This program aims to strengthen conflict prevention, peace-building and social cohesion capacities at community level in order to address potential risk factors and promote greater citizen and community participation in peace-building. Activities under this program include Women and Men as Partners in Peace Building and Community Support Groups using living peace approach.
Women and Men as Partners in Peace Building
Women and Men as Partners in Peace building is a leadership training program for experienced practitioners in the field of peace building. The program l introduces a more intentional gender lens into peace building curricula. Women and men are trained to recognize gender and inter-communal violence as an inter-related problem, and to address both manifestations of violence as full collaborators.
The program is designed to:
- foster a paradigm shift in women and men’s understanding of gender roles so that they understand that rigid gender roles and inequities harm both women and men;
- communicate that long-term peace requires men and women working in full partnership to create societies which enjoy greater collaboration and respect between men and women;
- train participants to work together in teams to model this partnership in peace building in their respective communities, and to teach it to others;
- Document program outcomes in order to develop a replicable model for gender sensitive peace building.
Community Support Groups
Community support groups use living peace approach to address the trauma associated with conflict and promote equitable, nonviolent paths to healing for individuals, families and communities. The living approach used in community groups is a methodology that is used to engage men and women as partners to end violence against women and children. Within the community groups, Men and Women are guided to change their violent conceptions to become men and women who act as agents of peace and gender equality, at home and in the com- munity.
The methodology aims also to help men to cope with their traumatic experiences and perceived loss of manhood in a constructive, non-violent and gen- der-transformative way. The methodology is based on two sub-ob- jectives:
- To heal men’s trauma,
- To promote gender equality.
The methodology includes group therapeutic and psycho-education- al tools to address the disturbing effects of trauma on men and to assist them in coping differently. The methodology also used group educational exercises to pro- vide men with alternative perspectives and experiences around equal and peaceful gender relations, manhood and sexuality. The goal is to deconstruct violent versions of masculinity and the effects of crisis and trauma on man- hood, and to reconstruct broken relations within couples, families and communities. The male therapy groups provide space for men to share and ex- change their problems and to learn new strategies for dealing with individual stress and conflict with partners, family and community. The new coping strategies promote shared decision-making, respect between men and women, and conflict resolution, by developing individual, couple, family and com- munity coping strategies that are constructive, gender-transformative and culturally appropriate.