Promundo in Cape Verde

From April 18-26th, Promundo, represented by the Campaign and Networks Coordinator, Marco Aurélio Martins, was invited to Cape Verde by the National Council of Human Rights and Citizenship to collaborate with the campaign “Ami ê Pai” (“I am a father,” in Cape Verdean creole). The campaign was founded on recently presented official data about the structure of Cape Verdean families, which points out the high percentage of families headed by women (53%). This data is also indicates the limited participation of men in the lives of their sons; a significant portion of the male population does not officially recognize their biological children, which results in a large group of children who grow without the name of their fathers on their official documents.

Besides stimulating the recognition of fatherhood, the campaign also intends to contribute to a cultural change associated with inflexible gender norms and masculinities, which often result in men’s limitations in showing affection and participating actively in their families’ lives beyond the role of provider.

Promundo conducted a training workshop on gender equality and fatherhood with professionals from different backgrounds, individuals working for the government, and those from organized civil societies. The workshop sought to broaden the horizons of the gender approach and contribute to a sustainable campaign, focusing not only on the need to engage men but also on the debate of gender norms associated with the low rates of participation of men and boys in family life and point out ways to promote public policies which include the participation of the education, health and public security sectors. Hitherto the campaign has produced billboards and a video, which have been broadly disseminated in the media, and is working with the active participation of well-known artists.

Additionally community forums were organized in three low-income neighborhoods of Praia (the country’s capital) and in the interior of Santiago’s island: Tira Chapéu, Safende and São Domingos. During the forums, Promundo shared experiences with residents and sought to understand the local dynamics regarding gender equality and masculinities, which revealed the need to organize reflexive groups in these contexts on the topics discussed.

Promundo’s visit to the country was a result of planning initiated in 2012, when a group of Cape Verdean government representatives visited the headquarters of Promundo-Brazil. This campaign is part of the MenCare global initiative.

Follow the campaign’s next steps at www.men-care.org or at the campaign’s Facebook page .

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