A participatory exercise (Power Index – Understanding gender discrimination), Mukti in association with “OAK Foundation” has been performed by the woman collectives from Kuyemuri and Heramba Gopalpur moujas on the 3rd and 4th Aug under Amplifying Community Voices (ACV) Project. A total of 38 women participated from two moujas.
The concept of participatory exercise has been explained to them through a tool or exercise. The women have been asked to imagine a complete family where the family members would be the woman’s father-in-law, mother-in-law, husband, son and daughter and herself. After creating a generalized format the women have been asked to give a score to every individual member of the family on family work, rest, diet and medical priorities. They have been asked to score a number out of 100 based on each of the members’ positions based on the type of facilities or services they receive in decision-making, medical challenges, entertainment etc. They have been asked to add up the marks of every individual member obtained separately.
Then the women have been asked to score on the everyday household chores, such as farming, daily household work, animal husbandry etc. The scoring has been done on each of the family members’ contribution or effort towards these works. Basically, the listing has been done in the field of service- the first subject is on what a member is getting from the family and the second is what services she/he is receiving in return. Participants are asked to add the scored numbers.
The participants have been asked to subtract the sum of the second subject from the sum of the first subject. By doing this calculation, it has been found that according from highest to lowest score father-in-law, husband, mother-in-law, son or daughter got better marks but the daughter-in-law got minus scoring. Significantly, it has been noticed that the contribution of the wife in the family is the highest in providing services to the family, but she is behind everyone in receiving services.
Through this tool, it has been understood that the wife has no control over receiving and giving the services to her other family members. This result opened up a new horizon of discussion and thinking for the participants. They have understood what power is, how power depends on certain factors, why women are lagging behind in power, how they can balance receiving and giving services, how much they can ensure the areas of receiving, etc. The workshop was organized by Mukti to make them aware of gender discrimination and to uplift them from their present condition to a better life.