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Yuva Maitri - Engaging young men on gender issues

Apr 09, 2013

Yuva Maitri, a gender sensitisation programme in Maharashtra uses innovative youth-friendly communication tools to promote a healthy dialogue among young men on sexuality, masculinity, patriarchy and related issues.

Since 1993, Men Against Violence and Abuse (MAVA) has been working to build a movement that explores the role of men as partners and key stakeholders in addressing gender inequality.

In 2006, MAVA launched a new initiative, 'Friendship among youth' or 'Yuva Maitri' in Marathi to engage young men from rural colleges in Pune on gender related issues. These students were trained under a ‘Personal change’ plan for a year with guidance from gender experts and sexologists and the usage of innovative tools like interactive workshops, awareness songs and wall newspapers.

Many of these students went on to become ‘trained communicators’ and spread MAVA’s message of gender equality among their peers.

The initiative has gradually spread to Mumbai, Satara, Kolhapur and Jalgaon as MAVA has partnered with women’s organisations and local universities to conduct Yuva Maitri workshops and training sessions. To date, Yuva Maitri has reached more than 20,000 young men and 5,000 young women encouraging them to break gender stereotypes.

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