‘The role of men and boys in achieving gender equality’ course was run from the 5th to 9th November 2012 at the University of Pretoria’s Department of Law, as a collaboration between Sonke Gender Justice (Sonke) and Center for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, and with financial support from Irish Aid.
The aim of the short course was to increase the capacity of organisations and individuals to lead gender justice programmes that engage men as partners and agents of change within a feminist framework. 40 participants from various backgrounds and countries participated in the course. Participants hailed from South Africa, Namibia, Rwanda, Zambia, Mozambique, Ghana, USA, Canada, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe.
As a high profile course, eminent practitioners in the fields of human rights, law, academia and gender equality were invited to speak. These included Karen Stefiszyn, Programme Manager: Gender Unit Centre for Human Rights; Dr Kopano Ratele, Medical Research Council UNISA, Safety and Peace Promotion Research Unit; Professor Thandabantu Nhlapo and a number of Sonke staff, to name a few.
Sessions were run on gender equality and the role within international human rights framework; the women’s movement; analysing men in Africa; engaging men in various fields (parenting, sexual health and rights) for gender equality; and a number of facets of gender-based violence, mostly focusing on African contexts and cultures.
This proved to be a very successful course that met and even went beyond the expectations of the participants.
However, it was interesting to note that participants would have liked to engage with the different issues of LGBTI rights and religion. Other suggestions included incorporation issues around prison work, social identities such as race, male and female identities, substance abuse and manhood, gender and politics to mention but a few.
We are thrilled for the next one and hope it will continue to grow.