Development of Distance Mode Learning Material to Give Gender Education to Tackle Discrimination for Social Transformation and Justice.

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

PCF5 Sub-theme: Governance and social justice // Discrimination is a global phenomenon. Each and every individual of commonwealth experiences gender discrimination since the same is prevalent in every nook and corner of the developing world. In most of the third world countries, women suffer from discrimination, injustice and violence, physically and mentally. // India has almost equal number of men and women in its democracy. However, even after 60 years of independence the status of both differs a great deal, owing to the gender iscrimination ubiquitous in our country. Even today, girls and woman are considered second-class citizens. Violence against women is on a rise. Women are very vulnerable to exploitation and injustice from the society. Unmarried, widowed, separated and divorced women across classes and communities suffer from dependency and are considered burden to the family and the society. Remarriage is more difficult for women than men. The indications of the secondary position and oppression of women are the obvious forms of violence like Rape, Abduction, Molestation; along with hidden forms of violence like feticide, discrimination in education and nutritional intakes, malpractices of dowry, early marriages, wife battering, male polygamy, eve-teasing, unfair wages, sexual exploitation and harassment etc. Gender discrimination pervades Indian society. The government is however attempting to improve the status of women both by making special provisions in the five year plans and by passing legislation such as the ‘Hindu Succession (Amendment) Bill’, 2004, giving daughters and sons equal right to property. The ‘Domestic Violence Act’ passed in 2005 also represents the culmination of years of campaigning by women's groups. However, the horrific inference of infanticide and other forms of violence against women has cultural considerations at its root, coupled with failure to enforce legislation. It was felt that a more direct approach of educating the masses to change their mindsets could help in attempting to tackle the inequalities and injustice in the society. // Paper ID 175