Gender equality is a human right, but there is a persistent gap between what is being said and practiced. Gender inequality, orthodoxy, and resilient oppression for centuries have limited access to resources and opportunities for growth and development, including in the areas of health, education, employment, and the overall decision-making process for some. Even today, this disparity continues to impact the lives of all, often beyond the binaries of men and women, although statistically, women and girls are the most disadvantaged.
Given the chequered history of gender disparity in India, we acknowledge that people from all genders are essential for any intervention, and gender-transformative programs must be designed to keep the most vulnerable and marginalized people at the core of it. Having said that, PCI clearly identifies women and girls as the most vulnerable and hence needs greater attention to create a gender-egalitarian society.
Our gender-transformative strategies aim to develop and test models to promote participatory methods of bringing transformations in gender norms, behaviors and practices. Once the pilots are successful and a proof of concept is established, it is scaled up at various levels and advocated for better policy implementation. Our strategies take advantage of the community and household-based collectives and cliques to constantly re-energize the transformative processes. We devise our strategies to test several innovative solutions, including the engagement of men as partners towards developing equitable gender relations. We promote joint household decision-making practices for improved reproductive and sexual health, family planning and nutrition outcomes in an appropriate and dignified manner.
Underpinned by the established theories/frameworks of empowerment, positive shifts over the empowerment continuum among all participating women and girls are critical to our success. Our solutions are developed keeping the gender factors and the socio-ecological contexts into consideration, making them most feasible and acceptable in the communities. Strengthening community platforms is integral to our designs, as we believe that local resources are critical to the sustainability of any effort and continuing the drive towards positive change.
PCI works across the life stages of women and girls starting from pre-adolescence through pregnancy and post-pregnancy phases of their lives. We have successfully created solutions for addressing girls’ leadership, strengthening women’s collectives to seize the prevalence of child marriage, creating localized resource centres through women’s collectives to address many more vulnerabilities of women. Our successful interventions on empowering women, especially young mothers, towards better health and nutrition practices of children and themselves have received acknowledgments at various national and global forums. We have also developed a range of solutions for men’s involvement towards improving the health and nutrition status of the family and the overall well-being of the households.
To implement all these strategies, we primarily work in partnership with the government and provide technical support to the government and its platforms. Most of our solutions reach the masses by leveraging the Self-help group (SHG) platforms nurtured by different State Rural Livelihood Missions (SRLM).
We aim at dignified and rightful living from all free from all forms of discrimination, abuse, atrocities, and gender-based violence through our programs.