Let’s hear it for the boys!
Gender discrimination affects everyone in a community, which is why we’re working with boys and men, in addition to girls and women, to help improve fairness and equality.
In fact, boys and men also suffer the consequences of gender bias and stereotypes. Attitudes about what it is to be a “real man” or a “real woman” limit and oppress everyone. But formed and internalized throughout childhood, they’re usually left to solidify in adulthood and get passed along to the next generation.
At Plan, we help break that cycle by engaging boys and men in thinking about gender issues and showing them that girls’ rights are human rights.
“I think girl children get less opportunity in the family than boys,” says 22-year-old Feroj. “I would like to reduce the discrimination.”
By participating in Plan activities on gender awareness, boys are becoming more aware of inequality and how it negatively affects everyone around them, and they are becoming more emboldened to take a stand against previously accepted practices.
Ten-year-old Nur is now firmly committed to change: “I see how different life is for girls and boys, but I want to see all children get an education.”
Including boys is part of a big picture approach, and it’s a long-term investment in the boys, men, husbands and fathers of this community. But it is already yielding returns, even in this early phase of the project.
“Now I play with boys and girls both, and have no problem with that,” says Rouful, a 15-year-old boy. “Most of the children are going to school now and I feel happy that all my friends are here with me.”
View our slideshow to meet the boys and girls of Hatibandha!
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