In Mumbai thousands of girls and boys are forced to live on the streets due to poverty and domestic abuse. Some of the more fortunate children are being supported by children’s shelters, which not only provide a safe place to sleep but also provide them with an education. This week that education included being educated about the importance of achieving gender equality in India, and around the world. To help teach the children about gender equality they have been watching a short animated film developed by The World’s Largest Lesson India, specifically for children in India, ‘The Switcheroo‘.
This story, which is also available to download as a comic book in six languages, sees a young boy and girl in Bangalore switching bodies after touching a magic rock. The children (who have alter egos as superheroes) then experience what it is like to live in each others shoes, with the boy noticing for the first time what is expected of the girl he lives next door to – including not being able to study or play because she has to help out at home. The children eventually switch back and agree to support each other in their superhero adventures, as they travel around India using their powers to help achieve gender equality and the other sixteen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
This year’s International Day of the Girl, on October 11th, focuses on creating action and momentum to achieve the goal of gender equality by 2030. As Chakra the Invincible and Mighty Girl (the superhero characters in the comic) state, we must all take action if gender equality is going to be achieved. This action needs to start young; if children are educated on the importance of gender equality from a young age then a new more equal social norm will be created.
The World’s Largest Lesson India has developed free and engaging materials to help educators and civil society to teach all children in India not just about the gender equality goal but about all the Sustainable Development Goals. All of our comics can be downloaded for free on our website: http://worldslargestlessonindia.globalgoals.org/using-the-power-of-comics/.
On this Day of the Girl we call on everyone to take action to share the gender equality film and comics with children and young people. If everyone does this one small action we can help build a more equal generation and achieve gender equality by 2030. As Chakra the Invincible and Mighty Girl say “We believe in the power of equality!”