The two young men, Franziska Sione and Mane Su’a, who are fronting the ‘Breaking the Cycle: Men & Boys Engage to End Violence Against Women’ for Samoa Victim Support Group are heading off to Netherlands this weekend.
The men of change will meet up with partners from 4 other international organisations from Spain, India, Sri Lanka and Madagascar for a Study Tour hosted by the Emancipator, a Dutch organization in the Netherlands for men and gender justice, and the 5thmember of the ‘Breaking the Cycle’ Partnership. SVSG makes up the 6thmember of this men of change partnership.
The social norms on masculinity, wherein characteristics such as being tough, aggressive, dominant and strong are accepted and promoted; is a global problem and is not confined to a community.
However, according to Jens Van Tricht, the founder of the Emancipator and the host of the Study Tour in Netherlands, “The impact that we have as six organisations – with the limited funding and resources we have – is small while facing this huge challenge. But we believe that both men and women will benefit from gender justice."
As for Franziska and Mane, the practicality of the best practices adopted by each of the organsations in this international partnership is overwhelming. From grassroot advocacy to changing masculinity views to recruiting men of change, these best practices are effective if blended in well within the local context.
For SVSG, its involvement with the Breaking the Cycle of Violence: Men and Boys Engage to EVAW and to Promote Gender Equality Projecthas seen SVSG’s advocacy program for the court referred offenders of violence, working on changing mindsets in men about masculinity and getting them to become part of the solution.
Franziska and Mane will participate in the Netherlands Study Tour from 6 – 10 May 2019.