From 28 September to 2 October, the UN Women Training Centre held a Face-to-Face training workshop on understanding masculinities and violence against women and girls. Participants were UN Women staff members from different regions.
This training, a follow up to a first edition held in 2014, aims to further enhance participants’ capacities by deepening theoretical and conceptual knowledge, strengthening facilitation competencies, and convening a community for knowledge and experience sharing. This training programme was divided into two phases: a 6-week online phase and a five-day face-to-face workshop.
The Training Workshop aimed to:
- Deepen understanding on conceptual and theoretical frameworks on masculinities and violence against women and girls,
- Enhance knowledge on designing evidence- and theory-based interventions to transform harmful masculinities,
- Identify strategies to deal with resistances when working with men and boys
- Provide safe space for participants to critically reflect upon power, privilege, and gendered self,
- Strengthen participants’ training and facilitation skills, and
- Provide forum for sharing knowledge and lessons learned, and cross-collaborations.
The Workshop began with opening remarks from Clemencia Muñoz-Tamayo, Chief of the Training Centre, who reminded participants that trainers are not automatically produced, but that in order to become a trainer one must practice. Muñoz-Tamayo stated, “This year, the content of the workshop will be deeper and more complex coupled with the online part because the issue we are dealing with is very complex. UN Women has projects, programmes, campaigns to engage men and boys. But as we understand, masculinity is produced and reinforced not only by individuals but also by institutions and ideologies, and intersects with many power systems. Therefore, our work with men and boys cannot be superficial and simplistic. Approaches to addressing masculinities should be critically examined, problematized, and reflected upon. This is so that we hope to do our work better and more constructively.”
A variety of training methods were used to create a liberating learning experience. Different perspectives and experiences were shared, with representation from an ample variety of world regions that helped to explore: gender power relations, the relationship between masculinity and violence against women and girls as well as personal transformation. The training programme was moderated and facilitated by Alan Greig, Maria Rashid, Henri Myrttinen, and Khamsavath Chanthavysouk.
Some of the members of this pool of trainers have already started reproducing the knowledge and skills acquired in last year’s training. For instance, a 4-day training delivered to Civil Society Organizations members in Liberia, a 3-day training to men’s and women’s groups in Jamaica, sessions on masculinities at the gender summer academy in Kyrgyzstan, a series of gender sessions to high school students in the Dominican Republic, and a week of training on masculinities to various stakeholders in Bolivia. Many participants are also taking advantage of the training to insert its concepts methodologies into the mainstreaming of UN Women flagship programmes, such as the HeForShe campaign.