Six teenage trailblazers took a stand to put a stop to violence against women and girls, as part of the week-long National Jamboree in Karnataka, India, which came to a close earlier this month
Kiran, Prasanth, Priyanka R, Priyanka K, Hari and Harini (above), who belong to the Bharat Scouts & Guides (BSG) of India , travelled from Tamil Nadu to Karnataka to share their experiences of violence and educate others about why it must be condemned.
Violence is a major issue in India. A study from the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and UNFPA revealed 52% of women surveyed had experienced violence during their lifetime, and 60% of the male respondents said they had acted violently against their wife or partner. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, an average of 92 women are raped in India every day. Adding further fuel to the fire, reports recently surfaced of widespread sexual assaults reportedly taking place during New Year's Eve celebrations in Bangalore, India.
In a bold move, young people from across India are speaking out against violence and travelling the country to make their voices heard.
These six boys and girls, along with over 3,000 others, have been trained on Voices Against Violence, a unique non-formal education programme created by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts and UN Women, focused on encouraging young people to take action and put a stop to violence.
The National Jamboree saw over 25,000 young people from across Asia gathered to celebrate Guiding and Scouting. With a plethora of exciting activities and workshops on offer, it was the perfect place to spread the word against violence, share knowledge and, for many, their story.
“It's so important that Voices against Violence activities have a place at the Jamboree,” said Harini, 18 (above), who overcame barriers to attend the Jamboree.
"My parents didn't want me to come but I used the confidence I've gained from Voices Against Violence to persuade them otherwise. Young people my age need the confidence to stand up and voice their views. This is the only way we can change our communities."
On the first day alone, over 1,000 young people attended the Voices Against Violence workshops. The activities had a big impact on a 13-year-old boy scout. “I learnt we should not differentiate between men and women and they should be treated equally.”
The activities that took place at the National Jamboree activities are part of a country-wide anti-violence effort by BS&G. Going forward, it is hoped the Ministry of Education will integrate the Voices Against Violence programme into the Indian school curriculum.
To find out more about our work to put a stop to gender-based violence, visit: www.stoptheviolencecampaign.org