Men and Boys as Advocates for Gender Justice

Evelyn Fonkem
Posted May 18, 2017 from Cameroon
Men as Advocates for Gender Justice
Men as Advocates for Gender Justice
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Gender determination is done to check whether the child is a girl or a boy.If the child is a girl,she is usually killed inside her mother's womb using equipment all because she is a girl.

Because I am a girl,preparations for the birth of the child is often taken into consideration.My room is painted pink while my brother's room is painted blue.

Because I am a girl,I am expected to act in certain ways for example,to be clean and quiet while my brother is expected to be noisy and messy.

Because I am a girl,I am expected to spend nearly 3/4 of an hour more on domestic chores and taking care of my junior ones while my brother is expected to sit in his room and play video games,watch movies and orders me to prepare food for him.To him,my place is in the kitchen.

Because I am a girl,my numerous personal needs such as sanitary pads are not provided.My classmates usually scorn and laugh at me when my uniform is stained with blood due to menstruation.This will make me to be absent from classes and most often, I will miss my exams and go back to school only when my period is over.

Because I am a girl,certain harmful traditional practices are perpetrated on me like child marriage,female genital mutilation,breast ironing,family preference for sons,lack of credit and ritualistic widowhood rites.

Because I am a girl, I was refused my own share of my father's landed property.He said ''one day you will marry and become another man's property.I will share my landed property only to my sons''

Because I am a girl,the media portrays me as a weaker sex,a prostitute and a sex object whose role in the society is to take care of the house.I am seen as a second fiddle to the man but my brother is portrayed as a stronger sex and money provider.

With all these in mind,I grew up to be a Gender Activist ,bringing communities together to train them on Adequate Gender Equitable Norms and Gender Socialization.All these can be made possible by working with traditional rulers who are the custodians of discriminatory laws against women and training Men and Boys to be Advocates for Gender Justice.

Men and Boys roles as advocates for Gender Justice cannot be underestimated in changing Stereotypical and Discriminatory laws against Girls and Women.

Due to these numerous training and sensitization, some men are now sharing their property to their female children, some local chiefs in communities that I have worked in are revising harmful traditional policies and laws that are discriminatory to women and girls,some men are now engaged in domestic chores and some women have been included as members of the traditional councils.Men are now fighting in favor of women and girls rights.

I used Arts to build communities where men respects women's rights.

I used Arts to build resilient and sustained communities.

Men now cherishes women and champions their leadership.

This story was submitted in response to Art for Action.

Comments 5

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maeann
May 18, 2017
May 18, 2017

Dear Evelyn, thank you for sharing your story.  I just wonder what is the men and boys response on the training about Gender Equitable Norms and Gender Socialization.  How they will also advocate it for their own family.

Evelyn Fonkem
May 19, 2017
May 19, 2017

Thanks so much Maeann these men are now engaged in domestic chores and they see the need to send their female children to attain quality education

maeann
May 19, 2017
May 19, 2017

Hi Evelyn,  thank you for your reply.  

Tebi Honourine
May 18, 2017
May 18, 2017

Hey Evelyn.

Because I am a girl that's why my family looks down on me as nothing important in the family as said; I belong to someone else as wife. Continue the fight my dear, mentalities will be changed. 

Evelyn Fonkem
May 19, 2017
May 19, 2017

Thanks Honourine I greatly believe that mentalities will be changed.