Ashwini Owhal benefits from Action for Equality

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When Ashwini is not studying in her local Marathi medium school, she helps her mother with all the housework. She spends all her spare time taking care of the house and her siblings. Her brother Tejas never used to help. As a male, he was used to being served by the women in the home. Tejas has been a part of Action for Equality since January 2011.

At first Ashwini thought Action for Equality was all about watching movies, playing games and acting. But then she started to notice a change in her brother’s behaviour, in particular as he started participating in domestic chores; supporting women in their traditional roles. Ashwini remarks: “Nowadays he doesn’t say no if I ask him for help. That’s a change!”

Although Tejas continues to be aggressive, and to shout when he gets angry, Ashwini tells us that “…these days we can discuss things rather than fight it over.  If we compare what Tejas was before attending the sessions to the way he is now, he’s less aggressive now.”

She said, “Tejas has changed not only as far as his actions are concerned but also the way he thinks about things. He has become a bit considerate.” Although Ashwini recognises that there is a long way to go, she finishes by telling us, “The fact that some change has occurred is enough for us and we are very happy with him now.”

As part of our efforts to understand the impact of Action for Equality, ECF staff interview women, like Ashwini, who live with the men on the programme. Since January 2011 we have interviewed over 174 women. We are in the process of analysing the results to identify how many graduates demonstrate significant behaviour change.