Cricket, the gentleman's game, is helping in tackling sexism in Indian schools. In a country that's obsessed with Cricket, it is often seen as a game meant primarily for boys. However, a project run by the British Council has set out to use cricket and dance to fight sexism which students may face from a very young age.
The Changing Moves Changing Minds project by British Council aims to reach over 100,000 pupils aged 10 to 12. The project will challenge gender stereotypes through integrated physical education (PE) classes, using cricket and dance movement.
British Council ran a successful pilot devised and delivered in partnership with Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD). The pilot ran between February and May 2018, with 18 teachers and over 250 students benefiting from the project.
The project will now be launched for schools in India and will involve 1,200 teachers in government and private schools who will receive specialist training.
Sumita Kumari, a teacher at Jawahar Navodya Vidyalaya school in Dakshin Dinajpur, West Bengal, who was part of the pilot run by British Council spoke to BBC and said that around 80% of population in India is from rural areas where children are susceptible to face certain notions about gender roles.
"If a girl wants to participate in sports like swimming, playing soccer or cricket, they become victims of gender inequality. Likewise, if a boy is interested in cooking or wants to dance then society frowns on him. They face ridicule and non-cooperation from society," she told BBC.
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