Men Engaged in Gender Equality: A case study from Mozambique | Gender

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This case study covers the work of the HOPEM network in Mozambique. Established in 2009 and consisting of 25 civil society organizations and activists, the network focuses on promotion, advocacy and lobbying for a new masculinity, while seeking to provide men with skills to enable them to actively contribute towards overcoming gender inequality by promoting and upholding the human rights of women. HOPEM engages men as stakeholders, challenging stereotypes, negative behaviours and attitudes in gender relations. The document focuses on three projects: the Men in the Kitchen Program, which encourages greater domestic engagement
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  OXFAM NOVIB CASE STUDY www.oxfamnovib.nl   MEN ENGAGED IN GENDER EQUALITY: A CASE STUDY FROM MOZAMBIQUE This case study covers the work of the HOPEM network in Mozambique. Established in 2009 and consisting of 25 civil society organizations and activists, the network focuses on the promotion, advocacy and lobbying for a new masculinity, while seeking to provide men with skills to enable them to actively contribute towards overcoming gender inequality by promoting and upholding the human rights of women. HOPEM engages men as stakeholders challenging stereotypes, negative behaviours, and attitudes in gender relations. The document focuses on three projects: Men in the Kitchen Program to encourage greater domestic engagement; The Arts without Violence which combines the  Arts and Activism (Artivismo) to challenge stereotypes; and A Man who is a Man project based round a weekly TV debate. This Case Study was a background briefing for Oxfam Novib’s 2013 Annual Review, prepared in partnership with the HOPEM Network, and describes the programme in Mozambique. Although it is not a formal evaluation it does consider lessons learned by both Oxfam Novib and its partner organisations. These Case Studies are shared in the form in which they were submitted, often written by partners whose first language is not English, and have not been edited since submission. We believe that the meaning is clear enough, and the authenticity of the reporting and the availability of Southern Voices on development makes their inclusion in the Oxfam iLibrary worthwhile for sharing with external readers. Programme Partner: Rede HOPEM  2  AIMS OF REDE   REDE HOPEM seeks to contribute towards the creation of a more just society where men, boys, women and girls share equal opportunities in terms of access and exercise of their human rights, and contribution to the well-being of everyone. In order to fulfill this goal, the work undertaken by HOPEM is guided by five main objectives: 1. Encourage male involvement in doing away with negative masculinity patterns and building new ones; 2. Influence HOPEM network’s member organizations, government and non -government institutions to continuously work toward the participation of boys and men in the promotion of gender equality; 3. Promote a culture of peace and active non-violence from a gender perspective through educational initiatives and programs specially geared towards men and the transformation of masculinity; 4. Contribute with sustainable measures towards gender equality in public policies, strategies, laws and other instruments influencing individuals, thereby bringing men to the core of the agenda as part of the solution to problems; 5. Promote the sharing of resources, instruments, knowledge and good practices as well as work initiatives with young and adult males within the context of the fight against genderbased domestic violence, and the promotion of health. PROBLEMS AND THEORY OF CHANGE Perceived as something intrinsically related, gender relations bring to the fore two important social roles : “being a man” and “being a woman”. These roles have been socially constructed and legitimized on the basis of the patriarchal system on which society is structured; a system characterized by unequal access to resources, opportunities and rights both in the public and private sectors, thereby favoring men. The HOPEM network was established in Mozambique in 2009 to address the problem of gender inequality. It consists of 25 organizations which have been working to assert the human rights of men, women and children through an innovative approach which is unique to the country. This is an approach which focuses on actions seeking definitions of new masculinities, while accepting male engagement as a means of challenging and transforming the patriarchal system. For the implementation of its activities, HOPEM regards men as part of the solution, instead of being part of the problem, and seeks to work with men who also suffer the consequences and the stress of the social roles and stereotypes defined by the patriarchal system, so that they may question and find other masculinity models that conform to equality and respect for the human rights of women. CONTEXT Mozambique ranks 125th in a UN1 1  gender inequality index of 146 countries. Although some   3 improvements have been made in Mozambique in the past few years with the approval of key instruments, both national and international, defending and advocating gender equality, 2  gender equality and respect for the human rights of women in the country remains a major social problem affecting not only women, but the harmonious and healthy development of society as a whole. As an example, in 2009 at the level of tertiary education, 62% of enrolled students were male and 38% female. Regarding executive and management positions in the public sector, in 2011 the situation was as follows: Cabinet Ministers  –  71% male, 29% female; Governors  –  73% male, 27% female; Provincial Directors  –  59% male, 41% female; District Administrators  –  80% male, 20% female; District Permanent Secretaries  –  84% male, 16% female; Heads of Administrative Post  –  85% male, 15 female; Municipality Mayors  –  93% male, 7% female. 