We believe in inspiring change in communities that nurture positive behaviour and end violence and discrimination towards women and girls. Our support focus has been towards projects working with young men to create ambassadors who can mobilise positive change at a family and community level.

There are 230 million men under the age of 18 in India growing up in a culture where violence and discrimination against women is acceptable. If the current trend continues, 49% will have perpetrated violence against a partner by the age of 59 and 34% will have perpetrated sexual violence against anyone by the age of 49. We worked with The Equal Community Foundation (ECF), over three, years to address the root causes of men’s unhealthy attitudes and behaviour towards women.

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I want more young men to actually challenge patriarchy. We need to understand that women are an equal part of our society and that they have equal rights. Because only when both women and men are equally empowered, would we really be able to progress as a society.

ECF graduate, 16 yrs old

We supported the implementation of three stages of the Action for Equality Programme in eight low-income communities namely Bibwewadi Ota, Gadgoba Vasti, Super Indira Nagar, Ramtekdi, Family Welfare Centre (Tadiwala Road), Bhimtola (Tadiwala Road), Premnagar and Chaitraban.

During this period, 586 young men between the age group of 13 to 17 enrolled for the programme. Out of these, 427 participants graduated from the programme by displaying active and consistent participation.

The programme provided them with knowledge, skills, peer support and leadership in order to challenge gender-based inequality in their lives, families and communities. Female family members of the graduates reported an increase in personal support and positive change and a reduction in physical and verbal abuse.

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In 2015, we commissioned an external evaluation of the Action for Equality programme. Dr. Sonal Zaveri, an independent consultant and expert in evaluation, child rights and participation conducted the evaluation.

The purpose of the exercise was to assess the outcomes achieved by ECF’s community programmes so far; their relevance, coverage, efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability.

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