Year Two: Digging Deeper 2018
Just as the communities of Bunga, Cegi and Pengalusan, located on and below Mt Agung, were returning to their regular routines after six months of evacuation following multiple eruptions of the sacred mountain, PVI engaged the students in a follow-up project, at the students’ request. To follow up on Year One, we began by surveying both girls and boys on gender issues impacting their lives. The girls from these three communities told us that harassment was their biggest concern. They reported being harassed at school, at warungs (local eateries) on the street and even at the pura (temple). They also identified gender inequality in education, and child, early, and forced marriage (CEFM) as major concerns. Thirteen girl students from the 6 schools began working during the evacuation due to the volcano and did not return to school. The boys agreed with the girls’ decisions and were enlisted as “allies” in the program.
The students spent several months studying patriarchy, gender inequality, and the fight to keep girls in school both from a global perspective as well as by reflecting on how gender issues play out in their own communities. They also learned about sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence as well as why CEFM is a gender issue and its life-long consequences. They researched about women’s involvement in decision making, as well as the psychological and socioeconomic impacts of gender inequality. To take action on what they learned, the young participants developed campaigns against CEFM and sexual harassment, as well as campaigns to promote equality in education and girls’ involvement in recreational sports and encourage the creation of a school policy against sexual harassment.
student groups campaigned in schools, communities and to government leaders
trainers and teachers
HIGHLIGHTS AND RESULTS
The turning point in how the boys’ perception changed about sexual harassment was during a “talk show,” where the girls shared their experiences and feelings about sexual harassment. The boys were able to see that what they considered “teasing” was, in fact, hurtful. Almost immediately, most of the boys responded by taking responsibility for their actions, saying that they had not realized that their behaviors were so upsetting to the girls and that the behaviors fell in the category of sexual harassment. They said they like the girls and definitely did not want to be sexually harassing them. Once they realized that is in fact what they were doing, they immediately stopped doing it.
Some boys were initially skeptical about girls’ ability to play volleyball and soccer. After a heated discussion about girls’ inclusion in sports, they finally came to the conclusion that the skepticism comes from the fact that, in these three communities, girls had never been included in sports. While in other communities not involved in the Spark program, girls were already playing volleyball. In the end, the boys understood that if girls were included in sports from a young age, they would be able to develop the skills.
Only two boys persisted, but they stopped when we explained that there would be repercussions. Some boys and girls decided to focus on providing recommendations for a school policy against sexual harassment. When the two boys understood that their behavior would no longer be tolerated, they stopped. Interestingly enough, they ended up volunteering to join the group working on a campaign to raise awareness on street harassment.
Groups of girls and boys created posters on girls’ involvement in recreational sports, CEFM, equality in education, a video on gender equality as well as a music video combining three different projects: a song written by three boys about sexual harassment, a skit written by boys and girls on street harassment, as well as a campaign against sexual harassment at school by both girls and boys.
Initially, only girls worked to clean classrooms before and after school. Mid-way through the project, the girls and boys developed a system to take turns cleaning.
Youth were very proud of their achievements. The boys even proposed taking their campaigns to government schools and the three schools and communities not involved in the Spark program, which they did the following year.
Girls reported feeling braver and more confident about standing up for their rights.
Boys pledged to treat their children equally in the future, in terms of household chores as well as access to education. (Video on the
Boys took a strong stand for girls’ rights to equal access to education and equal distribution of household chores.
Cegi Hamlet created a hamlet-wide regulation against CEFM in 2019.
Darmaji Hamlet held a community-wide meeting to plan a hamlet regulation against CEFM in 2020.
Currently, 2021, both Darmaji and Manikaji Customary Villages are working on a customary law (pararem) against CEFM.
“Before the Spark program, harassment happened frequently at school and to girls, such as inappropriate touching and lifting up skirts. After Spark, thankfully harassment has decreased [in my community]. Furthermore, nowadays girls no longer experience harassment such as described [at school].”
VIDEOS FROM THE YOUTH
After six months of exploring harassment and other gender-related issues, the students were inspired to create anti-harassment campaign materials, supervised and assisted by PVI and EBPP teachers. This music video is a compilation of the work of three student groups: the song “Stop Pelecehan” (Stop Harassment) by the student band Volcano, a skit on street harassment, and a short educational clip on school-based harassment experienced by girls designed to accompany a new school policy on harassment.
Additionally, students share their thoughts on gender equality and child-age marriage in this video