As many people wanted to know about body mapping- I have written up two variants. The first is when mapping of one's body is used to discuss about pleasure, pain, shame and power associated with body parts, and another is when mapping of one's body is used to discuss about degree of control exercised by oneself over each body part. I use the second method more often than the first. The first method requires a great degree of trust. When used in evaluations changes need to be captured, as well as causality of changes. Comments are most welcome- as these methods are going to feed into a manual!

Body mapping  

Objectives

To map perceptions of women on which parts of their bodies gave them pleasure, pain, shame and power.

To capture nature of changes in perceptions on above during the project/programme period.

Assumption  

Given privacy and trust women will articulate their perceptions on such sensitive issues.  There are likely to be changes in sources of pleasure, pain, shame and power during the project/programme period

Methodology

Body mapping entails drawing map of the selected woman in private and gathering her perceptions  on which parts give them pleasure, pain, shame and power and why.

Method

1.  Choose a participant whose participation in the project/programme is average.

2.  Ask the participant if she has any objection in doing the exercise- explain what the exercise entails. If she has problems, discontinue the exercise.

3.  Ask the participant in which venue there will be some privacy and proceed to that place

4. Take necessary chart papers and stick them.

5. Ask the participant to lie down and you draw the outline of her body. Then ask her to draw different  parts of the body

6. Ask the participant which part of the body gives her pain and why. Ask her to use a particular sketch colour pen to mark that part

7. Ask the participant which part of the body gives her pleasure and why. Ask her to use a different colour sketch colour pen to mark that part

8. Ask the participant which part of the body makes her feel ashamed and why. Ask her to use a different colour sketch pen to mark that part.

9. Ask the participant which part of the body makes her feel powerful and why. Ask her to use a different colour sketch pen to mark that part.

10. Ask the participant if the sense of pleasure, pain, shame and power has changed during the project/programme period. If yes, ask them to use the respective colours and mark + or – on the body part.

11. Explore how the project/programme has contributed to changes in sense of power, pleasure, pain and shame.     

 

Also see:

Care, n.d, Care Gender Tool Kits Body Mapping, Last accessed 3rd March, 2013, http://pqdl.care.org/gendertoolkit/Pages/Body%20mapping.aspx


 

Mapping of control over body

Objectives

To map the extent to which women exercise control over different parts of their bodies, and explore whether the project/programme has expanded women’s control over their bodies 

Assumption

The method is premised on the belief that control over one’s body is best captured through indirect methods, rather than asking “do you exercise control over your body?”  Again this method is done in private wherein neither the partner/children of the participant nor other respondents are around.  

Methodology

Mapping of control over one’s body entails asking selected woman in private to draw a map of their body, and gathering their perceptions on which parts of their body they have control over. 

Method

1.  Choose a participant whose participation in the project/programme is average.

2. Ask the participant if she has any objection in doing the exercise- explain what the exercise entails. If she has problems, discontinue the exercise.

3.  Ask the participant in which venue there will be some privacy and proceed to that place

4.  Take necessary chart papers and stick them so that her body can be drawn.

5. Ask the participant to lie down and you draw the outline of her body. Then ask her to draw different body parts

6.  Ask the participant to begin with the head and ask whether she feels she has control over her thoughts? Why? Ask her to rate using a scale of  ‘*’  to ‘***’, the greater the number of starts the higher the rating.

7.  Next move to eyes, ears, nose, mouth, hands, breasts, stomach, uterus, vagina and legs, and repeat the same exercise.

8.  Ask if she took the whole body, did she feel she exercised control over the same. Again ask her to rate using a scale of ‘*’ to ‘***’. 

9. If the woman does not want to answer control over sexual organs do not force her. 

10. Explore how the project/programme has contributed to changes in degree of control over body.

 

 

    

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Hi Ranjani,

Very nicely elaborated. so far i have used body mapping for different purpose - working with adolescent girls and boys to talk about reproductive health, anatomy, physiology finally leading to social contrsue of Gender. Each group a different response or may be I should say some responses are unique to that group but some are common across. the feelings of initial shyness, giggles, curiosity and at the end the sense of achievements expressed through smiles. But we have seen it giving them more confidence. Have never used it as an evaluation tool but would love to use the same in appropriate setting. Thanks a lot for sharing this.

Amita 

 

Dear Amita

How you are using for ASRH training is also interesting. How do you lead the discussion to social construction of gender?

