This guide enables trained Gender Champions to facilitate community dialogues. These small group discussions are first held in separate men’s and women’s groups and then in a combined session. They cover topics of gender norms and roles, as well as faith-based responses to sexual and gender-based violence.
The community dialogues are a tool that Gender Champions can use to facilitate a series of reflections and dialogues. Their ultimate aim is for individuals to be transformed. This tool will be most effective if used in the context of the Transforming Masculinities approach. The discussion themes are tailored for both women’s and men’s groups, with the expectation they will come together for a joint reflection in Week 6. The themes are intended to prompt personal reflection and deepen understanding of the topics; the Gender Champions’ (facilitators’) knowledge will also feed into this process. The sessions are practical and action-oriented, so at the end of each one participants will be given personal and relational reflections to take home and think through during the week, with a view to sharing their thoughts in the following session. This will not only prompt them to reflect at length but also foster a sense of accountability and create a strong bond within their groups. This is important to ensure the dialogues are a safe space and a space for transformation.
The sessions are composed of both scriptural reflections and other tools to facilitate honest dialogues at the community level. The Gender Champions are welcome to adapt the reflections and points for discussions to make them meaningful and relevant for the participants and the community. The idea is that holy texts, either from the Qur’an or the Bible, are used to help address misinterpretations that support and perpetuate harmful masculine ideologies, gender inequality, and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).