A discussion on gender discrimination
For the first CRIA Online webinar, 115 people – of which half were under 18 – registered for this first webinar and gathered around their screens, sometimes several for only one device. They came from all around the world: Afghanistan, Albania, Australia, Botswana, Equator, England, France, India, Liberia, Nepal, Peru, Philippines, Poland, South Africa, Tunisia and from the United States. All were gathered to discuss discriminations against girls.
Icebreaker activity: The participants were to write “Hello” in their mothertongue and where they were from. It produced this joyful mayhem of doodles.
Gender, Justice and Rights
Manisha, young Indian advocate of 16 is the one who create and led the discussion on “Justice and Rights” along with Jonathan Levy, CRIA Scientific and Pedagogic Director. Three questions steered the conversation: “what do we understand or know about gender justice as a right?” ; “imagine a world where things are going to improve gender justice and child rights” ; “what needs to happen to be done for gender rights to be respected? What is our personal responsability to make this happen?”.
It emerged that we shouldn’t let gender define what we become, nor what we can or cannot do. Women can be strong, and as the same time men should not be subjected to toxic masculinity and have the pressure to be, or appear, strong.
The group talked about the influence of patriarchy, poverty, access to education. However, for Manisha poverty isn’t only financial but of society expectations towards women and girls. They should have the opportunity to raise their concerns and not be embarrassed about what give them griefs.
“We need to respect each other, to develop a mutual gender respect”
– Aeda, 7, Philippines.
Nichole, 17 years old American girl, had to wake at the crack of dawn to host her workshop on Gender-Based Violence, along with Aditi Salkar, CRIA Asia coordinator from India. Participants began by exploring what exactly gender inequality is, and how different people experience disproportionate amounts discrimination in their lives.
Opening on what constitutes as gender violence, we were able to identify how gender violence is presented in many ways with different people-from verbal abuse from teachers to neglect from families.
“It was incredible to see how no matter how diverse the group you are working with, many of the issues we identified with our respective communities were inherently the same.” Said Nichole “Overall, I loved creating and working with the participants towards discussing and concluding relevant claims that both identified gender violence as an existing barrier towards childrens rights but also a harmful catalyst towards exacerbating existing adversity.”
Gender and Sexual Reproductive Health Right
The third and final workshop was focused on sexual and reproductive health and education. It was prepared and hosted by Rejina, 15 years old Nepali girl, with the help of Ishanjeli Barla, CRIA volunteer. Participants shared their experience of the issue within their countries’ context, like India, Nepal or even France. Discussions even led to concrete help in the form of telephone helpline numbers and provision related to sexual and reproductive health for girls.
“The best thing was the energy and interest of the participants.”, expressed Rejina, for whom hosting a multicultural group was a first, as she is more used to leading local workshops.
These small sessions returned back into the bigger plenary to share their conclusions and ideas of theme they would like to address. Indeed, the success and enthousiasm this first webinar met made it obvious for CRIA Online Team, that it would be the first of many to come. Children, young people and adults will have more opportunities to exchange on topics they are deem necessary to explore.