Gender Lab Fellowship
“Ladkiyo ko khana banana ana chahiye” (girls should know how to cook food)
“Arey sports ladkiyo ke bas ki baat nahi h” (sports is not meant for girls)
“Arey is umar me sirf padhai karogi to baadme shaadi kon karega” (if you’ll just study at this age then who will marry you afterwards.)
And the list goes on.
Somewhere or the other you might have heard such things in our country, especially from the older people with rigid mind-set. Such discrimination becomes even more visible when we shift our focus to rural areas where the literacy ratio is comparatively lower than that of cities. People who are less literate and don’t understand the concept of gender equality have a rigid traditional view of women which leads to suppressing them in many different ways and hence carrying many social evils that are against humanity.
But with more and more people getting aware, thanks to technology and education, there are a number of initiatives around the globe to stop this discrimination and move towards a more gender-equal society where girls are given the necessary freedom of choice and backing to grow in their lives. One such initiative running in the city of dreams, Mumbai is the Gender Lab Fellowship. Let’s understand in detail –
- What is Gender Lab Fellowship
- Who can be a fellow
- Objectives of The Gender Lab Fellowship
- What this fellowship will include
- Application and Selection process
What is Gender Lab Fellowship?
Most women in the 21st century at least dream of being independent irrespective of their life situations. This Fellowship is a path to build their leadership skills, self-awareness and sisterhood towards other women in the society through a multi-layered ‘service learning’ model.
The participants work with 13 to 14-year-old school-going girls across schools in Mumbai on the prevailing social in their community throughout the 10 months journey. This enables the girls to be more confident, socially aware, better communicators and have more empathy towards girls and women in their community as they experience their social and economic life first-hand.
This process makes them question the gender narrative around them, push their boundaries and emerge as a change-maker in society.
Who can be a fellow?
3 simple criteria to be a part of this journey where you understand, empathize, learn and grow by being a change-maker for you’re the community are as follows –
– Anyone who identifies as woman across all the social identities between the age of 20 and 25 years.
– Fluent in Hindi (mandatory) and any one of English/Marathi/Gujarati
– Comfortable with substantial fieldwork and local travel within Mumbai city.
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One who is willing to understand the gender issue not only on the surface but with great passion and is ready to work on women empowerment.
– Ready for relentless learning experience including grassroots-level fieldwork.
– Enthusiastic to facilitate workshops for 13 to 14-year-old girls in school.
Objectives of The Gender Lab Fellowship:
-Be a voice and leader for the young women in India by making them pass through a life-transformational process
-Create an inclusive and intersectional learning experience for women that will focus on building self-awareness, leadership skills and sisterhood
-Most of the time uneducated women are not even aware of what an equal society looks like because of what they are taught from their childhood. This fellowship aims to make women more socially aware so that they can understand the gender bias they are facing in their life and hence break their stereotypes as they become more self-aware
-Everyone aspires to be an independent person who can lead his/her life the way that person wants without any hesitation or pressure from society or family. This fellowship gives women a safe environment where they can express themselves, work on their dreams and become independent.
“There is a need for girls and women to step up for each other, demand and create spaces for girls and women to discover their true potential, design their dreams and make them a reality. All of this is possible when girls have the right opportunities, skills and support system: That is what I want this fellowship to be”
– Ayushi Banerji, The Gender Lab
This fellowship will include:
-A community track where all the fellows initiate research projects on issues of gender-based violence in marginalized communities and then conduct events that revolve around feminist themes to make the women in the program more aware of their rights which can help them to take action and speak against the social evils that are generally a part of such communities more often as compared to the educated part of the community.
-Each fellow will train around 250 to 300 school girls for a community service-based leadership program.
-A learning track where the fellows themselves become more self-aware regarding their gender stereotypes which block their development in different ways.
-One of the major reasons that our education system has not been so much success is because it has never promoted different and fun ways of learning and focused mainly on memorising things which doesn’t have that much significance in this era where we have enough technology to serve most of this purpose. However, this fellowship ensures fellows’ development through different types of interventions like art, storytelling, role model meet-ups, movement, reflection activities, mental well-being practices, group conversations, reading, etc. This helps in the overall development of a fellow rather than just focusing on one aspect.
Application and Selection Process:
Step 1: Fill out the Application form by 12th May 2022
Step 2: Shortlisted applicants will receive an application after 30th April 2022.
Date of submission: 10th May 2022 to 25th May 2022
Step 3: Shortlisted applicants will be called for in-person interaction from 25th May 2022 to 31st May 2022
Final announcement of Fellows: 1st week of June
Indicative Timeline of Fellowship:
1st July 2022 to 1st April 2023
Note: All dates are subject to changes
20,000 per month for 9 months. Rs.5000 additional for outstation fellows for accommodation