A workshop with parents of students from Bluebells School International held on December 12th, 2015 in New Delhi
As one of the most significant institutions in the socialization of a human being…a school demands an ethic, a responsibility, and a learning environment that is founded on the pillars of equality, equity and justice. How does one create a gender sensitive learning environment? What are the principles that should guide us? Why is it critical for a school to develop capacities to achieve these objectives? These are some of the questions that WISCOMP’s educational and capacity building initiative ‘Partners in Wellbeing: Youth Countering Violence against Women’ has aimed to raise in its interventions with Bluebells School International in New Delhi. The WISCOMP-Bluebells partnership has emerged out of the keen interest and openness shown by the school in engendering its environment. Based on the “whole school” approach, the WISCOMP project has over the past one year, held workshops with teachers and (senior council) students to create spaces and forums for discussion on gender equality, freedom and violence prevention. This workshop with parents of senior and junior student council members completes the circle with the objective of creating wellbeing for the individual, the community and the society.
This workshop sought to provide a brief interface between the parents, students, and select teachers to chart a path towards gender equity and wellbeing that is nurtured from the home to the school environment and beyond. School based programs like this workshop are efforts at enabling boys and girls to reconsider gender relations and infuse in them the values of mutual respect, support, partnership, and equity. Implicit here is also the need to shake the foundations of patriarchal norms and practices that uphold the unequal status of women in Indian society and condone gender-based violence.