Dated February 24th, 2018. Originally published on March 10th, 2018.
One Future Collective (OFC) organised its first Youth MeetUp on February 24th, 2018. Our theme for the afternoon was, ‘Developmental Issues in Gender’ and the participants were a diverse bunch, with people working in the field of finance, water and sanitation, politics, drama, law, and psychology joining for a three hour discussion on four sub-topics related to the theme — but first we got to know each other!
We started with an interesting icebreaker game of Human Bingo, wherein the questions were designed with an intersectional gendered focus, and the winner would complete a horizontal or vertical line of questions by engaging with the rest of the participants. This saw everyone scrambling to find a person who can name 5 female scientists (which was harder than expected!), or someone who can explain intersectionality in 30 seconds to complete their set and win.
The group then broke into smaller groups at different tables, we call this a ‘World Cafe’, each discussing a particular topic on gender for about 20 minutes before the participants could move to another table. This exercise continued until each participant sat at each of the four tables —
At Gendered Economics, the discussions flowed across several parameters: the opportunity cost of being female or trans, employment and recruitment, financial literacy and empowerment of women, the possibility of bringing domestic work /caregiving into the economy by ascribing an economic value to work that is usually seen as duty to be fulfilled in traditional Indian families. We also spoke about pink tax and femmevertising.
At the table discussing Sexual Violence, we talked about assault, the blurry lines of consent, and the idea of marital rape. The discussion traversed the lines of policy and law, discussing the ‘two-finger’ test for rape, and moved towards civic consciousness through bystander interventions. We also debated sex positivity and intersectionality.
The LGBTQIA+ table brought insights on the heteronormative syllabus in schools and how to integrate LGBTQ friendly education in the system. Gender fluidity was discussed with respect to policy making, for example — should we have gender-neutral bathrooms? We discussed the idea that inclusion must come from the included.
Media and Gender is a topic visible to most Indian movie-goers and TV show watchers. Our discussions centred around the portrayal of the genders in Indian cinema, and their stereotypical, problematic and often tokenistic approach. False standards for women and men, the portrayal of love, the commodification of the sexes, and the rise of Indie cinema was discussed, at this table.
The MeetUp concluded the way it began — with strangers getting to know each other and sharing views on subjects that matter. Our aim for this MeetUp and the ones that follow is simple: to start a conversation. Whoever you are, from whatever field of work, your voice as a citizen can affect change in policy.
We are One Future Collective, and we want to know what you want your world to be.
An introduction to the Youth MeetUp and what One Future Collective does.
Our lovely organisers at the registration desk.
The Human Bingo: Asking a stranger a weird question is the best way to break the ice.
At the World Cafe: the Gendered Economics table engaged in conversation.
The wonderful people who attended OFC’s first Youth MeetUp. The future is bright, folks.
The feedback from participants was immensely positive and gave us renewed hope for work ahead. One Future Collective hosts a monthly youth meetup based on different themes, to facilitate conversations among young people from diverse backgrounds, the next one is on March 24th!
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