Guatemalan Partner Teaches “New Masculinity”
Pangea Giving partner, Asociación Generando (ASOGEN) launched an educational initiative this year called “New Masculinity” for men from various communities, ages, and professions that has been having a huge impact. Working on a local, national and international level, ASOGEN is preventing violence against females by working with men and adolescents to change their belief systems around what it means to be a man.
The purpose of “New Masculinity” program is to empower participants toward responsible paternity, child spacing, etc.; and personal empowerment to facilitate positive changes in the men’s lives and help them to take on personal development on an equal and equitable basis with women.
ASOGEN designed a six-module guide for this program which includes discussions about:
- the traditions that have assigned men and women their gender-specific identities;
- patriarchal power and its effects;
- gender-based violence and its prevention;
- and the legal framework for prevention of violence against women based on national and international treaties and conventions.
ASOGEN identified working groups of men and women willing to carry on the learning process, and committed to making changes in their communities—a total of 295 men and 238 women, including students, community leaders, bus drivers, taxi drivers, moto-taxi and micro-taxi drivers of various ages. This educational work was very motivational, not only for the community but for each participant, in spite of some initial resistance by some of the men due to their machista (patriarchial) upbringing.
The groups stuck together through the training and the awareness-raising was quite successful. Women’s participation in these processes was very critical and helped to create constructive discussions, free from prejudices and stereotypes, about how men and women should interact in society.
The ASOGEN team found this first experience of facilitating “New Masculinity” as a program to be very productive, with the end result of over 500 individuals empowered to transform their thinking on gender roles. The ASOGEN staff feels encouraged and inspired to continue using this model to eradicate machismo and fight for the “fight for women’s well-being, dignity, and human rights.”
Pangea has been funding ASOGEN’s programs to prevent domestic and sexual violence toward women and girls for nearly 6 years.