Commensurate with Goal 5 of the United Nations Development Programme that is aimed towards ending all discrimination against women and girls, the SAMAANTA project is our attempt at creating sensitivity amongst school children to become more aware of the prevailing gender disparity issues.
When we started our research, we came across some disconcerting facts, which strengthened our resolve to do something in this area and try and make a difference! According to a report published by UNICEF:

  • Sex ratio at birth decreased from 905 in 2001 to 899 girls born per 1,000 boys in 2011
  • Under – 5 mortality rate for girls in India is much higher when compared to boys
  • 56% of girls in the age group of 15-19 years are anaemic compared to 30% of boys

  • 27% of girls in the age group of 20-24 years were married before 18
  • Only 12.7% of land holdings are in the name of women, even as 77% women rely on agriculture as their primary source of income
  • A significantly large percentage of women in India think it is sometimes or always justifiable for a man to beat his wife

- Gender Disparity in Education
In India, traditionally a boy’s education has been seen as an investment, increasing the earnings and social status of the family; however, different standards apply for girls. The benefits of a girl’s education are generally seen as going to the family she marries into, thus providing little incentive to invest scarce resources into her education. However, these attitudes vary widely, even within India from rural to urban.
According to the Census of India in 2011, the disparity in education between boys and girls is clearly visible in India’s literacy rates – 82% of boys are literate while only 65% of girls can read and write.
While the number of girls in schools has been steadily rising, we have a long way to go! The importance of keeping girls in school is clear. Educating girls is not only fundamental to achieving broader equality between the genders but has positive ripple-on effects that can improve the wider well-being of communities and the nation.

- Gender Disparity at the Workplace
According to the latest World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report 2018, India ranked 72nd in terms of wage equality for similar work indicator. According to the survey, the gender pay gap spans across key industries. IT services showed a sharp pay gap of 26% in favour of men, while in the manufacturing sector, men earn 24% more than women. However, this is only part of the picture. Across the unorganized sector and especially in areas like agriculture, women are routinely paid significantly less than men, citing differences in capability.
Further, our country is ranked a deplorable 142nd in the economic opportunity and participation sub-index of the same survey. This is evident from the negligible percentage of women in senior leadership positions across companies in India.
Till India’s social stigma against women in the workforce and the general environment of social injustice against women is not tackled, this trend will continue to remain unchanged

Our Vision

“Our vision is to create an equitable and just society where boys respect girls as equal stakeholders in all aspects, and girls don’t think less of themselves than boys.”

About the SAMAANTA Project

We believe that today’s young generation should be brought up in a way that both our boys and girls understand the value of ‘equal opportunities’ and learn to respect one another. The fact that boys and girls are ‘equal, not same’ is something that should be entrenched into our children from a very young age. Through SAMAANTA, our endeavour is creating awareness about gender equality so that women and girls become equal partners in the growth and progress of the community at large.

The goal of the SAMAANTA project is simple. Women and men must be given equal opportunities and knowledge so that we can tackle the issue of gender disparity that has been deep-rooted in our society for centuries.

The project has a targeted approach to accomplish this goal by:

Creating greater awareness regarding the biases that exist in our society, and how they impact the youth of today.

This is done through

  1. Creating greater awareness regarding the inherent biases that exist in our society, and how individuals internalise this in their mindset.
  2. Conducting gender sensitivity training sessions to gauge the current situation
  3. Reporting these findings and creating meaningful programs that make young people aware of the prevailing situation

More specifically, we will conduct a gender sensitivity training session for young boys to aid them in better understanding the problem of gender disparity. The session will be conducted by seasoned counsellors, who have been working in this field for several years.

Our team of advisors will create the gender sensitivity curriculum, modelled on interactive video-based learning, a teaching guide and workshops for students to learn, while engaging in fun activities.

Through SAMAANTA, we will also provide unique opportunities for young women across India to pursue their dreams – both, academically and professionally.

Creating greater awareness regarding the biases that exist in our society, and how they impact the youth of today.

The Implicit Association Test (IAT)

The SAMAANTA Implicit Association Test (IAT) measures the strength of associations between demographic groups (e.g., black people, gay people) and evaluations (e.g., good, bad) or stereotypes (e.g., athletic, clumsy). The main idea is that making a response is easier when closely related items share the same response key.

It works through comparing various external data that can be analyzed to draw out any hidden biases, like time taken per question, etc.

Throughout the course of the test, we explore a number of categories, which are as follows:

  • Sports
  • Jobs
  • School subjects
  • Clothes
  • Feelings

We then conduct a comparative analysis against the following categories:

  • General
  • Age
  • Gender

Our Partners

Vidya School

AVPN Asia Gender network

The Shri ram School, Moulsari (teaching Staff)

About the Founder
Maahir Bharat Ram

Maahir Bharatram is an 11th grade student of the Shri Ram School, Moulsari in the national capital region of Delhi. He is driven by a versatile range of passions: gender equality, coding, debating and his one true love: music production. Be it performing in front of an audience of 10,000 or delivering a dialogue on gender prejudices, Maahir remains undaunted.

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