Men, Masculinities and Democracy

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Men, Masculinities and Democracy

Uruguay
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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The initiative, which has been developing diverse strategies, implicates to act in key places in the orbit of national and municipal governments, in NGO’s, with communities and cooperation organizations to generate programs that would encourage the building of a new way of living the values of masculinity in infants, youth and adults, centered in values of respect, tolerance, openness of cultural diversity. Academic, cultural and political actions are articulated with the movement of women and institutions motivated to produce authentic changes, from a perspective of gender equity. The main beneficiaries in principle are girls, adolescent and women, whom in Latin American cultures suffer chauvinistic cultural surroundings. Also men of different generations are beneficiaries, seeing themselves liberated from a culture of domination of one on top of another and to be able to enjoy life without violence, more fair and with solidarity. We work on the conflict from an epistemology, ethic, methodological, and political positioning that recognizes human rights and specifically the resolution of conflicts from a culture of dialog and understanding. Patriarchal cultures have been characterized by an aggressive and violent relation in manifestations towards the different other, the environment, minorities. It is essential to modify the focus of resolution of conflicts since men risk their values when it comes down to confrontation. These values are: prestige, honor, bravery, the ability to protect their families. However, these values turn out to be, in a chauvinistic context, contrary to collective values. The use of physical force, the humiliation of the weak, and the psychological and economic dominance appear to be justified by some men.

About You
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Your idea
Focus of activity

Education and Training

Start Year

2000

Positioning in the mosaic of solutions
Main barrier addressed

Culture of violence

Main principle addressed

Build non-violent paths to rights, access & assets

Culture of violence based on the social building of democratic gender and masculinity. It refers to the cultural guidelines of childhood and adolescence socialization that are predisposed to solve problematic situations in a violent manner and to consider women as having fewer rights. To build non-violent paths: it implicates action both at the public politics level and the building of alternatives of peace culture in communities and families.

Innovation
Description of initiative:

The initiative, which has been developing diverse strategies, implicates to act in key places in the orbit of national and municipal governments, in NGO’s, with communities and cooperation organizations to generate programs that would encourage the building of a new way of living the values of masculinity in infants, youth and adults, centered in values of respect, tolerance, openness of cultural diversity. Academic, cultural and political actions are articulated with the movement of women and institutions motivated to produce authentic changes, from a perspective of gender equity. The main beneficiaries in principle are girls, adolescent and women, whom in Latin American cultures suffer chauvinistic cultural surroundings. Also men of different generations are beneficiaries, seeing themselves liberated from a culture of domination of one on top of another and to be able to enjoy life without violence, more fair and with solidarity. We work on the conflict from an epistemology, ethic, methodological, and political positioning that recognizes human rights and specifically the resolution of conflicts from a culture of dialog and understanding. Patriarchal cultures have been characterized by an aggressive and violent relation in manifestations towards the different other, the environment, minorities. It is essential to modify the focus of resolution of conflicts since men risk their values when it comes down to confrontation. These values are: prestige, honor, bravery, the ability to protect their families. However, these values turn out to be, in a chauvinistic context, contrary to collective values. The use of physical force, the humiliation of the weak, and the psychological and economic dominance appear to be justified by some men.

Description of innovation:

It is different and innovative because it includes actively and mainly men in the proposal of change from the perspective of gender, in dialog with the civil society, governments and the movement of women. On the other hand, it involves different generations and it is framed in different community fields, without imposing rigid models. The responses to problems linked to violence based on gender are constructed collectively, from the skills and possibilities of human groups and communities. We work form the perspective of human rights, complex thought, and inter-culture. It does not require great investments in technology or products. The work in workshops, the joint reflection with men of different collectives and the capability of influence on political deciders are the main tool of work. Until now we have seen certain dissociation between the resolution of social conflicts and the work of the women’s movement. It is necessary to create a new agenda that incorporates men as subjects capable of solving family, community and political conflicts from a perspective of equity and equality among women and men. Men, in a new way, promote the modalities of mobilization that acquire in the presence of chauvinistic ideas and culture, and they do it in a pacific manner recognizing that the first levels of violence start at home and in the demonstration of hegemonic masculinity.

