The Action for Equality programme primarily focuses on men in the age group of 14-17 years from low-income communities. It trains mentors to engage successive generations of men; and through partnership places them into low-income communities. Mentors deliver a unique and attractive programme where adolescent men uncover the pivotal role of women in their lives.The programme is designed to provide men with knowledge, skills, peer support and leadership.
Action for Equality Programme (AFE) is divided into three parts – Graduate Programme and Alumni Programme and Leadership Programme.
AFE Graduate programmeThe AFE Graduate programme forms the foundation and lasts for 15 weeks. The curriculum that has been designed specifically for this programme covers topics such as: Equity, equality, patriarchy, what is discrimination, violence on self and on women, sexual and reproductive health, human rights and so on. Men who participate in the training are also coached through a process of personal behaviour change towards women using bespoke tools that help them manage their behaviour over time and how to apply them in real life situations. At the end of each cycle, men take collective action to support women in their community.
AFE Alumni ProgrammeIn order to reinforce and sustain the positive behaviour change in men demonstrated by them at the end of AFE Graduate Programme, continued opportunities must be provided for them to practise the new found pattern of behaviour. The Alumni Programme builds on this insight and provides volunteering opportunities for graduates on a weekly basis to develop, prepare and deliver interactive and multimedia community activities on issues that focus on violence and discrimination against women. This not only reinforces the behaviour change in the graduates but also increases their capacity to plan and implement the activities. This also benefits the women in the community who receive awareness information and practical advice on tackling daily life discriminations and violence. This is an ongoing activity and is conducted year-round.
AFE Leadership ProgrammeThe AFE Leadership Programme builds on the Alumni Programme. Most active volunteers are nominated to be leaders. They receive training on how they can gradually take complete ownership of the programme and the core objective in their communities. As a pilot in one community, these leaders have formed a committee of community members and are facilitating a dialogue to identify problems and relevant solutions to address the issue of violence and discrimination against women. Safety of women and girls is a primary topic of discussions. The objective here is for the leaders to take complete ownership so that an organisation like ECF is no longer needed in these communities.
- Over 2791 men have enrolled on Action for Equality Programme
- 1216 men have graduated from Action for Equality Programme from 20 communities across Pune
- Over 440 men continue to take action every week to support women in their communities
- Over 2000 men and women have benefited from the programme.
- Figures till date demonstrate that 61% of women who live with the graduates of the Action for Equality programme report a reduction in experience of violence or discrimination.
Over the next 5 years we want to:
Sustain: Continue to implement and further improve Action for Equality Programme and conduct robust monitoring and evaluation.
Expand: We have identified ‘partnerships’ as a key element to expansion. We are currently conceptualising a programme to provide incubation support to organisations that wish to start working with boys and men through their existing work. By end of 2014, we aim to start the pilot. We will provide basic structure to the partner organisations (based on Action for Equality), provide seed-funding for the selected few and coach them in adopting the principles of AfE to the context of their work. So, the communities we reach out to will be where the partner organisations are already working. Our preference would be to begin low-income urban communities. We will be open to working with organisations across India. In this manner, we aim to work with 100 organisations over the next 5 years.