Practitioners, activists and academics in East and Southeast Asia enhance critical understanding of gender justice in their own settings

The Regional Learning Community (RLC), a grouping of gender justice practitioners, activists and academics from the East and Southeast Asian region, are fostering greater critical consciousness and analysis of gender justice in the region. Over the past two years, the RLC has created an egalitarian, inclusive and empowering learning space for practitioners from the region to share their knowledge and experience. Thus, new knowledge on gender justice is generated by, for, and with community members from around the sub-regions. Emerging from this process, participants have produced a regional curriculum to enhance understanding of gender theory and gender justice and enhance the skills needed to apply this new knowledge. The curriculum’s creation emerged from a series of consultations where local partners identified a need for learning tools based on local realities. The curriculum is designed to enhance the understanding of masculinities and gender-power relations in the region, in order to assist practitioners work to promote gender justice and prevent violence. The regional curriculum will be further developed and tested at a regional training of trainers workshop in November, to build a pool of resource people in the region, and to foster a space for local practitioners to continue sharing and supporting community initiatives. For more information on the upcoming workshop, see http://www.partners4prevention.org/news/call-applications-transforming-masculinities-gender-justice-training-trainers-workshop. In the meantime, the RLC curriculum is being locally adapted and translated in selected countries across the region. For example, Lao RLC participants formed a group and started a learning process to deepen their understanding of patriarchy and masculinity in the Lao context. The group is studying the regional curriculum initially by translating and discussing key words within the curriculum. In Mongolia, as part of its national adaptation of the curriculum, members of civil society networks are working to provide a safe and free space in which men, women, boys, girls, transgender and intersex individuals can engage in self-reflection and collective analysis of dominant masculinities, unpacking the term ‘man,’ and dissecting masculinities in the global, national, and local contexts of culture, politics, and economy. In Cambodia, a national adaptation has been started by a dynamic group of NGOs. Its goal is to build a strong and effective alliance of activists, advocates, and practitioners and deepen their knowledge and analysis of patriarchy, masculinity, gender-power relations, and violence. This initiative seeks to build synergy among interventions focused on GBV prevention and gender justice among civil society members and networks. The RLC initiative has been supported by P4P as a way to strengthen the capacity of civil society members from the region understand and respond to unequal gender power relations and prevent GBV. The RLC also deepens connections across borders among like-minded practitioners. For more information about the RLC, contact Khamsavath.chanthavysouk@one.un.org.

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