3  Thanks to efforts made by CSOs, it is today possible to speak of gender-based violence as a crime, notably physical violence against women. In the first half of the year, there were more than 12,000 reported cases 4  of violence against women, but the actual number of cases of violence against women not reported to the police is far higher. Suffice to say that more than half of Mozambican women have suffered some form of violence, according to UN Women Mozambique data. 5   WHY DID OXFAM NOVIB GET INVOLVED? Rede HOPEM under the AGIR Program/Oxfam Novib Since 2012, Rede HOPEM has been part of OXFAM NOVIB as a partner institution within the context of the AGIR (Inclusive and Responsible Governing Actions) Program. This is a five-year (2010-2014) program funded by the Swedish and Dutch Embassies to assist M ozambique’s civil society to capacitate active citizens and a strong and vibrant society, which in turn would participate and influence the democratic process, thereby contributing toward responsible government, a fullfledged democracy, and gender and human rights equality in Mozambique. In tandem with its approach and experience in the promotion, advocacy and lobbying for gender equality, HOPEM was included in the second thematic areas of Subprogram A: “Participation, Social Responsibility and Monitoring of Human Rights Compliance”. Subprogram A has two specific goals forming part of HOPEM’s strategic plan: 1) Contribute towards improving and sensitizing women and men about sexual inequality, knowledge and dedication, and 2) make citizens, men, women and children feel that there has been an increase in the respect for their human rights, and a reduction in the discrimination against the most vulnerable members of society. Thus, in the context of the support that it provides to CSOs, the AGIR Program funds Rede HOPEM’s strategic plan by favoring the strengthening of its institutional capacities and advocacy actions related to gender issues and human rights. This has a major social, economic and e political impact on the lives of women, while taking into account the influential role of the patriarchalsystem in Mozambican society. Several actions have, therefore, been undertaken, including the strengthening of a transformational leadership, a tailor-made capacity building approach, and social mobilization campaigns.  4 METHODOLOGY  Activities and Strategies To counter the scenario of violation of women’s human rights, REDE HOPEM has designed a number of activities the main goal of which is to encourage a systematic questioning of oppressive masculinity patterns constituting an affront to the human rights of women, thereby building alternative patterns and behaviors which promote effective equal rights between men and women. To illustrate this set of innovative actions undertaken within the context of gender equality promotion in Mozambique, we single out the following activities: Men in the Kitchen Program, Arts without Violence, A Man who is a Man, Brainstorming campaigns and initiatives on the transformation of negative masculinities and gender equality. a) Men in the Kitchen Program This program promotes gender equality by giving a new meaning to a domestic area which is regarded as the sole domain of women. Objectives: Promoting male engagement in household tasks by increasing their cooking knowledge; Preventing violence against women, following a strict division of social roles for men and women by expanding the participation of men in household economics; Challenge posed by masculinity and femininity stereotypes which contribute to indepth social imbalances between men and women, thereby restricting their personal development. b) The Arts without Violence Program It started in 2011 and is based on the concept known as ARTIVISMO (arts + activism) in that art has the unique potential t o convey values, emotions and feelings in a strong and effective manner, thereby contributing to world transformation. The objectives ofthis program are as follows: 1. Encourage the creation of a movement of Mozambican artists who review and discuss art, and include human rights, gender equality and positive masculinities in their creativity and performance. 2. Through art, promote and disseminate items which contribute to and more just society and equal gender relations. 3. Stimulate public brainstorming sessions on positive masculinity and its importance in the prevention of discrimination against gender-based violence. c) The Man Who is a Man Program This program started in 2011 under UNIDOS. It explores the potential of the media and social media as opinion makers and promoters of brainstorming sessions and debates within society. The program is in the format of a TV debate, broadcast weekly on Mozambique
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