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Improving the protection of women and girls one performance at a time

An ambitious Somali man born in 1992, in Kismayo and grew up in difficult situations during war crisis, drought, famine and in a community where cultural beliefs and practices took precedence over human rights. Through difficulties, he was able to complete his primary education but due to domestic problems and other vulnerabilities in the family then, he could not proceed with his secondary education and was forced to drop out of school.

Posted on 09 Feb 2023

Later on, Mohamed and family fled to Kenya and settled in Dadaab camp with his parents. He is now the primary provider for his parents and siblings as well as his young wife, by doing odd jobs.

While having a chat with friends at a social place at the camp market, he got to learn about Engaging Men in Accountable Practices (EMAP) program through the awareness that a Danish Refugee Council (DRC) community staff was conducting nearby, and so he volunteered to be part of the program.

Mohammed said he gained a lot of knowledge and skills through his engagement in the EMAP program with other men, that transformed his way of living and relationship with his mother, wife, and siblings.

Mohammed’s favorite topics during the EMAP program he facilitates as a peer youth educator are; changing behavior, gender roles and responsibilities, taking responsibility and healthy relationships.

He confesses coming into the program, he had misconceptions and very little knowledge on issues concerning the topics and it was an eye opener for him to discover that some cultural practices are harmful to women and girls.

According to Mohammed, the men engaged in the EMAP program gained skills and knowledge and are using that to advise other men to shun away from harmful traditional practices like intimate partner violence, female genital mutilation, child/forced marriage and so far, their peers are listening to them because they have facts to support their arguments, thanks to the EMAP sessions.

Look! I wash, cook and look after the children in the presence or the absence of my wife which creates a good rapport and understanding between me and members of my immediate family, also creating time for my wife to rest. The 16 sessions have made me a better person and now I lead my family well. They are happier, and I embrace dialogue in my home as well as solving disputes through dialogue unlike before, where I was made to believe by my culture that, wife battering is okay and an acceptable way of a man to express his anger to his wife.

/  Mohammed

Mohammed is now involved in educating his peers at the blocks through entertainment, where he participates in advocacy to end violence against women and girls, through poetry, and skits performed during calendar events such as International Women’s Day.

This he says, is a way of being accountable to women and girls by ensuring that he uses the skills he acquired through the EMAP training to ensure a safe and secure environment for women and girls in the camp.

He attended 16 interactive, experience-sharing EMAP sessions and later graduated as an EMAP champion. Apart from the EMAP training and skills, Mohamed is also a beneficiary for DRC vocational training as a tailor, from which he hopes to start his own tailoring business.

Funded by EU Humanitarian Aid

Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
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