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VISION

A world with zero gender based violence

MISSION

Every girl equipped with the skills to defend herself

THEORY OF CHANGE

When the burden of safety is lifted, girls begin to explore their true abilities.

Crime patterns have a definite social orientation. It is therefore important to break the social orientation to expect any change in the crime pattern.

Self-defence training takes embodied empowerment as its focus and purpose.

Unlike much safety advice which may limit women’s freedom, self-defence seeks to expand it.

Self-defense training changes women’s interactional patterns with strangers, even when those interactions do not threaten violence. In this way, self-defence training also acts as a deterrent to gender based violence. Thus, effective self-defence training arms women with the skills to avoid, interrupt, and resist assault.

The personality constellation that occupies assertion, physicality, non-traditional gender role, and physical self-efficacy, is quite similar to that of an athlete (Blinde, Taub, & Han, 1994; Salminen, 1990; Wrisberg, Draper, & Everett, 1988). These traits are associated in varying degrees to rape resistance.

In order to defend the self, a woman must perceive herself as having value over and beyond that of an attacker. Women must first feel entitled to be safe and respected. This is a pre-requisite for effective self-defence.

Given the current statistics of Crime Against Women (CAW) in India, and the flawed social structure that enables it, it is the need of the hour for the society, along with the government, to take prompt and strong steps to ensure the safety of women, and girls. Self-defence training plays a significant role in putting the power where it must be, directly in the hands of the girl.

We think it is extremely important to equip our girls not just with self-defence but also with the ideology behind it, one that teaches courage, one that teaches to be self-reliant, one that teaches respect for one another and one which we see as true em’power’ment for our girls. To achieve this end, as opposed to other self-defence training programs, which teach few skills over a couple of hours, we use a long-term engagement program, using physical practice as a means to access the mind. Unlike life skills program which teach skills like resilience, confidence and courage, where the participant must ‘think’ before ‘doing’, we use a ‘do’ approach with the physical body that organically changes the ‘think’, without resistance.

MukkaMaar exists to ensure that girls can connect with something that allows her to feel strong, not only physically but emotionally and mentally as well.

In January 2011, the International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES) Questionnaire reported that 24% of Indian men had committed sexual violence at some point during their lives.

As Searles and Follansbee (1984) wrote,

Traditionally, women have been socialized to believe that they are the “weaker sex.” Females socialized into the conventional feminine role have been taught to be passive, dependent, emotional, helpless, inadequate, ladylike, inactive, and incapable of protecting themselves. In order to avoid being victimized, they have been encouraged to limit their mobility and to rely for protection on men—fathers, boyfriends, husbands, police officers—or other external agents such as large barking dogs or burglar alarms. The emphasis on being soft, gentle, and ladylike has further hampered women as it has discouraged them from developing their physical potential and from expressing anger or aggression in any active or physical way. Taught not to rely on themselves and discouraged from developing the capabilities to be able to do so, females have thus been trained to be good victims.

 

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