The Butterfly Project works to equip young Dalit and Muslim women from marginalised communities in Rajasthan and NCR to use digital media to address issues of identity, human rights, reproductive rights, discrimination, and women's and youth rights. The program increases their access to information on Sexual and Reproductive Health and develops their leadership skills to articulate, raise awareness of and advocate for equity, gender equality and freedom from gender-based violence with their families, community leaders and key stakeholders. To this end, The Butterfly Project works to empower young girls and women from Muslim and Dalit backgrounds as Young Women Leaders (YWLs) to:

  • Create awareness among stakeholders about the need to ensure gender equality and eliminate gender-based violence through interactive public events in each community.

  • Create safe spaces for young girls to voice their concerns, clarify information, access skill-building opportunities, and develop leadership abilities to mobilize and work with their peers.

  • Develop and disseminate key information in the community on the need to address early and forced marriage by advocating for Comprehensive Sexuality Education.


Our Impact

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Updates

  • August 2018: At Youth Insight, young women leaders from Pali and Bhilwara were present to participate in a national level forum and share their experience of leadership building and engage with policy makers as well as young people from TYPF’s other programmes.

  • August 2018: A policy engagement workshop was held with 42 young women leaders from Pali and Bhilwara in Udaipur, to increase their understanding of community and policy level advocacy platforms and helped them to build understanding on human rights framework including constitutional rights.

  • June 2018: TYPF began a direct engagement with young women leaders in Sundar Nagri in Delhi, after the Delhi-based partnership was discontinued. A centre was opened in Sunder Nagri for the young women who had been part of the programme for the previous year.

  • May-June 2018: Two district-level dialogues were held in collaboration with implementing partners, Federation for Education and Development (Doosra Dashak) in Pali and Jatan Sansthan in Bhilwara, Rajasthan. The dialogue was designed and facilitated by young women leaders who had been part of the The Butterfly Project over 2 years in both districts in Rajasthan. 130 young women leaders engaged with key individuals such as the Sub Divisional Magistrate, Block Development officer, Block Education officer, AWC supervisor, AWC workers and Sathins under the Meena Programme in schools in Rajasthan.

  • December 2017 - June 2018: Young women leaders carried out sessions on gender and gender based violence, early, forced and child marriage, growing up, puberty and menstruation in Pali and Bhilwara with 160 peers in their community.

  • November 2017 to March 2018: A scoping study was done to identify civil society organizations and programmes that work on advancing women’s SRHR and livelihood opportunities. The study objective was to map key players who facilitate the collectivization of young women towards improving their SRHR and/or livelihoods opportunities in Rajasthan. The scoping study provided a better understanding of the landscape of policies and government and non-government programmes that focus on young women’s empowerment.

  • February 2018: TYPF facilitated a training with 32 young women leaders in Udaipur. The training focused on issues related to gender, gender roles, sexuality, identities and impact of patriarchy and identities on a young person’s life. Even though the training managed to challenge assumptions of the participants around gender and sexuality, caste and religion emerged as two domains around which a change in attitudes seems challenging.

  • January 2018: Young women leaders, along with Sewa Bharat staff organized a Youth Connect festival to reach out to 90 peers. 35 Young women leaders led the event and conducted 6 parallel sessions on menstruation, gender, sexuality, body anatomy and contraception.

  • January 2018, TYPF conducted a 5-day long Digital Media Training Workshop with Point of View involving participants engaged in this programme from both states. Through this workshop, the participants learned to create stories, build characters, shoot and edit videos, and produce sound. Using these media, they told stories inspired by their own experiences of gender discrimination, lack of mobility and early marriage. This workshop provided the participants with knowledge and skills that would help them use audio and video media to bring about social change in their communities.


Testimonials

I started my journey with The Butterfly Programme in 2015. I got important information on sex, sexuality, gender, body anatomy and puberty, which I shared with other women in my community. While doing this, I was surprised to find that they didn’t have correct information about their bodies either! In 2017 my father was not allowing me continue my education but I got the confidence to negotiate with him. Now, I am in the first year of my Bachelors degree!
— Tulsi, 20, Kesuli, Pali
The Butterfly Project gave me a chance to go outside of my village. I met many other girls of my age and learned a lot through trainings.
— Rubina, 17, Kanha, Pali
The training sessions helped me understand important things, like consent and relationships and the differences between sex and gender. I also learned that that boys and girls are naturally equal! Initially my friends asked me not to attend the sessions, since they found the content vulgar and bad. Sometimes, my mother does not allow me to attend sessions. But I have learned to negotiate with her, since I know that information on sex, contraception and abortion is very important for us and there is no other way to get this kind of information.
— Shabana, 16, Sundar Nagri, Delhi
Initially I was confused about the information given at the sessions. I thought that this information is not necessary for me before marriage. But, after a few sessions, I started enjoying them. These workshops gave me a chance to come out from home and to hear the experiences of other girls of my age. Sometimes, I share the issues we discuss in the sessions with my mother. She always encourages me to make sure that I attend the sessions on a regular basis.
— Fouzia, 15, Sundar Nagri, Delhi

The Butterfly Project is funded by:

 
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Partners