Forum on gender-equitable masculinity project held in Tamale

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gender inequality
gender inequality

Some Male parents and young men from the Northern Region have attended a forum to reflect on gender role stereotypes, which have made society assign certain roles and responsibilities to men only.

The day’s forum, held in Tamale, was to reorient, especially young men, to do away with socialised norms that stereotyped roles and responsibilities at the household level and to take up any responsibility in the house to support their wives.

It was in line with the Gender Equitable Masculinity project implemented by YEFL-GHANA, in partnership with the Tamale Archdiocesan Development Office (TADO) of the Catholic Church, and supported by the Catholic Relief Services.

The young men, who participated in the forum, were beneficiaries of the Youth Life Project, which equipped them with vocational and technical skills to create their jobs and or be employed by others.

The discussions at the forum sought to ensure that they could begin to be more supportive towards their spouses as they began to get their own jobs.

Mr Abdul-Ganiyu Alhassan, Technical Advisor for Youth, Advocacy and Gender, at YEFL-GHANA, spoke about the relevance of the forum, saying, “We deliberately brought men together to begin to look at how society has socialised men to behave and act, and to begin to see whether these socialised norms in our society are harmful to men or not.”

Mr Alhassan said, “For example, we have men in the community now changing because of the economy. We used to have men who would say they would not do any sweeping job but now they are being employed by Zoomlion to sweep. So, the reality will make you know that this really is not an issue. So, once we are able to sweep outside of the home to get money, we can still do that in the home to support the family.”

Participants reflected on stereotyped harmful gender practices and how detrimental they were to the psychological, social and economic growth of men.

While some participants agreed that gender role stereotypes were harmful to them and that they needed to change, others said that women were meant to be housewives and that their place was to keep the home and men were not supposed to help in that regard.

Mr Alhassan said, “We are just trying to trigger the discussion so that people will begin to see indeed whether there are benefits in just being a man and also whether there are negative effects in just being a man and if you shift away from just being a man completely, what will be some of the advantages.”

Mr Iddrisu Inusah, a Parent and Youth Activist, said men needed to do away with gender stereotypes and support their homes by performing any roles so far as it was necessary.

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