The way you are using it can also be used for evaluation, if a year later you ask them to draw their body and explain the function of different parts and how they have challenged social taboos around different ones

With warmth on IWD

Ranjani 

Hi Amita,

While facilitating this tool do you engage female facilitators for girls and male facilitators for boys?

thanks

Rituu
 
Amita Abichandani said:

Hi Ranjani,

Very nicely elaborated. so far i have used body mapping for different purpose - working with adolescent girls and boys to talk about reproductive health, anatomy, physiology finally leading to social contrsue of Gender. Each group a different response or may be I should say some responses are unique to that group but some are common across. the feelings of initial shyness, giggles, curiosity and at the end the sense of achievements expressed through smiles. But we have seen it giving them more confidence. Have never used it as an evaluation tool but would love to use the same in appropriate setting. Thanks a lot for sharing this.

Amita 

 

Hi Rituu and Ranjani,

For some reasons the emails had gone as spam, saw it today.

We have used body mapping for training the Full time Medical Officer ( FTMOs) and Public Health Nurses (PHNs) who are part of the Public health department of Mumbai. This was a part of a pilot project run by Unicef, BMC  - Public Health Department and PSM Department of KEM Hospital in 2000. The FTMOs and PHNs were trained to conduct sessions on reproductive health and issues related to adolescence including nutrition, family relations, vocational guidance etc for the school drop out adolescent girls. As part of the training, these sessions were conducted seperately for FTMOs and PHNs and it so happened that except 1, the rest of the trainers were females. But while conduting the sessions in the slums, usually the reproductive health part was covered by PHN ( who were all females) where the FTMO was a male. the other topics such as nutrition, family were taken by male as well as female FTMOs.

Apart from this project, we have been conducting the sessions with school going adolescent boys and girls as well and then we have a clear devide - for boys usually a male conducts the reproductive health session and for girls, females. but after the session, there is a common session where other related issues are discussed.

We have also conducted the session for boys and girls togther but this was when they were comfortable with each other and did not mind session being conducted together. These were college going students.

 

About ranjani's question on how do we link it to social construction of gender, usually during body mapping, there is lot of discussion on individual parts of the body. some times adolescents are comfortable talking about organs related to reproduction but many a times they are not. This leads to discussion on why are we not so confortable talking about ' some parts' of our body . Is it that only women/ girls are not comfortable or it happens with boys as well. if yes, how & why. This in turn leads to discussion on how are these images, roles defined, do they change over the years.

Generally it is seen that if there is a constant group who meets at regular intervals, all these issues can be discussed in phases.  

Body mapping has also been used in targeted interventions with FSWs, MSM to understand and identify risk areas as well as pleasure areas and how to protect self.

Thanks Amita for sharing your useful experience Ranjani

Thanks Amita for this fantastic sharing. Would be wonderful if you have any story to share on this.

Hi Ranjani

Thank you for your further elaboration. I have trained this body mapping in a training of trainees on Community Conversation Enhancement, which is helpful to reduce spread of HIV/AIDS. really it is interesting to express their feelings especially for youngsters. most respondents gave the same response with some sort of deviations.

Bihonegn

Thanks Bihonegn for your response!

Ranjani 

Dear All,

I agree with Amita on how this exercise can be used. I have often stretched this exercise to help understand concepts on Sex, Gender, Sexuality, gender roles, sex roles ... etc. 

I do this exercise in two parts. Part 1 is the body mapping. In part 2 I given them art material and ask them to dress the body map. I use this along with the earlier exercise of power, shame, pain and  pleasure to discuss on concepts. I use small body cutouts rather than large maps. This helps each participant to introspect and understand their individual perceptions. 

Have found this very helpful.

Rohini

Thanks Rohini. That is interesting. Ranjani

Dear Ranjani,

I have done this (about 15) years ago as a participant of a feminist training. It was refreshing to see how it is being used as a evaluation tool.

How do then analyse the data as these would be largely narrative and with a lot of variation? Or have you found that a pattern emerges?

And would you use it for evaluations of only programs that have a clear agenda of gaining greater control over women's bodies?

Jahnvi

Dear Jahnvi

Thanks for your comments.

On consolidation tabulate, and say 'this many participants out of a total of __ said this...."

I have used body mapping in evaluations that talk about women's empowerment, after all women's empowerment means gaining control over one's bodies

with warm regards

Ranjani 

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