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Evaluation of a film-based intervention to empower girls and young women in Tamil Nadu

December 13, 2019

The spinning mills in Tamil Nadu, in southern India, provide a vital source of employment for local communities. For their workforce of largely young women and adolescent girls, however, these mills can also be sites of gendered labour exploitation, harassment and abuse.

The Freedom Fund’s local partners work closely with mills, workers and local communities to improve access to equitable and safe employment. To this end, the Freedom Fund along with local NGO partners and Novo Film developed a film-based curriculum to support young women and girls in affected communities to recognise and protect their rights around education, working conditions, workplace harassment and mental health. 

The curriculum, entitled “Call Me Priya”, combines locally made Tamil language films with participatory learning sessions. To date 11,000 girls and young women have completed the curriculum and a further 14,000 adults and adolescent boys have also participated in adapted versions of the curriculum.

Call Me Priya

A new evaluation of the “Call Me Priya” film-based curriculum by Praxis India found that the course had a clear impact on the knowledge, attitudes and propensity to take action among the young female participants. In particular, the evaluation reported:

  • The proportion of girls age 15 & under who were out-of-school decreased from 9.0% to 4.4% between baseline and endline.
  • Positive attitudinal changes in adolescent girls who attended the curriculum towards seeking gender-equitable employment (36.8% increase) and safer working conditions (34.2% increase).
  • Greater knowledge among participants of wage entitlements (from 19.2% of participants to 48.4%) between baseline and endline.
  • After completing the curriculum, a greater number of the participants reported they would speak up about sexual harassment at work (36.8%) to both peers and management, and take stronger action in the face of employer bullying (59.9%).
  • Improvements in mental health, with 39.1% of girls in the program showing a 10% or higher gain in mental health scores between baseline and endline. 42.2% of girls also showed improved resilience.

The 4-page summary report is available here.

The full report is available here.

Written by
The Freedom Fund