(Press Release) The Caribbean Family Planning Association (CFPA), in collaboration with the St Lucia Planned Parenthood Association (SLPPA) and the St. Vincent Planned Parenthood Association (SVPPA), is pleased to announce an exciting new partnership with the Movement Accelerator project of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). Dubbed ‘Winning Narratives’, this initiative aims to change social norms around gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights.
The CFPA has launched a strategic research and communication process with men and boys in St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines to better understand the perceptions of gender and gender-based violence (GBV) among men and boys to develop more effective GBV prevention messages and strategies.
A fundamental shift in approach is needed to address GBV. Current ways of thinking and working on this issue have had less impact than desired, without the much-needed transformation of fundamental values and actions of persons and communities, despite decades of work and millions of dollars expended. Unfortunately, violence against persons based on their gender remains exceedingly high in the Caribbean, with newly released data from 2020 confirming that nearly half of Caribbean women face at least one form of violence: physical, sexual, economic, or emotional. (UN Women Caribbean). Caribbean societies are also reported to have a high tolerance for GBV, which is rooted in the prevalence of patriarchy and inequalities legitimized by cultures and religions.
According to the CFPA President, Dr Rosmond Adams: “We must include men as an important part of the solution in ending GBV. CFPA calls on communities across the Caribbean to address the high tolerance of harmful masculinities. Ending GBV is the responsibility of the whole community. It is important to engage men and boys as active participants and agents of change to rid our societies of this horrible scourge. It is also critical to address systemic forms of violence, recognizing that violence is prevalent in societies that condone and encourage it in various forms.”
The Winning Narratives (advocacy) initiative aims to improve critical understanding of and responses to GBV by focusing on men and boys, who often enter into the narrative of GBV primarily as perpetrators. We believe that men and boys have a vital positive role in ending GBV and transforming oppressive notions of gender that continue to plague our societies.
To heal from generations of trauma and build healthy communities, we need new narratives built on empathy for each other and understanding of our collective struggles. The research will provide men and boys with an opportunity to critically examine their understanding of gender construction and relationships, along with their knowledge of and experiences with GBV, to contribute to shaping new national conversations where men and boys can be viewed as positive contributors to societal wellbeing.