Namaste, my name is Indrawati from Nawalparasi. I am a facilitator for the “Change Starts at Home” project.
I have been working towards raising awareness about violence against women among my community members. We have discussions about various topics such as equal division of workload between a husband and wife, making decision together as a couple, gender equality, open communication between couples…
Many members come to me and tell me that their husbands have started to help them out with the household chores after coming to the weekly discussions. Some tell me that their husband never used to lift a single finger at home, but these days they help out a lot. They also tell me that they have realized that it is important to talk openly with their husbands and that there is no shame in talking about sexual relationships as it plays an important role in having a strong and healthy relationship…(some) used to fight before and not talk to each other for days. But these days, listening to the program and the weekly discussion, the couples talk to each other and try to get to the root of the problem rather than acting cold towards each other.
One member recently had a baby, the following week when we were having the weekly discussion, she arrived earlier than any of us. I asked her why she was there so early, she told me that she feared I would not let her attend the session as she had just given birth, so she came in earlier than everyone just to make sure that she was included! This just goes to show how this program has been able to captivate the heart of my group members. I asked her what she liked about the program so much.
I was worried at first that talking about sex would be difficult in the group but it wasn’t, everyone participated in the discussion. At the beginning most of the group members said that it was only men who needed sex but as the discussion progressed everyone agreed that it was needed equally by both men and women.
I myself have learnt so many things after participating in the program like power, violence and its types, life skills. Out of everything I have learnt so far, I liked Life Skills training the most because I can use this skill in every part of my daily life – it has helped me a lot to be aware about myself as well as my partner.