THIRTY young men from Epworth have been equipped with tools to challenge gender stereotypes and combat toxic masculinity at a mentorship programme hosted by Fathers Against Abuse (FAA).
The training programme is aimed at empowering the next generation to embrace empathy, respect and equality.
The programme, tailored for those aged between 15 and 25, focused on nurturing emotional intelligence while breaking down harmful gender norms.
Participants learnt about healthy relationships, communication skills, managing emotions, gender-based violence and entrepreneurship. FAA director, Alois Nyamazana, said by dismantling outdated stereotypes, these young men are equipped to challenge gender-based discrimination and build a more balanced society.
“The socialisation of boys in our society is that they are seen as aggressive and violent. They are urged not to show emotions or seek help hence we are trying to change that.
“We want boys to use their masculinity for the betterment of their society.
“Through being raised in toxic societies, most boys fail to navigate through the difficulties of life leading to many suicides of young boys.”
“The society now is more focused on empowering the girl child, however, this programme seeks to compliment what women’s organisations are doing so as to have a balanced society.”
After completion of the mentorship training, the participants receive their certificates and are urged to mentor others in their communities so that the process can be replicated.
Alois said financial constraints were hindering the expansion of this initiative to other places in Harare and surrounding areas.
“We call upon organisations to partner with us as such programmes facilitate real behaviour change and create a better society for everyone through moulding gender balance.”