The Gender Youth Movement for young girls was launched at Ernakulam by Smt. Asha Sanal, District Panchayath President at Kakkanad, Ernakulam on 24 November 2018. Gender Youth Movement aims to provide self defense training, training for improving the artistic and athletic potential of members, workshops that inculcate leadership skill, assertiveness and personality development through residential programmes.
The Gender youth Movement, through its convergence with other national and international agencies focus to support the members with carrier excellence as well. The study tours and camps would help to explore certain unfamiliar areas and opportunities in this present trend of sedentary youth-hood. Instead of being like a ‘couch potato’, the gender youth movement aims to develop vigorous young people through blending with the’ Snehitha’s Calling Bell Support Programme’. The activities include house visits and interaction with the Snehitha Calling Bell support recipients and rendering voluntary service to tackle the needs of support recipients or beneficiaries.
Though Kudumbashree have ‘Balasabha’ for children till the age of 15, there is no such initiative for young girls after 15, during which girls freedom are limited due to security issues. Women act wisely and confidently when their physique is strong enough to defend any violence against her, which is to be developed from very young age. In order to maintain their gap and to bring a change in the present stereotype, gender youth clubs named ‘Gender Youth Movement’ are formed in 101 Panchayaths, for young girls, between the age of 15 -29 years. The youth clubs are formed with any numbers, not less than 10, in each CDS and one affiliated to the Kerala state youth Welfare Board and the Nehru Yuva Kendra.
Gender based discrimination against women is pervasive across the world. The patriarchal world always treated girls inferior to boys and this had been deeply engraved in the mind of girls even from their childhood. When we analyse the cases registered in Snehitha from its beginning in 2013, it’s understood that, in most of the atrocities against women and girls especially in POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences ) cases the accused are either a relative or a person who is close to the victim, rather than a stranger. When boys are allowed to stroll outside with peers, or to involve in any recreational activities, girls are restricted inside like a ‘domesticated parrot’.
The gender youth club can ensure the social participation of young girls without any gender bias and improves the confidence and self esteem of members. Through club activities eminent women leaders in Kudumbashree in local self governing can be developed in the upcoming future. A good percent of more than half of the Kerala women population are mainstreamed through Kudumbashree, but still the issue of women security and equal participation to be discussed and enacted further. Staying together help to defeat vulnerable situation. An able bodied, yet vigorous generation of women can be developed through Gender Youth Movement.