Why Project Kal
My passion has always been gender equality. A couple of years ago, I came back from delivering a series of really successful workshops to female entrepreneurs and I was riding that post-workshop high when I read an article about two girls found hanging from mango trees in North India. It dawned on me then that I am constantly trying to solve a puzzle while looking at only half of the pieces. That was how Project Kal was born: out of my frustration with inadequate gender leadership strategies that do not focus on masculinity and on men.
Female gender roles have changed significantly since the 1950s and 60s. Male gender roles, however, have not. In Western countries, suicide is the leading cause of death of men under the age of 50. Meanwhile, every third woman will be a victim of gender-based violence in her lifetime. These are two sides of the same coin: toxic masculinity hurts men as much as it hurts women. From “boys will be boys” to “locker-room talk”, men’s toxic behaviors go unchecked. In turn, men grow isolated and incapable of dealing with their emotions in a healthy, non-aggressive way. Michael Kimmel said, “Feminism dares to expect more from men”, and that is the driving thought behind Project Kal. Men deserve better than what toxic masculinity has to offer them.
Project Kal is a gender leadership academy that targets young men and boys ages 14 to 18. We have developed a curriculum that examines behavior patters that lead to sexual violence, aggression and unhealthy habits. The curriculum has been in the works for two years and we have gotten inputs from leading feminists, sociologists and education experts to come up with a well-rounded approach to preventing gender-based violence before it happens. We believe the equal world is possible and that men and boys play a crucial role in building that world. Rather than seeing men as part of the problem, we see them as part of the solution.
The other faucet of Project Kal is gender leadership consultancy. We grew tired of seeing superficial, low-impact gender equality workshops and programs being deployed by companies and have consolidated our workshops into an in-depth program that examines corporate culture through a gendered lens. We look at how time and space are gendered (is the office building in a neighborhood that is hard to reach for female employees for instance), what unconscious biases benefit some over others and what practices lead to inequality. Our clients include multinational companies as well as startups wanting to get things right from the very beginning.
We have also partnered with Ampuz to deliver a one of a kind data-driven solution for companies trying to make sense out of Sustainable Development Goal 5 and want to integrate it across their business. Gender is the most cross-cutting of all categories represented in SDGs and deserves the spotlight. The Gender Module empowers institutions with a focus on gender balance through data and technology. We help you tell your gender impact stories authentically and effectively.