The plight of young boys in an Indian slum
While it is an undeniable fact that young girls have the odds stacked against them – especially girls living in developing countries; you only have to look at the statistics to see that young boys in these countries are vulnerable too. This is their story…….
Did you know:
Less boys enter secondary education than girls (Indian Ministry of Human Resource Development)
The annual average school dropout rate for teen boys is higher than teen girls (Indian Ministry of Human Resource Development)
38.7 million boys are forced into doing hazardous work (International Labour Organization’s World Report on Child Labour)
Nearly 53% of child sexual abuse cases were boys (Ministry of Women and Child Welfare)
Almost 55% of children physically abused in family situations were boys (UNICEF)
Just as many boys reported facing emotional abuse as girls (UNICEF)
Our partners across India, Bangladesh and Nepal are doing some amazing work in empowering girls and women. However, we must also recognise that if gender bias is part of the problem, then educating and empowering young boys must also become part of the solution.
Highlighting the gender imbalance
India has one of the world’s largest populations of young men between 13 to 26 years old. For too many their situation is dire; they are under-educated and unemployed. Within the three Indian slums we work in, few positive male role models or a secure and safe family environment.
The lines of masculinity, sexual harassment and violence can be blurred. Many believe that if you are empathic, emotional, sensitive or compassionate, you are ‘not man enough’.
The fact is that if we want to make generational change so that women and young girls to feel safe and empowered, the male power play around them must become fundamentally different.
How can we help
We are working hard with our Partners are working hard to address these issues. Through sports, after-school and mentoring programs, young boys are given the opportunity to create positive, concrete and innovative change within their own communities.
The sports program provides a safe place for boys and young men to build friendships and learn to work as a team. After training, boys are encouraged to share their hopes and dreams for the future and discuss social challenges without judgement.
After-school programs offer an alternative to roaming the streets, where boys can complete their homework, play with friends and learn about child rights, gender discrimination, human trafficking and child marriage. Then they’re encouraged to share what they have learnt with their community through street theatres and rallies.
A mentoring program also provides opportunity for young boys to be matched with positive male role models who encourage the boys to stay in school and out of gangs, while also facilitating positive conversations around difficult issues like neglect, fear in the home and child abuse.
By empowering young boys with positive relationships, life skills and awareness of social issues, we create a better community for all.
We are launching our #HesOnlyABoy campaign; a 12-month fundraising and awareness campaign highlighting the challenges faced by young boys in India and the steps we are taking to address them. Our aim is to raise $130,000 to fund activities that will help these young boys be boys again.
What can you do?
Donate now towards the steps we are taking to address this problem.
Join us and pray for change
Share on social media using #HesOnlyABoy @asianaidaus