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Gender Toolkit

Gender and VAW Participatory Toolkit for Rural Communities


Oxfam GB East India Office has been working on the issue of Violence against Women (VAW) in Orissa and Jharkhand. The primary focus of its interventions has been to identify and challenge the practices and beliefs that maintain and approve VAW. Oxfam believes that VAW is one of the most limiting and unacceptable manifestations of gender discrimination.

Oxfam GB EOI partnered with Thoughtshop Foundation to develop a strategy and methodology to introduce basic gender concepts; challenge violence against women at the grassroots level.

Thoughtshop Foundation interacted with several women’s pressure groups and tried to identify development milestones. While new groups were at a stage where they had not yet accepted gender based violence as a real issue, older groups had evolved well knit strategies to prevent gender based violence at the household level.

    The kit is meant to be used to start a process of dialogue at the community level – to help the community begin to understand concepts of gender and violence against women at a basic level.
    It is designed for use with men and women (especially women belonging to pressure groups) in Jharkhand and Orissa.

    In 2005, this toolkit was field tested by Oxfam partners in Rajasthan (Kishangarh) and Andhra Pradesh. Based on the positive feedback, it was adapted to the Changemakers Workbook series, and are being used by We Can partners in 8 Indian states (Jan '06).

About the kit

This tool kit is part of a larger strategy and was developed
    To simplify complex ideas on gender/VAW for grassroots communities
    Standardise messages being disseminated on such subjective issues such as gender and VAW
    Help Oxfam partner networks in Jharkhand and Orissa build capacities of rural women’s pressure groups and involve men in the process of change.

The kit uses a non-confrontational approach and sees men and women as partners working together to bring change. The tool uses pictures and simple activities and is based on a participatory methodology which requires active involvement of the group. This encourages the group to share their views and opinions irrespective of their age, sex or educational background and helps build their self esteem and sense of responsibility. It also helps the group learn from and respect one another.

This training kit comprises a training manual and a set of 100 picture cards, packaged in a jute bag.


Training Manual

The manual is meant to help the community worker to discuss issues related to gender and violence against women at the community level.

The picture cards are to be used with men and women from rural communities. Training sessions are designed with 10 activities, with 10 picture cards used in each activity. Every activity begins with a question and builds consensus towards the answer.

Download English Manual
GVAW_manual_EN.pdf (1 MB)


gvaw manual


Section 1 : Gender Concepts

Activity 1: Is there need for change? Is change possible?
Change is needed. Change is possible.

Activity 2: Can roles of men and women change over time?
Roles of men and women change from time to time, culture to culture. Stereotypes can be broken.

Activity 3: Does society treat men and women equally?
Society treats woman unfairly. Men and women should enjoy equal rights.

Download picture cards, sets 1 to 3
GVAWcardset_1-3.pdf (1.2 MB)


gvaw set1
gvaw set3gvaw set2


Section 2 : Understanding Violence against Women

Activity 4: Who experiences violence more?
Women experience violence more, simply because they are women.

Activity 5: Why does a woman have to suffer violence?
Violence against Women is not acceptable.

Activity 6: What constitutes violence against women?
Violence against women includes acts that hurt a woman mentally, physically, emotionally.

Activity 7: How does violence affect the family?
Violence directed at any one person in the family affects the whole family.

Download picture cards, sets 4 to 7
GVAWcardset_4-7.pdf (1.6 MB)

gvaw set4gvaw set5
gvaw set6gvaw set7


Section 3 : Exploring alternatives

Activity 8: What does being a man really mean?
A man can be gentle and nurturing and still be considered manly.

Activity 9: Can men and women share responsibilities?
Men’s actions can help restore the well being of the family.

Activity 10: What can men and women do to prevent violence?
Men and women can work together to end violence against women.

Download picture cards, sets 8 to 10
GVAWcardset_8-10.pdf (1.2 MB)

gvaw set8gvaw set9
gvaw set10

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