BREAKING THE CYCLE: ENGAGING MEN AND BOYS FOR PROMOTING GENDER EQUALITY AND ENDING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

The ERASMUS+ project ​Breaking the Cycle: Engaging men and boys for promoting gender equality and ending violence against women aims to encourage men and young boys to engage in gender equality and in the elimination of gender-based violence. In order to achieve this goal, the project aims to develop an advocacy strategy (a way of raising the issue and discussing it) for and by young people. Moreover, the project’s objective is to emphasize the need of including men and young boys in the strive for eliminating violence against women and to raise transnational awareness of men’s and boy’s role in gender issues.

The project will take place from 1 December 2018 to 31 January 2020 and consists of various activities organised by seven organisations from different countries. The project activities include seminars, research: how to involve young men in issues such as gender equality, a study visit, setting up an advocacy toolkit, training for young people and youth workers, local workshops and an e-learning course. The Breaking the Cycle project will result in training methods for youth workers on gender-based violence (GBV), innovative methods to combat GBV by engaging men and boys, methods to promote young people’s key competences in the field of advocacy and the advocacy toolkit for young people.

Samoa Victim Support Group

The Breaking the Cycle project started with a meeting organised by the Samoa Victim Support Group (SVSG), in January 2019. Jens, founder of Emancipator, was one of the participants. The mission of the Samoa Victim Support Group is to provide professional service to victims of crimes, such as domestic violence, and to victims of harassment at work or other crimes related to poverty. The SVSG Juniors consist of a team of young mentors who act as ambassadors for the youth in their community. Their aim is to prevent and eradicate this type of crime.

In addition to the first meeting, the organisation is responsible for recruiting and training participants, developing an advocacy and research strategy, and organising local workshops and a press conference.

Further information about the event hosted by the Samoa Victim Support Group can be found here. Another article on their website, about the prevention of violence through changing our mindsets about masculinity, can be found here.

Photos of the initial meeting in Samoa

Center for Health and Social Justice

The Center for Health and Social Justice (CHSJ) organised the second event: a five-day seminar in New Delhi, India, from 12 till 16 March 2019. CHSJ works on policy issues related to social justice. Their primarily objective is to strengthen governance and accountability in the domains of health justice and gender justice, by promoting networking, capacity building, research and evidence-based advocacy. The seminar provided participants the opportunity to exchange knowledge and to learn about methodologies used by different organisations working with men and boys on the issue of gender-based violence. This way, the seminar enabled participants to bring theory into practice using the contemporary understanding of gender, social theory and intervention science. After the seminar, each organisation will conduct their own anthropological research, which will be compiled with the other countries to gain an understanding of the problem in different contexts and to find the methodology which showed the most effective results. Next to the seminar, CHSJ will organise campaigns, recruit and train participants, participate in meeting and activities, develop the advocacy strategy/research and toolkit, develop and implement the local workshop and the media conference. Finally, it will be in charge of the E-learning course.

Hannah and René were present at the seminar in New Delhi and took these nice pictures.

Photos of the seminar in Delhi

Emancipator

When the research is conducted, a peer review will be organised by Emancipator in Amsterdam. The aim is to give participants insight into the working methods of specialised institutions and organisations active in the field of youth advocacy and the involvement of men and boys in gender equality. Emancipator will organise a Study Visit in Amsterdam from 7 to 13 May 2019. This study visit includes team building activities, excursions, and events to bring the participants into contact with other Dutch organisations dealing with project-related topics such as Atria and the Blijf Groep. Stakeholders will get the chance to learn about effective development practices from their peers. In addition, participants will develop the framework for the advocacy toolkit, a first step in its development. The toolkit provides an innovative approach to advocacy for young people by providing practical tools and guidance in developing and implementing an advocacy strategy (learning how to address and discuss the subject).

Foundation for Innovative Social Development

The Foundation for Innovative Social Development (FISD) is a non-governmental organization based in Sri Lanka. The organization works to improve the standard of living of the local population. Their main areas of interest are the protection and promotion of child rights, the enhancement of women and development – with special emphasis put on the prevention of gender-based violence – and the prevention of drugs and alcohol.  

Like the other organizations, FISD will recruit and train participants, participate in meetings and activities, develop the advocacy strategy/research and toolkit and develop and implement local workshops and the media conference. Moreover, the organization will, together with Youth First, implement a training for the participants in Sri Lanka in August/September this year. The training aims to provide an understanding of the role of men and boys in gender justice and which strategies can be implemented to engage them in these issues. After this training, participants will be able to conduct their own programs and workshops in their communities.

Youth First 

Youth First is non-profit organization, based in Antananarivo, Madagascar. The organization works to empower youth and young women by offering them the space and skills to build their future and to develop their full potential. The leadership program, geared at young women who have been victims of violence or human trafficking, promotes women economic empowerment and encourage their participation in development policies and program aiming at improving their lives.

As part of Breaking the Circle, Youth First will help to organize the training in Sri Lanka, recruit and train participants, participate in meeting and activities, develop the advocacy strategy/research and toolkit, create and implement local workshops and the media conference and conduct research in Madagascar. The result of these activities will be spread across the country through partner organizations and national institutions.

Diputación Provincial de Cáceres 

Càceres Deputy is the govern authority and regional administration in the province of Càceres, Spain. The main role of the organization is to provide services to the population living in rural areas that cannot be managed by municipalities. The Càceres Deputy pays particular attention to gender equality issues, since it develops and implements several social projects and involves the population in promoting real and effective equality between women and men.

Càceres Deputy will facilitate the connection between youth organizations with their public institutions. Like the other participants, it will contribute to all the components of Breaking the Circle. Most importantly, it will organize the Youth Event together with Cerujovi which objective is to give youth a platform to demonstrate their diverse interests, skills and ideas in promoting gender equality.

Centro Rural Joven Vida

Cerujovie is a non-profit organization based in Cáceres, Spain which encourages young generations to fight for a more equal and tolerant society for individuals in marginalized positions. Amongst these are especially women who experience gender-based violence and social exclusion.

Within the Breaking the Cycle project, the organization holds financial and administrative responsibility for the project and secures its quality through coordinating and realizing the project according to agreed standards and through facilitating the exchange between partner organizations. Moreover, Cerujovi will lead the Youth Event, the evaluation meeting in Cáceres in November/December 2019 and the website of the project. The evaluation meeting aims to summarize and evaluate the Breaking the Cycle project, which includes a reflection on its program and the activities.

After the Youth Event and the evaluation meeting, a press media meeting will take place in which all participants will prepare a conference where they will disseminate the products and results of the project and adjust the aims and outcomes to each language and context.

Any comments or questions about the Breaking the Cycle? Then feel free to contact us under breakingthecycle@emancipator.nl.