Catalysing Change Week | 1–5 May 2023

Solutions from the Frontlines

Can women thrive if men don’t change?

09 May 2022 | 10:30 - 11:30 CEST
(Policy) Roundtable discussion

Study Hall Educational Foundation (SHEF) will take a very interesting approach to dissecting the perils of patriarchy. The event will be a panel discussion on why should men give up power and change. The interesting bit will be that the spotlight will be squarely on men and boys – an all-men panel moderated by Dr Urvashi Sahni. The purpose of this discussion is to educate men and boys to become activists and advocates of gender justice. We are motivated by the belief that in order to achieve a gender-just society, boys and girls both must receive an education that teaches them to critically examine the construction of gender in patriarchal societies. This means that boys, too, must learn to fight, resist, and end sexist oppression in the same way as girls. Boys must also learn how to deconstruct a patriarchal conception of masculinity and reconstruct an egalitarian one in its place. In a hierarchical patriarchal society like India, it is difficult to understand and conceptualize the idea of equality. It is particularly hard for boys given that they are raised with a sense of entitlement, superiority, and privilege. Regardless of the class, caste, or religion they belong to, boys always enjoy preferred status over their female counterparts. Changing these conceptual frameworks involves a paradigm shift, almost Copernican in nature. School can be a very good place to reframe boys’ worldview by challenging and transcending their perception of masculinity and other firmly entrenched notions of caste, gender, and class. With these motivations, Prerna Boys School was founded not only to provide boys with a quality education, but one with a strong critical feminist perspective. Along the same lines as our girls’ school, we adopted the following educational goals for the boys’ school. Our boys must: learn to read, write, and successfully complete the government-mandated syllabus up to class 12; develop a sense of agency and control over their lives, aspirations for a future, and the confidence and skills to realize it; learn to recognize girls as equal persons with boys; develop a critical understanding of patriarchal social and political structures that frame their lives; develop a critical feminist consciousness.

The hosts

Anand Chitravanshi Ankur Mishra Divyanshu Shivpoojan

Sustainable development goals

GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being GOAL 4: Quality Education GOAL 5: Gender Equality

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