Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Corinne Rose - Trust Administrator

As part of UN Women’s 16 days to End Violence Against Women, we have been interviewing some of the staff and women involved here at Sambhali. This is part 3 – an interview with Corinne, our Trust Administrator. Corinne started as a volunteer in Sambhali in 2009 and established the sewing centres for the graduates, the Boutique and the international orders as well as doing the administration work. She returned to the UK in 2014, from where she has continued to fulfil her role of Administrator.

Corinne with the Graduates

Living in India for over 5 years, Corinne has experienced the lack of equality between men and women and feels that domestic violence is caused through men feeling inadequate – that they feel that they are unable to provide for their family financially, due to their low-paid job or lack of education; they often have large families and so many mouths to feed and feel the pressure of responsibility to provide for them. Men feel dominant in this patriarchal society and therefore women aren’t able to take an equal role in the marriage and consequently an equal share of the overall responsibility.  Male pride hinders any real discussion in discussing practical and personal problems and men can then turn to alcohol which exacerbates the situation. In India the drink of choice is whisky, which they may have started at the age of 16 and so alcoholism sets in at an earlier age – mid-30s. Even though these men may have had a good education, a good job and a lovely family, they cannot or do not want to understand what alcohol does to their bodies. Education on alcoholism is absolutely necessary. Corinne feels that more support and education should be provided; more workshops where men can seek help to understand their addiction and the need for support; similarly, counselling groups for men who are prone to violence to gain an understanding and prevent abuse happening.

TV programmes and advertising would be one of the most influential ways to help change the attitudes of men towards domestic violence.

  • To stop all domestic violence in tv soap operas which all sectors of society avidly watch on a daily basis. (Men usually seen slapping women as a normal mode of behaviour).
  • Use TV as a platform to show that it's ok for men to seek help through support groups/alcoholism groups and how their family benefits.
  • To promote equality of girls and boys to demonstrate to parents with existing preference for the boy child

Also to provide education in the state school curriculum to educate children to have respect for each other using role-play workshops to educate the next generation.  

Help to empower women and provide them with vocational training so they are able to provide an income for themselves and their families.  To encourage gender equality by providing women and girls with self-esteem and self-confidence in their own abilities.

Words & photography by Corinne Rose

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