I went to one of the villages for my fieldwork with two other people(one female and one male). We were working on our respective interest areas. One of them was working on crop management, other was working on healthcare systems and I was working on education for different age groups’ women.
After doing some primary fieldwork, I took an appointment to meet the Sarpanch. As per my knowledge the Sarpanch was supposed to be a “she”. But, I witnessed her husband making all the decisions and could sense that how women reservation in politics works.
I greeted him and started showing him my plan of action. Within 10-20 seconds, he asked me if I have any male with me to have the conversation. I asked him if I should explain differently. He said,”no, I would like to talk to a male.” I thought maybe he’s not comfortable talking to a woman. I asked my colleague to come and talk to him; fortunately, we had a whole night discussion about my plan. So, without any persuasion, he came to help me out. Highly supportive guy he is!
The moment he entered, the so-called Sarpanch stood up, shook his hand and said with so much disgust on his face, “these women,I tell you,have no brain, I can’t stand listening to them.” He looked at me and said, “let this young man do the work, please sit and have some tea.”
For another two hours, what I could see was two men talking about how woman’s education is a crucial component for the betterment of the village and society.