Young men are often under a lot of pressure to prove their masculinity in ways that put them and others at risk, and they are influenced by cultural expectations of how girls and boys should behave according to their gender.
Statistically compared to girls, boys are more likely to:
Be violent towards others.
Become addicted to alcohol or drugs,.
Achieve lower grades in school.
Never seek help for mental health problems. Suicide is the single most common cause of death among men under 35.
The Great Men workshop challenges boys to think critically about the gender stereotypes that fuel these kinds of behaviors; that ‘real’ men shouldn’t express emotions other than anger or control, that aggression, money and promiscuity are the markers of ‘success’, and that women and homosexual men represent the opposite of these characteristics and should be treated as inferior.
Watch this powerful poem from our very own volunteer Martin Okoli. You can find more of Martin's topical artwork here.
We want to see the next generation of men taking an active role in promoting gender equality. We will also be using the findings from the workshops to campaign on education and equality policy.
In the short term the workshop will improve the experience of boys and girls at school and challenge negative gender stereotypes which effect boys’ behavior, mental health and academic performance, as well as the ways in which they interact with young women.
We also provide materials for teachers to continue the conversation and expand it into the schools’ wider community. In addition to the workshop we can also offer:
Consultation in how the school’s equality policy and management structure can actively challenge negative gender stereotypes and promote gender equality.
Resources for PSHE, Citizenship and SRE lessons beyond the Great Men workshop.
Follow up sessions with our facilitators.
Facilitation of a Boys’ Mentoring Group. This takes the Great Men workshop further by establishing a mentoring scheme between the students who took part in the workshop and boys in lower years to put their learning into practice by providing support and encouragement to boys in lower years.
If you are experiencing negative emotions or need help, call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 (UK Helpline).
'Young men need to be re-educated to change their mindset & give them a sense of value and equality'
Teacher, Lilian Bayliss School