CHANGING ONE MIND AT A TIME
For Jogga, his wife’s duty was to take care of the home. And although she is a salary earner, he never allowed her to make any decisions because he believed she did not have any developmental plans. However, all this changed after he attended the FOWODE outreach sessions organized in his community. My eyes were opened, and I become empowered. As a result, I started giving my wife the respect that she deserves. We now plan for our income as a unit; this has made my home a happier one.
Over the past ten years, FOWODE has worked with male champions in 15 districts to disrupt community power dynamics and advance women’s empowerment, resulting in a more conducive environment for women to thrive. Given that men are gatekeepers of patriarchy, we continue to engage them as strategic allies to promote gender equality. In the communities where we work, we identify men who; are Gender-sensitive, good communicators, and are proactive. And enroll them as champions of gender equality and women’s rights. They are then trained and equipped with further knowledge and skills in gender, community facilitation and mediation, basic legal frameworks for protecting women’s rights, and pathways for GBV management.
These training sessions increase men’s knowledge and skills on gender, women, and girls’ rights for their sustained engagement in advocacy for gender equality. They then carry out outreach sessions periodically for their fellow men in the community.
The male engagement strategy has also been fundamental in challenging negative stereotypes and reshaping the narrative on women’s leadership, thus creating an enabling environment for the female aspirants. Women from our districts of operation testify that their spouses supported them in their quest for leadership during the 2021 general elections