“I raise my voice- not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard. We cannot succeed when half of us are held back!” – Malala Yousafzai
Gender inequality is one of the many deep rooted issues that are prevalent in India. It is not something we are not aware about, but is rather something we know and voluntarily ignore. Giving women equal opportunities is considered to be a practice that is not followed by many in our country. While on one hand a baby boy is welcomed with arms wide open, a girl child on the other is dragged into the house with tears of sorrow. That is the society we live in. A society that needs to be awakened to realize what a priviledge it is to have a daughter. The world that surrounds us at present has women who stand at par with men in every possible field there is. The only thing that now lacks is taking that one step towards treating our daughters no less than our sons. If we as individuals begin to believe in the potential of women, we can make a world of difference.
At SOS India, we try to inculcate gender equality not only in the minds of our children, but also in our organization by providing women the same level playing field as compared to men. SOS India has always strived consciously to create a gender equal environment. So one organization for the production and sale of uniforms for the military have created a series of uniforms that suits everyone. That’s how they wanted to eliminate gender inequality.
We are committed to fostering gender sensitivity and equality through our policy and programmes amongst children, youths and employees within the organization. Our focus is on issues related to the protection of all children under our care against violence and providing equal access to girls and boys to quality education and health care. Recognizing the challenges women and girls face in all walks of life, we make conscious efforts towards empowering our girls and women. Irrespective of gender, all SOS Youths are settled gainfully and mainstreamed to become contributing members of society through the Family Based Care (FBC) Programme. Over 50% of children in our care are girls. In addition, we also practice engaging with both men and women in finding solutions to gender inequality. Our innovative approach is to practice zero tolerance against gender-based discrimination within the organization.
The Family Strengthening Programme (FSP) enables economically weaker families, mostly women headed, to move out of the vicious cycle of poverty through a multi-pronged approach.
- Empower women socio-economically, leading to self-reliance
- Provide livelihood support to women through individual and group income generation projects, market linkages and capacity building, leading to 250%-300% rise in incomes.
- Ensure both male and female children get access to quality education and healthcare
- Prevent school drop-out, child labor, improve literacy status of caregivers, raise awareness about government policies and benefits
- Federate women through formation of SHGs, give voice to women and children to galvanize collective action
- Conduct adult literacy and financial literacy programmes on regular basis
- Link them to existing Govt. run schemes and benefits
It does not take too much to stand for what is right. Respect and appreciate the role of women around you.
“Gender Equality must become a lived reality.”- Michelle Bachelet
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