Delivery model:

It is achieved in different ways, according to how the order for intervention emerges, the ideas we work on and the agreements. In occasions, we have influenced in the writing of a law project, in others, in the search of solutions for street children and adolescents. In some occasions, we have been invited to participate in conferences of the United Nations to increase the involvement of men in the building of equity (Palacio Itamaratí - DAW, Brasilia, 2003) or to expose our ideas on public politics and masculinity (PUEG - UNAM, Mexico, 2002), just as to influence the incorporation of men in services of reproductive health (OPS - GTZ, Panama, 2005). In other situations, the media have been allies in the exposure of our ideas, strategies and achievements. The developed mechanisms are diverse: from training through courses and workshops, the publication if articles, the creation of specific university spaces, the meetings with political deciders, the direct work with children and adolescents, the support of initiatives of the women’s movement.

Key operational partnerships:
Impact
Financial model:

a) In many of our actions the task is voluntary, since men have not been a priority for the formulation of change in the resolution of conflicts, from the gender perspective. Men are mainly involved both in the creation and resolution of conflicts, without considering women leading characters and participants in them. Sometimes, the infrastructure of the convoking organizations is used. One of the most important factors for the replication of this model of intervention is to perceive the press coverage that it achieves. For example, in the demonstration of Men against Domestic Violence, the coverage of CNN in Spanish and important newspapers from Spain, Argentina and Mexico has been achieved.

Costs as percentage of income:

90%

Financing:

In our course of work, the main financial source has come from demanded and/or in competition consultancy, personal or group: it does not generate profit, since the group of men that work on this initiative generally count with other sources if professional income. It is necessary to formalize the group, through the consolidation if and Non- Governmental-Organization, but it is necessary to count with resources for its support during the period (premises, equipment). It has been fundamental the support that Ashoka has given us, both though the stipend and the logistic support.

Effectiveness:

<ul><li class="entry-label">Project outcomes: <span class="entry-text">Ten of thousands of people have benefited, both in Uruguay and Latin America, with different levels of impact. The greatest achievement has been the opening of the thematic in our country, to the point of having open specific programmatic lines in Ministries (Ministry of Public Health: Area Men Condition and Women’s Health in the National Program o of Women’s and Gender Health. The benefit depends of the levels of impact. For example, the majority benefits when gaining awareness that there are men positioned by a culture of peace, others benefit directly from the establishment of governmental and non governmental programs (training, access to services, etc.) </span></li><li class="entry-label">Number of clients in past year: <span class="entry-text">Thousands of women and men. The organization of the first men’s demonstration against domestic violence, involving Nobel Prize in Literature, José Saramago, and the Municipal Mayor, Ricardo Ehrilch, has been announced around the world. Another example: our initiative to regulate the law of accompaniment during the labor process in Uruguay, has achieved that thousands of men and women count with this right, severely restricted until now. </span></li></ul>

Scaling up strategy:
Stage of the initiative:

<i>Scaling Up</i> stage.

Expansion plan:

In order to expand the model of intervention and consolidate it in Latin America it is necessary to find news approaches that guarantee the resolution of conflicts, based on gender equity. Our recent experience in Colombia, with youth defenders of human rights from a culture of peace (Cali, August 2006) has led us to expand our strategy. The plan consists on: 1 – Consolidating the work group and the formalization of the organization with an active search for resources that offer sustainability. 2 – Publishing of the main ideas, strategies and intervention methods. 3 – Offering governments and communities in situations of conflict or with high levels of gender violence to intervene from the model of resolution based on the promotion of democratic masculinities 6 – Systematization of the learning and new dissemination.

Origin of the initiative:

The initiative arises gradually, linked to life’s history of who is writing and others mates which have lived the effects of the dictatorship in Uruguay (1973-1984) during childhood and adolescence, and as a consequence of the systematic violation of human rights. Us, men that are in contact with the women’s movement have learnt about a necessity of incorporating a gender perspective in the building of citizenship, in the extensive field of the defense of human rights and peace culture. For the first time, in 1992, we manifested the consequences of Violence based on Gender, when the Group of Reflection on the Masculine Condition made public its presentation in Montevideo’s City Hall. In 1995 we presented the investigation “Men’s opinions and attitudes on sexual and reproductive rights”.

randomness