Rates of gender-based violence remain high during college in India, a time of adolescent malleability where gender norms, gender perspectives, and responses to violence are open to change. Few gender-based violence interventions focus on college students and even fewer on bystander intervention as a preventative approach – a concept novel to India.
This cross-sectional study reached 603 college students in India to examine current gender norms and perspectives, bystander intervention behaviours, and discussion of gender-based violence on campuses. Statistically significant differences were found between male and female college students in all scenarios of bystander intervention response and frequency of discussion of gender-based violence. Multinomial logistic regression analysis showed significant differences in those who had never seen violence or had a positive bystander intervention response, compared to those who responded negatively. Given the findings, targeting college students appears a promising approach to change the narrative of gender-based violence and norms in India.
A team of George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health (GW) graduate students (Stephanie Asher, Kayla Thompson, Gayatri Malhotra) led by Dr. Amita Vyas, the Director of the Maternal and Child Health Program, conducted an assessment of the ‘Empowering Youth with Gender Based Violence Training’ project. In 2018, this project piloted the Yuva Mitra Workshops in collaboration with Vasavya Mahila Mandali (VMM) and Girl Rising (GR) /Global Financial Strategies in India.
This project, the pilot of which reached over 900 youth in 30 colleges across 3 cities in India (Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar, and Visakhapatnam) by early 2019, aimed to prevent gender-based violence (GBV) by equipping college students with the knowledge and skills needed to address this complex issue on college campuses in India through the Yuva Mitra workshops. The Yuva Mitra workshop module is designed to provide trainers information and resources to foster meaningful discussions centered on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) and encourage participants to leverage powerful storytelling to affect change.
Global India Fund organized 5 communication training workshops focused on the prevention and treatment of gender-based violence for local policy makers, community activists, community and organization leaders, and youth leaders in 5 second-tier cities of India.
Each workshop included experts from the United States, Nepal, and India. Global India Fund worked in close partnership with Samhita Social Ventures and Girl Rising to develop the content, organize, and implement the workshops, to ensure successful outcomes during and after the workshops. Further, a web presence was created to provide participants with materials and social media (Facebook and What’s App) groups were created to keep participants and speakers connected to one another for follow-on projects and collaboration. The following report provides details on each workshop and a summary of key outcomes