Video Volunteer’ Impact: How a video changed Kamala’s life

Sometimes to bring a change you need a revolution, many times all it needs is just a dialogue.

Kamala is an educated young woman from Bihar, who had an aspiration to be an earning woman after completing her degree. However, like many Indian women, her dreams were cut short due to the patriarchal outlook of her family. Married into a conservative family of Bhagwanpur, Bihar, Kamala tried to persuade her mother-in-law to let her work, but the neighbours and community at large dissuaded her mother-in-law under pretexts such as 'the daughter-in-law stepping out will portray financial inadequacy on the part of the family. Due to the communication gap between the two, Kamala was imprisoned in her house.

When Gyanti Devi, a Video Volunteers correspondent a member of the same community as Kamala, came to know about the situation, she did what she knew best.

She wielded her camera, shot the issue and gathered different perspectives. She used the video as a tool for dialogue between Kamala and her mother-in-law, slowly diminishing the misconception related to working women. A victim of domestic abuse herself and now a working woman, Gyanti retold her tale to the mother-in-law, telling her the benefits of having an educated daughter-in-law.

Working women while considered a bane by families with a patrirarchial mindset, India can actually benefit from closing the gender gap. According to a study by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), India can increase its gross domestic product (GDP) estimated at $4.83 trillion, by between 16% and 60% by 2025, simply by enabling women to participate in the economy on par with men.

Today, due to the dialogue between Gyanti and Kamala's mother-in-law, Kamala has been pursuing her dreams of being a working woman. She is currently a teacher at Brijkala English School in Bihar, and also enrolled herself in training for Computer Education.

However, currently, India has one of the largest gender gaps in the world’s when it comes to labour force participation. The women account for only 23-24% of the total labour force in India and generate only 17% of the share of GDP.

This video was made by a Video Volunteers Community Correspondent Gyanti Devi.

Community Correspondents come from marginalised communities in India and produce videos on unreported stories. These stories are ’news by those who live it.’ they give the hyperlocal context to global human rights and development challenges. See more such videos at www.videovolunteers.org. Take action for a more just global media by sharing their videos and joining in their call for change.

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