Masculinity, nonviolence and gender equality in Portugal

What is the problem?

The promotion of gender equality and of healthy relationships between men and women has been one of the European Union's priorities. Through diverse programmatic strategies and regulatory actions aimed at fighting and preventing violence against women and children (e.g. the integration of gender perspectives in all political initiatives), the European Commission seeks to promote the equality of treatment based on gender in all organizational levels of the European states, as well as in their bilateral relations. However, these efforts were faced with diverse difficulties, namely regarding the sustainability of the long-term actions which have an effective prevention as their investment and action axis, integrating approaches which are truly transformative of the gender norms. In this field, the work of integrating masculinities is essential. After demonstrations and global evaluations of the success of actions performed in the promotion of non-toxic relationships and nonviolent masculinities, an inflexion took place, more ambitious, to involve the whole society – women and men, children and youth – in the reflexion on gender construction and to promote nonviolent relationships as a way of promoting equality.
Although they are not immune to stereotypes nor to the privileges based on gender inequalities, for many men and youngsters the gender norms are going through a change phase. Previous investigation, promoted by the researcher Tatiana Moura, revealed that the involvement of men in the construction of nonviolent paths and of non-toxic masculinities, implied not only deepening the knowledge about the effects, for example, of the social, political and economic crisis in the violence increase in societies, but also the development of “new approaches” for prevention and of work methods in the promotion of gender equality.

What are we doing?

Studies carried out by CES in direct partnership with the international NGO Promundo have been revealing that parental and care relationships, whether being positive, negative or absent, have a deep impact in the transmission of violent or nonviolent behaviors. More concretely, and in relation with masculinity, the participation of men as caregivers has deep consequences not only in the children's life, but also in that of the women and in the family health, generating mid and long-term intergenerational impacts. The same studies also demonstrate that these relationships are not limited to the biological father's figure, but are also related to adoptive fathers, stepfathers, legal guardians, brothers, uncles, grandfathers, etc. Projects like “State of the involved and nonviolent paternity in Portugal” have also looked into describing the national situation of paternity, demonstrating the importance of the care work made by men.
Currently, two investigation-action projects decurring in CES are seeking – through an international work network and a gender-synchronized approach – to produce empirical data and draw up national and international methodologies aimed at promoting gender equality through the fostering of nonviolent and equitable masculinities and involved and caring fatherhoods. The projects are also aimed at promoting tools which challenge and address stereotyped and negative gender constructions, promoting nonviolent masculinity models, directed to specific target audiences, such as youth and children, family members, health professionals, education professionals and social workers.

What do we seek to bring about?

The building of scripts and intervention tools aimed at children, youth, parents and professionals in the fields of education and health, intends to create capacitation forms to promote gender equality, intergenerational transmission of nonviolence and the construction of non-toxic gender identities contributing, in scale, to the promotion of new safety paradigms, as much in the private as in the public spheres. Decurring in parallel in several European countries (8 countries, presently: Portugal, Spain, Italy, Germany, Croatia, Belgium, Lithuania, Austria), the projects aim not only at the joint construction of new tools, but also at promoting the knowledges and good practices' exchange among them.


Related Projects

Promoting innovative-strategies addressing the construction of gender identities and engaging men and boys in
non-violent models of masculinity

EQUI-X

Promoting innovative-strategies addressing the construction of gender identities and engaging men and boys in non-violent models of masculinity

Tatiana Moura

January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2019

Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme of the European Commission (EU)
(Programa Direitos, Igualdade e Cidadania)

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Promotion, Awareness Raising and Engagement of men in Nurture Transformations

PARENT

Promotion, Awareness Raising and Engagement of men in Nurture Transformations

Tatiana Moura

February 1, 2019 to January 31, 2021

Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme of the European Commission (EU)

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Adapting the International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES), to urban settings of Post-Conflict and Urban Violence: "IMAGES-PC+UV"

Sílvia Roque

Tatiana Moura

May 1, 2013 to April 30, 2016

International Development Research Centre - Canada

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