Positive Masculinities Training for male youth from Kikuyu Sub-County

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Between 14th and 17th July 2014 CEEC trained 27 male youth from Kikuyu Sub County on Positive Masculinities with a view to building their capacity to combat gender based violence. The training was informed by the high incidence of gender based violence within the sub county with men being the main perpetrators. Evolving social and economic dynamics in Kikuyu Sub County as elsewhere in the country have brought about an affront to manhood resulting in unhealthy expressions of masculinity mainly through violence perpetrated by men against women as well as fellow men. This desire to assert power over others is rooted in male socialization which thrives on dominance and conquest.  This project which is supported by DKA Austria aims at helping the young men to become aware of how they embrace violent masculinities through the socialization process making violence part of their male identity. Men need to understand that the use of violence over others is actually a sign of disempowerment and that nonviolent masculinities are possible and desirable. That indeed, positive, healthy, nonviolent masculinity is a mark of real manhood.

The training was an eye opener for the youth who were able to make the link between flawed masculinities and violence. The youth also understood how gender based violence affects not only women but also men themselves and children. With this understanding, they were able to appreciate the important role they can play to combat this vice starting by personal change before reaching out to others. At the end of the training, the youth resolved to become champions against gender based violence and they came up with action plans outlining how they will raise awareness and mobililize fellow youth in their respective wards against gender based violence.

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