This project attempts to unpack, dissect and address the pervasive issue of gender-based violence by fostering behavioural change to prevent such acts. The catalyst for this stemmed from an inquiry to investigate the gendered repercussions of the pandemic, which intensified the deep-seated effects of the prevailing patriarchal framework within our society.
Violence against women is considered a 'women's issue', and women's issues are considered 'personal issues'. Personal issues are resolved and often sustained by the individual. By neglecting the societal underpinnings that contribute to such acts, our broader social fabric and political systems inadvertently sustain these harmful behaviours, placing the onus of prevention and resistance solely on the victims. In contrast, the community should foster and ensure a safe space where women, men, and all other genders can safely survive, thrive and prosper.
Considering the inherently social nature of gender-based violence, with its roots deeply entwined within a complicit society upholding patriarchal norms, the manifestation of such violence varies across urban and rural environments and within different social strata. This project focuses explicitly on rural Gujarat as the primary research region. An extensive exploration was undertaken to identify the different forms of violence (physical, psychological, economic) and their contexts (women as wives, daughters, sisters and members of social groups).
The objective is to influence social norms, facilitating positive shifts that empower women to reclaim their rights and agency as equal members of society while fostering an environment where perpetrators of violence, primarily men, recognize and respect women's autonomy. The overarching aim is to foster public discourse on violence and positively impact societal change. This project is a stepping stone in using design as a tool for activism, contributing to social causes, and changing one-dimensional narratives.