Nov. 15, 2006
It’s a small city of 200,000 known as the home of sherry and a centre for flamenco. It’s also a wonderful example of how a city government can promote initiatives to transform the roles of men and support work among men to end violence against women. Six years ago the city started the Men for Equality Program, a unit of the city’s health and equality department. Men for Equality now employs three men full time. (In proportion to the population, that would be like having 40 city staff in
A focus of its work is the ongoing effort to end domestic violence. This was one of the first cities in
Men For Equality also works in schools and is in the process of creating new resources, including a board game for boys. Next week they’re hosting a student art exhibit called “Men in the Process of Change.”
The Programme also works to promote more active involvement by fathers. This is an area where European countries are taking leadership. A combination of more extensive father’s leave, combined with education and new social services, is creating a new norm among young men. Aside from the obvious benefits to children and mothers, this is part of the process of transforming masculinity through the celebration and promotion of nurturing roles. It also is part of a long-term strategy to end violence against women: research tells us that the involvement of caring men in parenting means the raising of a generation of boys who associate manhood with emotional closeness and a generation of girls who will expect nothing less from the men in their lives than someone who shows love and respect.
Two events over, 31 to go. Today, I’m on my way to
- Michael Kaufman, co-founder, White Ribbon Campaign