an RNP initiative
Recalibrating Gender Equity
There’s a refreshing narrative taking shape within Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies’ (RNP) wide-ranging scope: a select set of non-profits daring to challenge, and change societal norms surrounding gender roles in India. The objective is not solely to uplift women, but to educate and evolve the understanding of masculinity among men and boys. It’s a bold move to deconstruct centuries-old patriarchal beliefs that placed men upon a pedestal.
When it came to rebranding this ambitious portfolio, merely tagging it as ‘Young Men and Boys’ was insufficient. Instead, the goal was to have a name echoing the noble aspirations of these pathbreaking non-profits. A name that resonates with the hearts of the people involved, signalling an ideal they strive to achieve.
In order to understand the changing narrative of masculinity and the societal expectations surrounding gender roles, we immersed ourselves in extensive research involving men and women from diverse socio-economic strata. The summary of this exploration have been documented here.
A new name emerged from this journey: ‘Laayak’. It elegantly encapsulated the aspirations and apprehensions of the modern Indian man — the yearning to be deemed ‘capable’ and the fear of being labelled ‘naalaayak’ or ‘incompetent’.
Our study also painted a more nuanced picture of societal attitudes towards men, shedding light on the double-edged sword of male privilege that metamorphoses into the burdensome expectation of responsibility and performance as they grow older. Delve into the depths of this transformative project here.