CRIA Webinar: Safety first!
85 people from 28 different countries signed up for CRIA Online second webinar. And if participants were fewer than expected, it didn’t impact the quality of the exchanges, quite the contrary. The groups, smaller in number, allowed each and every person to express themselves for a longer time and more in depth.
To open up the webinar, Bharti Ali, General Delegate and funder of HAQ Centre for Children Rights, spoke out about gender inequalities and its link to society injunctions, but also about the results it could mean on men, such as a constant pressure to perform. She added that gender inequalities had different consequences depending on your origins, culture, ethnicity, tribe, religion or education, be it in terms of bullying, mental health or online security, the three themes broached this day.
And we have to break this, we have to break this cycle of inequality, discrimination, biases, prejudices, stereotypes. The earlier we do it the better, and I think this is just the right age where all of you are, engaging with this kind of issue. When you grow up, it’s like you are already hardened up, so you got to change your perception and it’s not so easy. It is important to start young.
Workshop 1: Mental Health by Manisha, Nichole and Bharati
The main thing they talked about was mental health and the myths surrounding it. With the common thought and common concept that being emotional is a negative thing, which isn’t true, because being emotional gives you the opportunity to express your feelings and to open up to others and allowing them to understand you. Regarding myths, the participants have learned that mental health can be affected because of gender. Sometimes one faces certain discriminations due to their gender and it has a toll on their mental health. People think that mental health isn’t that important and can be simply cast aside. But we need to regard people’s mental health no matter who they are, we need to understand them, to validate their feeling. We must be there for each other.
The group talked about clichés and stereotypes and in particular the statement “snap out of it”: meaning when someone in a group needs attention and support, and to protect ourselves and not get involved we say “snap out of it”, which denies the emotions the person is feeling.
They also talked about more positives thing, like health and how to stay healthy: to develop safe spaces to talk, to identify friends and person we can talk too freely. Manisha also introduced the notion of coping mechanisms. It was explained as such: when we see that we are getting ourselves in a dangerous, downward spin, we should find as soon as possible a healthy response mechanism to avoid plunging in something that is not healthy. Each person has different coping mechanism: playing piano, hugging a tree, talking to a parent or a friend, walking. Someone asked if all coping mecanism were healthy?
You can look at the video used for the presentation.
Workshop 2: Bullying by Marie-Chelsea and Ishanjali
The group made a poster on bullying. They talked about what is bullying, who are the people involved and what are the effects of bullying and how can we handle it. The participants gave their insights on the topic, sharing examples of situations when they have been bullied. They talked about the fact that the effects of bullying stay with you as you grow up and it’s not something that goes away so easily, it’s a part of you and can always come back to haunt you. It can reflect on what we can do, so it’s very important to have someone to talk to who will listen and take us seriously. The discussion went on on the fact that “no one is born a bully” and what makes someone a bully. The bully also has a story, and their actions may be because they, too, feel ashamed and vulnerable and they need a place to speak out. Marie-Chelsea also showed an image with the people involved in the bullying, and beside the victim and the perpetrator there are also the bystanders. When people see what’s happening, why aren’t they doing what’s right and really help one another?
“We all valued the opportunity to discuss something that affects people no matter what country, what circumstances, what type of bullying.”
Worshop 3: Online safety by Rejina and Sheilab.
Rejina, India, facilitated for the second time a CRIA Online group of discussion. She started by explaining what was behind the terms “Online Safety” and went on by asking to the participant in her group what they thought Online Safety was.
What is Online safety and what are the problem we may be facing. Rejina gave a brief presentation of the internet laws in their country, and encouraged to be careful about the information we are giving online. They acknowledged the greatness of internet, the importance and the power of social media. The young people talked about their experience of social media in time of covid for them and how they use the internet. They recognised that there is a great inequality even there because women do not have as much access to phone and internet as men, and this create a gap in the access of information and in the role they can play in economics and politics when they can’t have access to informations. Rejina’s presentation was really comprehensive about the threats on internet and gave a lot of recommandations, the first being to stay aware of our local laws and what we can do to protect oneself and the others.
After feedbacking to the other groups, the webinar ended on presenting the next event. The 12th of December will be hosted the new webinar on projects and campaign led by children. The goal is to put forth projects and campaigns led by children, to learn from them and to help the participants in taking the first steps into creating their own projects.