Gender Action Learning Process for Change begins for P&S Program
This week, thirteen P&S staff members from Angoche and Moma districts representing administrative, technical and managerial departments were engaged in the first phase of a Gender Action Learning process for supporting the program in the promotion of gender equality.
Born out of introspective analysis of CARE Mozambique’s approach and integration of gender in projects, policies and procedures and following similar processes for CARE internationally, CARE Mozambique has initiated a national process based in Gender at Work methodology aimed at achieving the following objectives:
-Create participant consciousness of participants gender relations and roles at individual, organizational, and community levels
-Build organizational capacity and knowledge in a gender approach
-Create opportunities for participants to implement change interventions for gender equality in their organizations
-Systematize and register the process and stories of change as practiced
For P&S’ initial phase, facilitators Solange Rocha and Sylvie Desautels led participants through a day of inclusive participatory activities following a transformative Popular Education approach, utilizing engaging and expressive forms such as theater and drawing. “These methods allow us to connect with all types of people and to get to the bottom of issues,” explained Desautels.
“Many projects include gender components in the form of numbers of or % of female participation, for example, but we are looking at achieving a deeper, more profound analysis. Our goal is to guide the institution to take into account power and decision-making dynamics; issues of access and representation, not just presence.”
-Solange Rocha, Facilitator
In short, P&S staff have begun to learn what it is to put on and see through, in the words of Rocha, ‘gender glasses’ at the personal/familial, organizational, and community levels, following a Reflect-Act-Change model.
It is about asking questions explained the facilitators. “We must start by asking Why?, reflect on these responses, and then ask, “What does this mean? Is this something we want to change? If so, how can we change it?”
Looking ahead over the next year and a half, a team ‘change agents’ made up of representatives from each of CARE’s programs, including P&S of the CARE-WWF Alliance, will tackle the aforementioned objectives. Through dialogues, workshops, and other platforms, they will facilitate staff and beneficiary communities through a didactic process of listening and observing, reflecting and learning, towards improved cultural consciousness with respect to gender. This will worked into a global Theory of Change and action plan, incorporating strategies and stories of change.
NRM Officer Marcos Assane will serve as co-facilitator for P&S. With his support and leadership, P&S will be putting on its ‘gender glasses’ and looking into a mirror. As Assane commented:
“For change to happen in how we run our projects and work with communities with respect to gender, we must start with us.”
The challenge then will be how we respond to the reflection we find looking back.