The two-day Gender Training Workshop on Gender and Disability was organized on 23rd and 24th September at the Rural Development Institute, Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust, Dehradun. Ms Pratishtha Arora and Ms Rashmi Mishra from Centre for Social Research conducted the training for 28 middle and front line workers in total. The main idea was to provide the knowledge and tools to help mainstream gender, age and disability into all interventions of the organization, so as to be inclusive in meeting the minimum standards of comfort structures for the differently abled. This will, in turn result in building better programs, which would reduce risks faced by vulnerable groups and respond to those most in need.
There were number of issues raised during the training to be discussed for example: acceptance of disabled child at home with family and extended relatives is a huge challenge in the first place. A better education system considering the disabled as a priority is a prime concern then. Freedom for selection of subject to build it as a career is not easily accessed. There are also no provisions for proper food and sanitation services, and a qualified standard of environment, for specially able people at workplace and institutions is not maintained. An environment friendly and comfortable transport system is to be ensured for providing further encouragement to the disabled to come out and work.
Apart from all of these, media has to play a pivotal role in highlighting positive success stories on the issue of disability. There has to be recognition of proper channels to eradicate myths related to impaired people. Balance and equality in education is to be considered first and foremost. Right attitude and behavior should be practiced and promoted towards handling disability. There should be support on different aspects and institutions through media.
The participants of the training still wished to have a longer section to understand the law aspects on gender and sexual harassment including disability as an issue, along with more number of activities and games to understand the concepts much better. Focus on various innovative examples related to disability. The rationale behind this training was to eliminate prejudices and cultural, attitudinal and environmental barriers that different genders, persons with disability and older people experience. It was also to explain the roles towards gender, disability and age, play in discrimination and how these attitudes can be influenced. Finally, mainstreaming gender, age and disability in organizations through advocacy and influence the management process, was also one of the goals of this training.
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