NEW MASCULINITIES: Dignity, respect and justice for all.

22.10.2020

Vulnerability and isolation have intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic. Often confined with their aggressors, women, and children are separated from extended family support networks and community services. In Ecuador, emergency calls for violence to the ECU 911 system have increased.

Back in 2016 after the earthquake struck, the painful vulnerability of girls and women surfaced, so we started A mano manaba to address this reality. Once again, the quarantine imposed by Covid 19 brings to light violent household dynamics resulting from patriarchal mores that encourage and sustain gender inequality.

Manabí's gender violence rate of 49.7% (INEC, 2019) is considered vastly under-reported and the teenage pregnancy rate of 40% (MSP, 2017) is twice the national average. Young men reared toward domineering masculinities devoid of empathy or tenderness, are often forced out of school to work in the family's fishing boat, and become aggressors of the women and children that depend on their labor.

We believe traditional patriarchal mores that shape masculinity as a brutal force exposed to all risks and dangers, unable to admit weakness or ask for help, and relegate femininity into a helpless condition, through early motherhood, are at the root of this psycho-social problem.

Solution

Policing, incarceration, and punishment of toxic masculinities is not a constructive solution. Evidence shows that adequate handling of this problem requires awareness, comprehensive prevention, and actions. This project funds educational processes that challenge and defeat violence; instill new masculinities among children and adolescents, promoting respectful and equal households and communities.

Together with Plural, a group of Ecuadorian experts on psychological and educational interventions and CGRR, with whom we have worked before, we will implement a three-stage program. After an initial assessment of the current situation of domiciliary quarantine, we will conduct a strategic educative process towards social change by empowering the most vulnerable and molding new masculinities. This experience will inform all our future programs, by replicating its achievements we will focus our efforts in northern Manabí with a deeper local concept of gender equality.

Using the Library structure and community networks created over the past 4 years by FAMM, this project seeks to enhance local and organizational capacity to prevent, identify, and contain acts of gender violence. The project will identify, strengthen, and/or create committees, associations, or circles of participation and coexistence aimed at guaranteeing equal rights for children, adolescents, and women.

Your support will provide training sessions, workshops, and community activities for all our volunteers, staff, and community members. Through an array of activities and educational sessions that will be replicated in different communities- this project will encourage women, children, and men to take one step back and be mindful about how patriarchal mores, stereotypes, media bombardment, and prejudice inform their social and family dynamics. This will help us, once more, turn adversity into opportunity and prove that education takes us a long way.

Help us seize this unique opportunity to collaboratively change course towards a more respectful, dignified, and equal future for ALL in northern Manabí.