Padare/Enkundleni Men's Forum on Gender

Padare/Enkundleni Men's Forum on Gender

2001 Africa Prize Laureate

(Jonah Gokova, Founder)

Zimbabwe

Padare/Enkundleni/Men’s Forum on Gender is committed to promoting gender equity in Zimbabwe. Padare has developed programs that target behavioral change in men and boys in the area of gender relations. It uses a media and outreach campaign to publicly discuss men's roles, including sensitizing male journalists and political groups to gender issues. Groups meet in every province of the country, engaging in networking and advocacy campaigns with women’s and men's organizations.

In recent years, Padare has utilized its insight and approach to work with men in taking responsibility for the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Padare examines the underlying male stereotypes that have led to the spread of HIV/AIDS and asserts that the best way to curtail the transmission of HIV/AIDS is to target behavioral and attitudinal change in men. It convenes workshops with men to address how men’s behavior facilitates the spread of HIV/AIDS and how men can become involved in prevention and care.

In all of its work, Padare’s objectives are (1) to create a forum for men to question and reject gender stereotypes and roles that privilege men and oppress women; (2) to establish a support group for men who are committed to change; (3) and to enable men to identify and challenge structures and institutions perpetuating gender inequality in Zimbabwean society. Its activities include:

  • Local public meetings where men come together to discuss issues dealing with men’s and women’s identities, boy and girl children, domestic violence and other gender-relevant topics. The meetings are also used as planning sessions for local and national outreach and advocacy efforts.
  • Media and outreach to advocate for gender equity and sensitize the public about gender issues. Recognizing that the media is very influential in shaping societal attitudes, Padare holds gender sensitization workshops for male journalists in order to promote positive gender reporting. Outside of the media, Padare also uses street theatre as a method of public outreach.
  • Networking and outreach in order to play a complimentary role in support of the women’s movement. This solidarity has been reflected in Padare’s participation in a number of annual and ongoing events on gender. Apart from domestic networks, Padare has also established working relationships with other male organizations regionally and internationally.

Padare members are encouraged to take what they have learned outside of the group - to be visible in society - and to openly challenge male behavior that dehumanizes women and spreads the epidemic. Padare claims that out of this process a new definition of masculinity is emerging.