Men stopping violence against women will be on the National Council for Children’s (NCC) training programme during the visit of Lee Giordanno, a community organiser and violence prevention advocate interested in building and sustaining communities of men dedicated to using anti-oppression frameworks to end male violence against women.
Lee will be visiting Seychelles from September 7-9 at the request of the US embassy and will facilitate a workshop at the STC’s conference hall for the NCC for fathers who have daughters aged 14 -18 years.
For many years, violence against women has been seen as a “women’s issue” but, it is a human issue. The question is, “Why would men want to get involved in ending violence against women?” The answer is, “because they have daughters”.
Men have daughters, sisters, friends, mothers, co-workers and other women in their lives whom they want to be safe but they do not have the skills or tools to help create that safety.
The workshop will provide a unique opportunity for fathers to learn about their daughters’ realities by sharing fun and educational activities, followed by discussions about any insights they gained from the activities.
The activities fall into one of four categories: shared tasks – like building a bridge – performance, physical games, or arts and crafts. Each activity is designed to help demonstrate the core values of “Because We Have Daughters” (BWHD). The day ends with reflection and appreciation.
The core values of the programme is reflected in the process of sharing ideas in a respectful way which can be just as important as resolving an issue. In interactions with their daughters, fathers are used to coming up with “the answer” to a challenge or conflict, but allowing open discussion leaves space for girls to explore their own ideas with confidence and it also provides space for girls to expand to their full personhood. Both fathers and daughters get the opportunity to practice assertiveness without being aggressive or manipulating and they get to discuss difficult issues without blaming, minimising or judging . The workshop also helps to bridge traditional divide between men and women and brings an awareness and understanding of societal pressures girls and women face.
The facilitator, Lee Giordanno, has presented hundreds of workshops and trainings on ending men’s violence against women to various community and government organisations and university students, faculty and staff. Notable past trainings include three-day trainings on patriarchy, violence against women, ableism, inter-sectionality, and antiracism. He has conducted webinars on community accountability, and he believes that his intervention helps men understand what it would be like for their daughters, and all women, to live fully and freely without fear of violence.
All fathers who have daughters aged 14-18 years and would like to take part in the training with their daughters are asked to telephone NCC by dialing 4283900 during working hours .
Contributed by the NCC