In Brazil, Promundo Adapts Project to Challenge Gender Norms Through Sports


New DEGASE Female Unity Wall, from graffiti workshop by @RedeNami

In Brazil, Promundo has launched a pilot adaptation of the project “Practicing Sports, Winning in Life” through an agency linked to the State Secretariat of Education, New DEGASE (General Department of Socio-educational Actions), that is responsible for developing social and educational activities for adolescents who are in conflict with the law in Rio de Janeiro.

The five-month pilot is being carried out through the women’s unit of New DEGASE in Rio de Janeiro, the only one of its kind. The project has reached 50 adolescents so far: involving them in sports as well as in workshops focused on building an awareness of gender and of how to prevent violence in urban contexts.

In this project, sports are used as an entry point for encouraging personal development and challenging harmful social norms. The workshops are based on Program M, a curriculum that seeks to promote gender equality through the empowerment of young women in their interpersonal relationships, health, and sexual and reproductive rights.

The pilot was divided into two cycles. The first cycle involved young women who had infractions with sentences of up to 45 days. The second cycle, currently underway, is engaging young women with longer sentences in prison for youth under 18 years of age.

In addition to the young women’s group intervention carried out by Promundo, New DEGASE project management professionals are using Promundo’s educational materials – Program M, Program P, and the campaign Não Dé Bobeira, which incorporates materials for the prevention of sexual exploitation of children and adolescents – in their own activities.

After the pilot phase is completed, the possibility of expanding the intervention, including by bringing it into the men’s units, will be evaluated.

About the Project

Promundo’s project “Practicing Sports, Winning in Life” targets children and adolescents from the Guararapes and Maré communities in Brazil, bringing together Portuguese and Mathematics education, gender and sexuality workshops, and sports. The project model is being adapted from the pilot to the DEGASE context, with funding from Kindernothilfe and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (German Agency for International Cooperation).

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