To Walk Like Boys - The Limit of Gender Equality? : A Qualitative Evaluation of the Facilitator Role in The Adolescent Project Conducted by The Sakhi Resource Center in Thiruvanathapuram, the Capital of Kerala, a State in the South of India
The Sakhi Resource Center is at the moment conducting an educational program for adolescent girls and village health care workers in the district of Trivandrum, Kerala. Gender and sexual reproductive health are taught among other things. Classes are structured in a participatory way, giving the girls the opportunity to develop and practice their leadership and organizational skills among other things. One of the aims of The Project is to increase the confidence and sense of coherence of the girls and thus raise their ability to act in an empowered way in their societies. Another is to educate and engage health care workers out in the villages. The health care workers are Facilitators in The Adolescent Project. The Facilitators are both being educated by the Project staff and then themselves educating adolescents in The Project.
The purpose of my study has been to evaluate the role of The Facilitators in The Project with the focus on gender. My research method is case study, and my empirical results are based on observations and nine in-depth interviews with The Facilitators. I have also studied Project Documents. I have used gender theory and theories of empowerment along with postcolonial theories of intersectionality. The Facilitators have a key-function here as after the project they are intended to continue conducting classes in the villages. I have found for example that the motivation to become a Facilitator in the Project can often be traced back to personal experiences from adolescence. I have focused on the Facilitators’ attitudes and found a tendency for them to promote arranged marriages and set limits on gender equality. I have also focused on how the Facilitators experienced results gained from the Project, both for them themselves and for the adolescents. In the analysis I have suggested that Sakhi could put more emphasis on the student role of The Facilitator to ensure gender sensitive project running in the future.
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