against violence. She started questioning the situation wherein her husband starts to quarrel and becomes violent. She initiated communication so that her husband can understand that violence cannot be a solution to every fight”
After conducting 130 discussion clubs we are strengthening the idea of communication around gender and patriarchy in people and simultaneously enabling them to critically analyse patriarchy.
“We will remove patriarchy from wherever we see it,” pledged the participants of our Khel Badal discussion club.
Together we rise to dismantle patriarchy. One video, one conversation at a time.
Video is made by Video Volunteers production.
Article by Grace Jolliffe, a Member of VV Editorial Team.