BraveMen Campaign has been a unique self-reflexive learning process starting at an early age, helping young and adolescent boys to embody positive forms of masculinities while mobilizing girls to overcome the negative impact of femininity to fight Gender-Based Discrimination and Violence as a sheer form of injustice. BraveMen Campaign promotes Human Rights through campaign activities. Using motherhood as an entry point, BMC involves boys in households’ chores to help the mothers in order to make their invisible work visible. BMC also encourages all the members of the family to sit together to share the foods to eradicate discrimination as well as malnutrition problem among women. The participants of the BraveMen Campaign also spread awareness about the importance of proper nutrition during adolescent periods for both boys and girls. BMC addresses all forms of gender-based violence including sexual harassment. ‘Campus Hero Café’ sessions were arranged in order to bring the adolescent boys and girls out of their fear, shame, and hesitation about sexual and reproductive health and rights. Girl’s participation in sports was identified as a crucial component of empowerment. All the participant schools arranged the sports program to promote girls’ rights to play in the field.
The BraveMen Campaign approach involves young men, women, boys, and girls in micro-level, inclusive, tolerant, and gender transformative practices at home and then connect it with community activism leading to more gender-equitable macro-level behavior and preventing VAW&G. The micro-level practices such as helping the mother at household work spark the self-reflection inside the mind of the participants. The positive effects of the micro-level practices shatter the beliefs of traditional toxic ideologies which reproduces violence and guides them towards the positive behaviors in macro-level practices which makes them aware of gender equality and encourages them to protest and prevent gender-based violence. The Self reflexive diary known as the ‘Diary of Braves’ contains stories, tasks, and information in a creative and attractive way that encourages the participants to accomplish the tasks to raise awareness among their communities. The stories provide them important information on gender-equal practices and sexual and reproductive health and rights which shifts them towards gathering proper information.
Redefining the idea of bravery, as an act of protesting discrimination and violence instead of committing those, BMC celebrates role models of GBV prevention and involve men and boys without demonizing those.
The impact our project has achieved so far:
A female student of class eight of Jahangirgati Chakshorappur Boalia Dwimukhi High School, Sirajganj stopped her own marriage. She learned that child marriage is illegal and it may harm her health. She took the help of her friends and the school teachers to make her parents understand the bad impacts of child marriage and the importance of continuing her studies. She thanks the BraveMen Campaign for the confidence build up in her mind which helped her to stop the marriage.
The students of Dhap-Washin High School of Sirajganj stopped the spoilt eve-teasers who used to harass the female students of the school while they were coming to school or going home from school. The students contacted 109 which they learned from the Diary of the Braves and were suggested to take help from their teachers if the incidents reoccur then they were instructed to contact the local police for help. The students, both male, and female went to the teachers and the teacher understood the problem. The teacher then talked with the local tea stall owners near the school and told them not to allow the spoilt boys to sit in the stall during school hours. Otherwise, they will take legal actions against them. The stall owners understood and agreed to not allow the boys who harass the students in the stall at the time of school starting and finishing. Thus the students helped to put a stop to the harassment the female students were facing almost every day.