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28 Jan 2019


23 male advocates who graduated in December 2018 are now equipped to effect change in the public service, respective departments, respective homes and communities on norms, cultural and religious misperceptions about women, inequality and violence against women and other gender issues.

The 23 participants came from national departments and provincial administrations to undergo this 3 phase program to be advocates for gender related issues in the country as public servants in their respective roles and responsibilities and as man in their respective communities.

Frank Amoiha, Training Manager with Department of Finance and one of the graduands, thought that he was too big for this kind of program but when he went through the different phases of this program, he understood the importance of it all and he has a role to play in this important cause.

“I want to challenge all of us (graduands) MAN, it takes a man to be a man. I know we will go against the norms of society but its takes a man to be a man,” says Amoiha.

Before handing the graduands their certificates Mrs Agnes Friday – Deputy Secretary for the Department of Personnel Management, challenged the graduands to be role model and responsible advocates for gender based violence and gender inequality.

“Gender based violence and gender inequality are major challenges and as public servants we have a responsibility to show leadership in changing attitudes and behaviors at work and at home,” said deputy Friday.

“I know now that you are all equipped to respond to and prevent gender based violence and promote gender equality in the public services,” added Friday.

The Public Service Male Advocacy Program was established in 2013 and it is made up of male public service officers who voluntarily joined the network and have undergone sensitization trainings to advocate for women’s human rights and to support elimination of all forms of violence against women. The main intention was focused on advocacy and awareness programs to stand and speak up against violence happening in their workplaces and in the communities and to take up the challenge as a male advocate.

The main objective is to train and support men to support women’s equality, human rights, access to justice and support services. This involves gaining insights and skills that mean the advocates make positive changes in their personal lives, as well as community and professional involvements.

The secondary objective of the program focuses on how men can be used as advocates for change in the workplace and community to address FSV and structural gender inequalities. The program will use men as advocates for change only after they have demonstrated real change from their own attitudes and behaviors towards women. This personal change is a critical hurdle for male participants and emphasizes the importance of working in a way that is accountable to women’s rights groups.