Cricket Can Help End Domestic Violence
Parivartan Program Uses Novel Approach to Target Boys, Change Attitudes
Shreshtha Kumar, Kasturi Nath +9873077438, 9811847985, [email protected]
The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), in collaboration with the Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF), Mumbai School Sports Association (MSSA) and Apanalya, and with financial support from NIKE Foundation will launch its Parivartan program in Mumbai on March 8, International Women’s Day. Parivartan will use India’s most popular sport to teach boys how to be respectful towards women and, in turn, help reduce violence against women. The program is endorsed by cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar who said, “Winning a match is important for a coach but [a] big part of the job is helping to develop [a] solid, responsible young player who is able to become an upstanding citizen.”
According to recent statistics one out of every three married women in India report being physically or psychologically abused at least once in their life. Indeed, many women and girls in India are exposed daily to several forms of violence, from routine ‘eve-teasing’ [harassing girls and women using abusive language and postures] and sexual harassment in public to sometimes fatal physical beatings at home.
Ravi Verma, ICRW’s regional director for Asia said: “Parivartan will go some way to redressing this imbalance. The program is modeled on the belief that the influential power of coaches and community leaders as mentors and role models for young men. We believe that when young men have access to role models of peaceful, gender-equitable men in their lives, they are more likely to embrace these characteristics.”
With Parivartan, ICRW and its partners will aim to engage cricket coaches to teach 1,000 budding and aspiring cricketers to be respectful and help stop violence and harassment of women and girls. The program is a way to test and adapt the “Coaching Boys into Men” program in the United States developed by FVPF. About 25 coaches and 16 mentors have been recruited and are attending regular workshops in Mumbai. These coaches and mentors, and their athletes, will participate in various activities through Parivartan, which will work with formal and informal community-based cricket programs. Coaches will learn how to identify “teachable moments” on the field where they can point out inappropriate language and behavior and explain how to change them. ICRW will measure the impact of the program on the boys as well as the women and girls in their lives.
“In India, as in many other countries, gender inequity and abuse against females is socially accepted. Unequal power between men and women has, over time, led to domination over and discrimination against women and girls by men and boys. It is a harmful reality that leaves females at a high risk of experiencing violence, abuse and ill health,” Verma said.
ICRW’s mission is to empower women, advance gender equality and fight poverty in the developing world. To accomplish this, ICRW works with partners to conduct empirical research, build capacity and advocate for evidence-based, practical ways to change policies and programs.