Momentum for the movement: 4493 allies for gender equality

As the wheels are in motion for Action for Equality’s 17th programme cycle, we took a moment to reflect on the milestones we achieved in the second half of 2016. Here are some highlights we would like to share with you.

From its inception, 4,493 adolescent boys enrolled in the Action for Equality programme (AfE) and 2,438 of them graduated and pledged to be allies with women to support gender equality in 19 communities in Pune. 487 new graduates are the latest to be a part of the movement to eliminate gender based violence and discrimination during 2015-16.

In this period of 6 months, all activities under AfE Foundation and Action Programme were implemented as per plan. This included regular sessions, public events in 19 communities, a Big Meet and Greet, one intensive mentor training and learning from the experts in the sector. The process of strengthening AfE Leadership Programme picked up momentum.

Improved graduation rates
Graduation rate is the number of boys who enroll in AfE, are consistent in their attendance, are active when they attend and demonstrate commitment to prevent gender based violence and discrimination. In the last six months, the Foundation Programme achieved an 85% graduation rate. Similarly, the Action Programme saw graduation rates jumped to 64% from 26% in the previous cycle. How did team AfE achieve this? We tailored the timing, frequency and location of the programme to perfectly suit a participant’s needs. By making the programme more accessible, it successfully boosted participants’ commitment.

ECF Action for Equality session


Impact of the programme

We analyzed the rate at which participation in AfE  translates into a tangible change in attitudes and skills of adolescent boys. We learnt that:

  • 74.8% participants were able to work with their peers and have a dialogue about issues born out of  inequality with their community.
  • 52.5% could communicate clearly about gender based violence and discrimination at Public Events
  • 72.5% displayed critical thinking skills during group discussions with their peers

We mapped the shift in attitudes of our participants during their transition from Foundation Programme and Action Programme.

  • During the Foundation Programme, 14 out of 59 participants demonstrated support of gender equitable norms. At the end of Action Programme,  this number rose to 37 out of 59 participants. Participants of the Action for Equality programme showed  2.6 times more support of gender equitable norms such as sharing household chores and lower tolerance to violence against women.

What do female relatives of participants have to say about their son’s behaviour after the programme?

  • 60% of Action Programme participants’ mothers we interviewed said their sons actively started contributing to household chores. A mother from Kashewadi community (Pune) says, “If I return home late from my job my son tells me, ‘Leave it, you are tired now as you just came home from your work, I’ll do it’.” Amongst indirect outcomes of the AfE programme, mothers also reported that boys loitered less around the community and paid more attention to their studies.