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Gender Self Learning

As part of women empowerment activities a pilot project for GSL is running in four Block Panchayats and one municipality of Kerala, viz Nedumangad, Kanjikuzhi,Kodakara and Kanhangad blocks and in Aluva Municipality.In 2009-10 the project is being scaled up across the entire state.

Components of GSL

1. Selection of Resource Persons & Training

The project is implemented through a network of resource persons selected from among field activists and political representatives among women. At block Panchayath level there will be another set of resource persons for panchayat level, ward level and NHG level. Up to this time we have selected and trained around 6000 resource persons for the programme.

2. Module Preparation

The first module is in the thematic area of women and work. The preparation of modules for the ayalkootam discussion was a long process withthe participation of Block/Municipal resource persons. For this purpose block/municipal resource persons were oriented at a state level workshop and then each resource group prepared draft modules. The draft modules were finalized in a state level workshop of these resource persons. The logic behind such a workshop was to bring uniformity to the module and the logic behind preparing modules at block/municipal levels was to consider the local level issues in the module. At this stage modules were printed and distributed to Ayalkootams for discussion.

3. Brochure

A brochure inclusive of entire set of programmes has been prepared and distributed among the resource persons. It needs to be further distributed to the NHGs.

4. Module based training for Resource Persons

Entire pilot project area's module based training was conducted. The major objective of the training programme was to train resource persons to conduct module based discussions at the grassroots. Trainings were given for block Panchayath/municipal level resource persons. The trained resource persons conducted further trainings for village Panchayath level resource persons as well as for ward level resource persons. In total a number of 6000 resource persons have internalized the modus operandi of the GSL programme.

5. Starting Gender Self Learning at NHG level.

Heated discussions are taking place in the NHGs of the running pilots. Amazingly women are finding time to actively debate over the modules. Their voices and findings are being consolidated.

6. Gender Resource Centre

Gender Resource Center focuses on addressing gender concerns, and capacitating Kudumbashree NHGs and LSG representatives to develop gender sensitive policies and to prioritize gender sensitive action.

This would require constant collation and analysis of local gender issues and supporting a resource pool of gender experts to facilitate equitable policy setting and action in the field.

The concept of resource center in Kudumbashree is inclusive of human resource trained at each level. We are also on the process of getting up a library cum documentation on gender.