On August 8th, 2023, Girls In School Initiative, a community-based organization in Uganda working towards girls’ education and gender equality, collaborated with the Power to Youth Program to conduct a Male Engagement Community Workshop in Kamet Subcounty, Bukwo District. This region, once plagued by FGM, became the focal point for addressing harmful gender norms through men and boys engagement. The initiative aims to combat Gender-Based Violence (GBV), Child Marriages, and Teenage Pregnancies.
Supported by organizations including Reproductive Health Uganda, EASI, and UYAHF, the program receives funding from Sonke Gender Justice through MenEngage Africa. The workshop drew 30 participants, including community leaders, religious figures, and elders. Facilitated by MenEngage Uganda, led by COTFONE, discussions centered on fair household responsibilities, shared caregiving, and male involvement in child-rearing.
Key takeaways highlighted how equitable divisions of labor within households contribute to dismantling harmful gender norms. This fosters healthier family dynamics, reducing GBV, child marriages, and teenage pregnancies. Emphasizing male roles from pregnancy to caregiving discourages these practices, nurturing family bonds and challenging FGM and GBV roots.
Proposed strategies focus on sensitization, mindset change, and community involvement. Empowering young men as advocates for gender equality and against harmful practices cultivates a generation that challenges traditional norms. This collective effort fosters a safer, more empowered community for all.
The collaboration between Girls In School Initiative and the Power to Youth Program underscores the transformative potential of engaging men and boys in the journey to end GBV, FGM, child marriages, and teenage pregnancies. By fostering understanding, encouraging participation, and dismantling harmful norms, a more equitable future comes into focus.