Gender-Aware / Gender-Transformative Facilitation Training

Gender-Aware / Gender-Transformative Facilitation Training

New Minas, Millet Centre, Oct. 2013; Digby, NSCC, Nov, 2013.

Overview:

With the goal of enriching community ability to enhance understanding and communication in single and mixed gender groups, S.O.A.R., Chrysalis House, and Juniper House collaborated on a project to develop a gender-aware and gender-transformative facilitation training program. The target audience was professionals and volunteers who were already experienced in facilitation, but wanted more expertise in applying gender issues to their work. The program was designed to enhance skills and proficiency in working with mixed-gender groups or groups of men and boys, particularly when addressing issues of violence against women.

The “gender-aware” aspect focussed on recognizing that to engage men and boys, there needs to be awareness on the part of the facilitator of what process and content will motivate that demographic to attend and participate fully in the group or workshop. If you can’t get them in the door, the work cannot be done. The “gender-transformative” aspect focussed on designing processes that, while safe and respectful, operates outside of the normal pattern of communication and behaviour of men and boys, and in doing so, enables a new level of awareness and potentially a change in attitude and behaviour on the part of the men and boys. The two-day training process was designed with these two main goals in mind, so that the participants could learn experientially how these worked. [See the White Ribbon issue brief by Minerson, Carolo, Dinner and Jones (2011) for a description of these two concepts.]

The program was designed to offer thought provoking, sometimes controversial, topics of interest to spark rich dialogue about gender, safety, and healthy communities. A variety of adult learning modalities were utilized to encourage full and equitable participation. Handouts on gender issues (e.g. from Killerman, 2013) and violence against women (sourced from local women’s transition houses) enhanced the content aspect of the training. The workshops took place in Digby, NS and in New Minas, NS over two days at each location. The training left participants with a well-defined toolkit of information about enhancing the effectiveness of single and mixed-gender groups (See appendices). They left with increased knowledge and understanding about the role of gender-aware and gender-transformative programming in creating effective dialogue for those involved in ending violence against women and girls.

See the full report on the training on our Final Project Report page.

We thank Status of Women Nova Scotia for funding to make this possible. We may offer similar workshops in future, but without funding we will have to charge for them

The Team: (Kentville: Bruce, Rhonda, Angela. Digby: Bruce, Lori, Mary Lee, Angela)

Bruce Dienes, Ph.D., Project Coordinator, Engaging Men and Boys in Ending Violence against Women and Girls.
Bruce has a background in Community Psychology and has worked with groups of men for over 30 years. He has taught courses on “Perspectives on Masculinity” and “Issues in Support Group Leadership” at the University of Illinois and on “Perspectives on Masculinity” and “Community Psychology” at Mount Saint Vincent University. He is a trainer for peer counsellors and group facilitators for S.O.A.R.

Angela Johnston, B.A. is one of the founders of Compassion Action and has 10 years’ experience delivering presentations, facilitating workshops and developing community organizations. See http://www.compassionaction.ca

Lori Andrews is certified with the Canadian Professional Counsellors Association and has 10 years’ experience as an Outreach Worker with Juniper House. http://www.juniperhouse.ca/

Mary Lee Chaddock, B.A., B.Ed. has 25 years teaching experience with a focus on special needs children. She is a group facilitator and a trainer for peer counsellors with S.O.A.R. as well as having run peer counselling programs in high schools. http://survivorsofabuserecovering.ca

 

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