The Capacity Development Support Facility (CDSF) conducted staff capacity development training on ‘engaging men and boys in gender equality’ for all its staff in the four regional offices, namely SNNPR, Tigray, Amhara, Oromia as well as national office staff located in Addis Ababa. Seventy-seven CDSF staff members (59 men and 18 women) participated in the training. The training took place over two days during different dates and locations from December 2018 to January 2019.
The purpose of the training was to enhance the knowledge and skills of CDSF staff in supporting gender mainstreaming activities in the Agricultural Growth Program (AGP2). The fact that the agriculture sector is male-dominated makes gender mainstreaming activities very relevant to AGP2.
Competencies covered during the training included: approaches to male engagement in gender equality; frameworks for male engagement and benefits of positive masculinity; negative aspects of “toxic masculinity”; and, benefits of inclusive organizational culture.
During the training, adult learning methodologies such as group discussion, role playing, case study analysis, gallery walk and group discussion were used in addition to the power point presentations.
CDSF National Gender and Leadership Specialist, Meskerem Mulatu, and Technical Coordinator/National Capacity Development Specialist, Tadele Akalu co-facilitated the capacity development training.
Participants described the training as interesting and extremely useful.
Tsehay Baffie, an Administration Officer at CDSF SNNP Regional office, had the following to say about the training.
“I found the training useful and interesting. It is relevant to me as an administration officer. I have gained useful knowledge that I can apply in my personal life as well.
The training has revealed dominant gender stereotypes that exist in the community where I live and in my work place. As a member of the community myself, I had some misconceptions about gender issues. For instance, the need for men engagement in ensuring gender equality is a new idea to me. I used to think that women alone should fight to ensure gender equality because only women are negatively affected by gender inequality. Now I understand that men should also be fully engaged to ensure gender equality.
I strongly believe that if gender equality is ensured at family level, it can be ensured at national level. That is why I have started raising my family’s awareness about gender. We now have regular, free-flowing discussion in my 7-member family about gender issues. These kind of family discussions had never crossed my mind before the training.
In my office, we have drafted a gender action plan. I am eager to contribute my share to the implementation of the action plan. As a capacity development organization, I strongly believe that CDSF should continue giving adequate attention to gender mainstreaming work. I hope CDSF will become a model organization in mainstreaming gender.”
Adanech Kidane is a cleaner/messenger at the national office. Adanech had the following to say about the training.
“The training has helped me to correct some of my misconceptions about gender issues. I used to think that housework such as sweeping, cleaning utensils, washing clothes, cooking are meant only for women. For this reason, I never allowed male staff in our office to wash their lunch boxes or serve themselves. I have now learned that it is not a bad thing for men to do some domestic work. I have even started appreciating husbands who support their wives in their household chores.
The training has also helped me to realize that men and women are indeed equal and there is nothing that women can’t do if they are given the opportunity. Now, I’ve got the inspiration to try and do things, and I know my biological sex does not limit me.
I have learned a lot in just a two-day training, but I hope CDSF will facilitate more such opportunities for us so that we can succeed in our own life, and share our knowledge, experiences with others.”