MAVA and my project

Last week was Diwali, the Hindu festival of light. Diwali symbolises the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. Homes and buildings are decorated with lights, firecrackers are being set on fire in almost every street corner and it is not only cute little *pops* and *cracks* but rather the sounds of tiny bombs. Everyone is laughing at me for jumping of my chair from being startled. It feels like even the cats who lives in my apartment are looking at me weirdly after my little jerking dancemoves.

As promised in my last post I will give you a short introduction to the organisation I will be working with and what my study will be about.

The Mumbai based NGO Men Against Violence and Abuse (MAVA) is the first men’s organization in India directly intervening against gender-based violence towards women. For the past 25 years MAVA has been working on engaging men and boys in India on gender issues and equality. Over the years, they have developed several methods for involving young people through interactive workshops, street-plays, newspapers, poetry reading sessions, talks and discussions.

See their website for more info: www.mavaindia.org

I will be doing a qualitative study on one of MAVA’s programs. A one year mentor-training program engaging male college students in conversations addressing issues related to gender based discrimination and violence. The growing demand of involving men and boys to achieve gender equality has led to an increased number of organisations and programs around the world to answer this demand. Where MAVA is one of them. With the theory that gender norms and social values are socialised from an early age, leading to the unequal power relation, MAVA tries to break gender stereotypes and change men’s and boys’ views on patriarchal society. I intend to interview 10 college students who have recently completed MAVAs one-year mentor training to investigate how they describe their experiences of the program. Focus will be on the training program seen from the participating students’ perspective ending in a report for MAVA to use in developing their approaches and programs.

My overall research question aims to cover: How do the interviewed participants of MAVA’s mentoring training describe the programs content and the impact it has had on how they perceive gender-based discriminations, equality and patriarchal norms in society after completing the one-year program?

Priya and me at Tata Institute of Social Sciences

One last exciting thing before I end this post is that I yesterday met with Priya, my translator for this project. She is herself studying a master in Social Work at Tata Institute of Social Sciences here in Mumbai. It was great to meet her to discuss the best way to go about the interviews which I hope we can start with next week!

Take care,

Petronella

First week in Mumbai

India, Mumbai:
As part of my Bachelor degree in Social Work at Malmö University I spent five months earlier this year in Mumbai to carry out my field placement (Verksamhetsförlagd utbildning). The internship was with a non-governmental organisation called Vacha which focuses on girls’ and young women’s empowerment and education. Vacha is a term in several Indian languages meaning speech, articulation and self-expression and the organisation work to give the girls a voice and a platform to be able to speak up in their communities and public spaces. If you want to read more about their work in their community centres in and around Mumbai you can follow the link below: www.vacha.org.in

 

Going home in the “rik” Click for GIF

I am now back in Mumbai for a MFS and looking forward to further experience this fast paced and intense life that this city, with a population of about 22 million, has to offer. The people, the food, the sounds and the smells. The culture, the colours and celebrations. The luxury and the poverty. The traffic… well maybe not so much the traffic but at least you always have something interesting to look at while you are stuck in an auto rikshaw. Surrounded by hundreds of other “riks”, cars, motorbikes, trucks, dogs, goats, street sellers, all while in 36 degrees, breathing in the heavenly smell of pollution. How can one  not I love it?

 

Adventures in South Mumbai

 

 

India is the fastest growing economy in the world. However, not everyone seems to be onboard the fast moving train of progress. The Indian middle class might be growing but there is, for example, a gaping rural-urban divide as well as a gender discriminations when it comes to economic progress and development. So yes there is a whole bunch of inequalities in this country. Not only economic, but also when it comes to social rights  and opportunities. But there is also good things happening:

A ban of single use plastic
Decriminalizing homosexuality

The above links are just two examples of big top-level decisions. However, on grassroot level great things are happening every day. I have seen this during my internship and I get motivated by these hardworking people that want to see positive change in their communities and country.

So follow me on my two months minor field study to see where it takes me. In my next post I will introduce you to my project and the organisation I will be working with – Men Against Violence and Abuse.

Take care of eachother,

Petronella

Tjii fick jag för “god planering”

Då var jag tillbaka i Nicaragua igen efter 2 hektiska månader hemma i Sverige med skola, förberedelser för resan, MFS-kurs i Härnösand, möten med handledare… listan är lång, men nu är jag här i Nicaragua!

På MFS-kursen så hade vi en förmiddag med en före detta MFS-stipendiat och han sa verkligen flera gånger att det inte alltid blir som man har tänkt sig och det är bara så och man får helt enkelt försöka lösa det på bästa sätt man kan. Jag har känt mig ganska så förberedd i och med att jag har bott i Nicaragua och vet hur saker och ting fungerar här. Dock så redan andra dagen så stötte jag på problem (har nu varit här i 4dagar). Min tanke var att komma ner så fort de obligatoriska momenten i skolan var gjorda så att jag kunde komma igång snabbt. Sedan är det som ni vet snart påsk, Semana Santa, vilket är utan tvekan det största i traditionsväg och firande som finns i Latin Amerika, vilket också betyder mycket dyrare flygbiljetter. Så jag bokade biljett för att komma ner i god tid innan Semana Santa och kunna spara in några 1000-lappar. Dock så är det ju så att hela landet har ledigt under en hel vecka och då åker man ut till kusten. Min handledare här nere hade försäkrat mig om att boende skulle jag hitta, det var absolut ingen fara och att han säkert visste något om det inte skulle lösa sig. MEN så var det inte! I den lilla kustbyn Jiquillio där det är tänkt att jag ska göra min undersökning har priserna på rum, hus och allt med ett tak höjts till helt otroliga priser såsom 6000.-/veckan! Detta är helt utanför min budget och bo i tält hade jag gärna gjort om det hade vart lugnt och säkert, vilket det tyvärr inte är. Så vad gör man då? Ja man får helt enkelt göra det bästa av situationen och inse att nej jag kan inte börja min undersökning riktigt ännu.

Så idag har jag dragit i kontakter jag har här sedan innan och imorgon kommer jag att flytta till den by där jag bodde under min studietid här i Nicaragua. Jag har fått ett rum hos en familj där i en vecka vilket ska bli väldigt trevligt. Det är också ruralt och enkelt och jag kommer helt säkert att få med mig en massa erfarenheter av att bo tillsammans med dom. Så jag kommer att hålla huvudet kallt och verkligen kunna förbereda mig för min undersökning nu i en vecka.

“Lugna” hälsningar Sandra!