Engaging Men and Boys

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As long as gender-based violence and discrimination continue to thrive in countries the world over, girls and women will never be able to reach their full potential and build the lives they want and deserve. Engaging men and boys is a crucial aspect of changing the social and cultural paradigms that perpetuate and seek to justify gender-based violence and discrimination, including the ways in which boys and men are also disadvantaged by expectations of traditional dominant masculine identities and men's violence towards boys and other men.

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Paper Crown offers a comprehensive series of participatory, interactive workshops designed to sensitize and educate men and boys to gender issues that apply to their lived realities, including the basics of gender inequality, interpersonal power dynamics, gender-based violence and positive masculinity. 

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Training Testimonials from Adolescent Boys

"These trainings changed me a lot because I realized all the bad areas in my behaviour and started to go with good behaviours towards girls, to respect them and treat them well because now I know we are equal."

"This workshop showed me how girls are often abused and mistreated, and this touched my heart as a personal impact to me, and it made me look for what I can do to stop that. I also took the decision of not being that kind of man who abuses women."

"Before this, I thought that girls cannot participate in things of high value, like taking decisions in valuable government issues or in the family, and I used to think that there are some activities that boys can never do, like mopping and sweeping. But now I see things differently, and I think if other people know these things, it can contribute to the well-being of our community."

"After today, I can't do anything that can hurt a girl. For example, when you may be angry for some reason and a girl comes and you are mean to her, that can hurt her, and this is emotional violence. Furthermore, I will share with other boys who may still have that mentality of girls being inferior to boys, that they should change the way they think about girls and that we can combine the strengths that we have to build something greater."

"What I really liked was the way we were taught, which made all of those who attended to be thirsty to know more and opened our minds widely, and helped us to think and give our opinions. This workshop really built something in our minds and hearts. I wish for many more of these workshops so even more people can be changed for good."

"The most impactful thing was learning about girls' lives and what they go through, and the beliefs we were trained to have about them unconsciously, without even realizing it, and the worst part is that we didn't even realize it - because people can become selfish to refuse to see that what they're doing is wrong, and that gender equality should be promoted, without hesitation."

"I loved the free speech that we could have, which allows all the people to ask and find out other opinions, and to be corrected in case you are thinking in the wrong way, When we were together with the girls, and they told us their point of view, we were able to ask them and get more information from them, and that was a great experience."

"I learned that the level at which girls and women (females in general) are mistreated is high. I never thought about it much before, I just believed that boys were somehow better, but I learned that gender shouldn't change the way people are treated, just because they are boys or girls, and no one should get in the way of their potential."

"From my personal point of view I found that usually in our day to day life there exist gender stereotypes, like activities and behaviours that are only for boys and girls are not worthy. But it's better for us to work together, without having 'power over' people, and instead providing and sharing 'power within' with our neighbours and friends."

"We need to increase the number of people to be trained, boys and girls, so that we can do something great by transforming others while we are many, because two heads are better than one!"


Feedback from participants of our
workshop series for men in Rwanda

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"Understanding that sex (biological sex) is different from gender and that gender is socially created made us realize that gender roles are dynamic and we can change them for the better."

"Excellent explanation of key elements of gender, Katie is a good facilitator who is very familiar with the content and her participatory approach was very effective."

"It was very important for me to learn about the gender-based violence laws in Rwanda and the gaps in these laws that still discriminate unfairly against women."

"I learned for the first time that fundamental human rights also belong to women and that GBV is a violation of those basic rights."

"It was very, very interesting, because after the workshop we will use this knowledge in our daily lives, by mobilizing our communities around gender and positive masculinity."

"The learning atmosphere was marvellous and we really appreciated the interactive approach that was used to engage us in discussion about these issues."

"Learning about positive masculinity was very helpful, I will teach my neighbours, especially men, about positive masculinity and how to change the negative aspects of traditional masculinity."

 

Paper Crown's founder and lead trainer, Katie Carlson, with members of Voice of Community Organization, fighting to end GBV in Rwanda by engaging men and boys.