1. BY: Celma Elizabeth Menezes & Gilberto Macuacua
The Sixteen (16) Minutes is a project that seeks to encourage Mozambican Men & Boys to reflect on the rampant cases of Violence Against Women & Girls (VAWG). The overall idea is to have Men & Boys devoting sixteen (16) minutes of their time, everyday during the 16 days of Activism Against Gender Violence on a process of self reflection around the problem of VAWG.
The Sixteen (16) Minutes project will be carried out between November 25 (International Day Against Violence Against Women) and December 10 (International Human Rights Day) in order to symbolically link VAW and human rights & the fundamental right of every Mozambican woman & girl to live a life free from violence.
During the first semester of 2010, Mozambique registered 11.000 cases of GBV in which 10.000 women reported having experienced male aggression. By acknowledging the important role that Me & Boys play in the problem solving process, it is clear that The Sixteen (16) Minutes places Mozambican men at the center of its agenda to respond to the widespread sense of social silence, tolerance, and inhibition within Mozambican society. The project also works on the premise that Men & Boys should be at the forefront of efforts seeking to end women’s abuse by tackling the root causes: socialization; discriminatory traditional values & dominant cultural norms, all of which lead to increasing gender inequality and ultimately violence.
Since the 16-day period also highlights other significant dates including December 1 (World AIDS Day), The Sixteen (16) Minutes project also seeks to raise awareness among men on the linkages between physical, sexual and other forms of abuse with HIV infections among women & girls. By doing so, it is clear that The Sixteen (16) Minutes considers VAWG a very serious public health problem.
During this period we will conduct the following major activities:
1. Run workshops with Men & Boys so that they can critically reflect, question or challenge personal & broader social norms that create & reinforce gender inequality and vulnerability for women battering & sexual abuse.
2. Wear & disseminate white ribbons in the two semi-urban areas of Maputo city (Bairro 25 de Junho & Zimpeto). This activity will be carried out by Men & Boys participating in the workshops through interpersonal outreach approaches.
3. Dissemination of educative messages on VAWG through different channels such as leaflets, brochures, internet.
This project was devised by Fanelo Ya Mina, Mozambican nonprofit making organization, created by Celma Menezes & Gilberto Macuácua. Their organization’s mandate focuses on that Blending Gender Perspective with Men & Boys Approaches to address harmful gender dynamics that put communities at risk of health & social challenges including Violence & HIV/AIDS.
Through their interactions & life experiences, Celma & Gilberto learned that one should have obligations towards other individuals within their own community. A large part of it is about being sensitive to what people’s needs may be, depending on what the community & country circumstances demand. These are the lessons that had profound influence on them & the two quickly recognized that contributing to society was their obligation & the creating Fanelo Ya Mina as it stands for-It’s My Obligation- was the key to it.