Together for Transformation: A Call to Men and Boys

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Gender lies at the root of war and peace and it is increasingly being recognized that issues of masculinities need to be addressed in the field of peacebuilding and active nonviolence.  WPP is convinced that in order to transform cultures of war and violence, women peace activists need to work together with male allies on these issues. In light of this analysis, WPP has organized the Training of Trainers Program “Overcoming Violence - Exploring Masculinities, Violence and Peace”.

The first part of the ToT took place from November 30 till December 12, 2009 in The Netherlands, and brought together 19 pioneering activist men, from 17 different countries.

The training focused on gender-sensitive active non-violence, the theory of masculinities and its relation to violence, and participatory and gender-sensitive facilitation.

The rich exchange of strategies and cultural practices related to peacebuilding, active nonviolence and issues related to masculinities and femininities has been an empowering experience for all.  During 2010, the WPP will be intensively working together with the trainees while they are preparing their community projects and follow-up trainings in their home context.  All these activities include working together with female allies for gender-sensitive active nonviolent peacebuilding.  Mid – 2010, the 19 trainees will participate in a second Training of Trainers as to exchange knowledge and experiences, and consolidate the learning into a training manual.

A first powerful outcome of the training is a statement produced by the ToT trainees to affirm their commitment to gender-sensitive peacebuilding:

 

Together for Transformation: A Call to Men and Boys

On the occasion of International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2009 we 19 men from 17 countries coming from Africa, Asia, Europe, America, the Middle East and the Pacific gathered here in Egmond aan Zee in the Netherlands for a Training of Trainers on Gender-Sensitive Active Nonviolence, organised by the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, its Women Peacemakers Program, collectively draft this document and express our commitments towards this statement/call.

We understand that men and women are socialised in a patriarchal system that legitimises use of different forms of violence to gain, restore and control power affecting powerless and marginalised sections of society.  We fully acknowledge that women suffer far more than men from gender oppression.

We understand and recognize that women have always been active agents of change. Women worldwide are standing up against all forms of discrimination and violence to bring social and gender justice and peace to the world.  Some men are standing as allies with women’s struggles and notions of dominant masculinities across cultures have posed challenges for gender equality and social justice.

Both men and women are suffering in this system and they need to join hands to bring about transformative change.  Men also have much to gain in health, general wellbeing and safety through this change.

We believe that all individuals have equal human rights irrespective of their gender, origin, nationality, age, religion, caste, class, race, colour, occupation, physical and mental abilities, and sexualities.   All human beings have the right to a dignified life free of threat and discrimination.  We assert our commitments to all international conventions and declarations, especially The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, Economics Social and Cultural Rights, UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, UN Security Council Resolution 1325, 1820, 1888 and 1889.  These need to be fully implemented in their true spirit and further steps need to be taken to improve policies and programs pertaining to women and gender justice.

We strongly speak out against gender inequality and discrimination towards women in all forms and show our deep commitment towards gender sensitive active nonviolence as a way of life.  We are inspired by and committed to this work and the prospect of change in our lives and in our societies.  We believe in people’s capacity to bring transformative change in nonviolent ways.

Therefore we call on all men and boys to:

• Adopt gender-sensitive Active Nonviolence as a way of solving problems
• End violence against women in any form
• Engage in constructive dialogue with women
• Provide space for equal and meaningful participation of women in private and public spheres including peace building processes
• Stop militarising resistance and peace processes
• Promote policies that bring dignity to all people

We call on men and boys to join us on this journey.

Signed,

Gender Sensitive Active Non Violent Men
Women Peacemakers Program Training of Trainers
Egmond aan Zee, The Netherlands
December 10 , 2009

Alphonse Ilot Muthaka
PEREXC
Mentoring Program and Socio Economic Reinsertion of Former Combatants
Democratic Republic of Congo

Alimou Diallo
West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP)
Ghana

Anand Pawar
SAMYAK – A Communication and Resource Center
India

Ali Gohar
Just Peace International
Peshawar, Pakistan

Babar Bashir
ROZAN
Pakistan

Christian Ngendahimana
Fountain-Isoko for Good Governance and Integrated Development
Burundi

Kapil Kafle
Institute of Human Rights Communication
Nepal

Nixon Nembaware
Zimbabwe

Otim Tonny
Teso Women Peace Activists
Uganda

Oluoch Dola
CHEMCHEMI YA UKWELI
Active Non Violent Movement in Kenya
Kenya

Owen Murozvi
Zimbabwe Council of Churches
Harare, Zimbabwe

Paulo Baleinakodawa
Pacific Center for Peacebuilding
Fiji Islands

Rob Fairmichael
INNATE
Ireland

Ruben Reyes Jiron
The Masculinity and Gender Equality Network
Nicaragua

Samuel D. Darpolor
West Africa Network for Peace Building/
WANEP-Liberia
Liberia

Sivarajah Bagerathan
Sri Lanka

Sothea Sak
SILAKA
Phnom Penh - Cambodia

Siad Darwish
Permanent Peace Movement
Beirut - Lebanon

Valtimore B. Fenis
Mindanao Peoples Peace Movement (MPPM)
Alyansa ng Kabataang Mindanao para sa Kapayapaan (AKMK)
Mindanao, Philippines

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