July 20, 2007
Liberian Stakeholders Gather
Recognizing that the Male Involvement Project has made tremendous progress, and committed to creating a broad based social change process, today IRC has organized a "Key Stakeholders Male Involvement Strategy Planning Workshop." Representatives from the Ministry of Gender, police, youth services, and men's and women's action groups as well as IRC staff attend.
The meeting begins with presentations about the background and history of the GBV program and male involvement project from Gertrude (IRC national GBV coordinator), Navanita ad Ballah. WAG and MAG representatives then give stirring testimonies about the profound impacts the male involvement initiative has already had on their communities, confirming the stories we have already heard over the past two days from IRC staff.
James and I then facilitate the group in a discussion about their ideas for how to continue to expand the involvement of men as allies with women for ending violence against women, and how they can work together to make this happen. It is a unique and exciting opportunity for diverse community sectors to talk and listen to each other, and many promising ideas are discussed, including fostering community leadership and community-based organizations, advocating for stronger enforcement of government employee policy on violence against women, and outreach to religious and educational institutions.
As we met, IRC submitted their Year Two funding request for the Male Involvement Project to Irish Aid, with high hopes that many of the ideas generated by the IRC staff and this stakeholders workshop will be carried forward in the years to come. Gertrude concluded the workshop by expressing IRC's commitment to continuing to bring together these stakeholders in a participatory, community empowerment process. And James distributed MRI "Courage = Compassion" t-shirts to all participants.
Posted by Jorge at July 20, 2007 02:17 PM