The AiW in collaboration with KAFA (enough) Violence & Exploitation organized four workshops within the context of LAU’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) – Tomorrow’s Leaders (TL) Gender Scholars Program. The workshops, titled “Choice” were held on 18 and 19 November 2022 via WebEx and were attended by 120 students.
KAFA created “CHOICE, A program for men” to address issues related to engaging men in the fight against gender-based violence and to dissect what is meant by masculinity. The topics discussed during the workshops focused on patriarchal societies and how they reinforce power inequalities between men and women, masculinities and masculine stereotypes, and gender-based violence as a mental disorder and its effects on the societies. The workshops through its activities aim to assist men, who have been abusive towards women and other family members, to change their behaviors and mindsets and develop non-abusive relationships. The workshop sessions and exercises sensitized our students to an important issue, that men become aware of the roles and attributes that have been decided for them, to which they passively ascribe to in order to maintain a sense of belonging to the male identity and how these roles and attributes can lead to gender-based violence.
The sessions triggered the students’ curiosity for more self-exploration concerning masculinity issues and encouraged them to act as ambassadors to the feminist cause in their respective communities. The trainer encouraged the attending students to take part in the debate and to discuss ideas about masculinity and how it affected them on the personal level.