“I have learned that there are many forms of violence: not only physical but also verbal violence. When I see a woman in the street and comment on her butt, it is also a kind of violence,” explains Johnny, a 17-year-old from the Dominican Republic.
Johnny took part in a gender equality course intended for teenage boys organised by Plan International. The course has changed his ideas about manhood, womanhood and equality.
Even though the Dominican Republic has laws prohibiting violence against women and children, the legislation is widely ignored. Because violence is accepted it is also common in the country. Half of all children in the Dominican Republic say that they have experienced physical violence. The Champion for Change courses organised by Plan International change participants’ ideas of manhood, help to promote equality, reduce gender-related violence and provide information about sexual health. The project targets boys aged between 15 and 24 who will become champions of equality. Plan International Finland receives funding from Finland’s development cooperation funds.
Photo: Laura Mendelin, graphics: Juho Hiilivirta