What is the impact?
Transforming Masculinities is currently being used in eight countries, including Brazil, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar and Nigeria. So far, Tearfund has trained more than 400 faith leaders and 200 Gender Champions, and more than 3,000 people have completed community dialogues. Initial results and monitoring data show:
- significant reduction in intimate partner violence
- more conversations taking place about gender
- a reduction in gender-based violence between men and women
- faith leaders speaking out more about gender-based violence during their services
- better support for survivors
- men becoming more involved in household tasks
- improved decision-making processes within families.
We believe that Transforming Masculinities will help both to change individual behaviour and build a society free of all forms of SGBV.
Group activity: Jesus, our role model
This Bible reflection for a small group is adapted from the Transforming Masculinities manual.
Read Ephesians 5:22–25
Invite participants to get into three groups. Each group should make a list of 10 to 12 characteristics of men from their community, and then 10 to 12 characteristics of Jesus Christ.
Ask each group to discuss the following and present back key points to the larger group, giving them 20 minutes to discuss and reflect:
Group 1: Look at relationships. How did Jesus interact with his family, friends, colleagues, disciples and the women who followed him?
Guiding thoughts: If men today were to be like Jesus, how would they treat women? Girls? Daughters? Sisters? Wives? Mothers? What kind of fathers/husbands would they be? (Consider Jesus washing his disciples’ feet (John 13:1–17), cooking for Peter (John 21:10–14), telling Martha that paying attention to him was more important than being busy (Luke 10:38–42), weeping for his friend Lazarus (John 11:17–43) etc.)
Group 2: How did Jesus respond to those who were stigmatised by their community, such as women who were rejected and discriminated against?
Guiding thoughts: If men today were to be like Jesus, how would they respond to survivors of abuse? Would they blame the ‘victims’? Would they stigmatise them? Reject them? Allow them to be abused again? (Look at how Jesus treats the Samaritan woman (John 4:4–26), the woman with an issue of blood (Luke 8:43–48), the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1–11), the woman who washed his feet (Luke 7:36–50) etc.)
Group 3: What kind of leader was Jesus? How did he lead? How did he teach? How did he interact with those he led?
Guiding thoughts: If men and women want to be leaders like Jesus, how should they lead? How would they lead to end sexual and gender-based violence? How would they address gender inequality? Polygamy? Harmful practices at home, in our churches, in our community? (Focus on Jesus as the servant leader: he came to serve and not to be served; he led in humility, with love, compassion and empathy.)
Make the point that we can see that Jesus was a great role model for men. Even in circumstances that were not always fair or right, he maintained self-control. He became angry but was never violent. In fact, he spoke against violence. He communicated without aggression and he was patient, meeting people at their point of need. Most importantly, he defied all social, religious and cultural norms for being a man of that time.
Ask participants to reflect on how they can promote this model in their communities, churches and homes and how they personally can model such behaviour.