Gender and Health Workshop

3 Dec

This week Gantsi Craft hosted a gender and health workshop in collaboration with Letloa Health (another branch in the Kuru Family of Organizations). The aims of the workshop were to raise awareness and encourage open discussion on health and gender issues. What made this workshop unique compared to workshops in the past, was that it was held with both men and women.

The first day we had officers from the Ghanzi Clinic to come facilitate a session on family planning. The participants seemed really engaged and asked questions about different forms of contraception. It was particularly encouraging to see men be curious and ask questions about contraceptives that are used by women (the IUD had the most interest and questions).

The Ghanzi Clinic officer then demonstrated how to properly use a female condom, which got a ton of giggles and awkward faces from our participants – it reminded me of a grade six health class! But that was nothing compared to when she demonstrated how to properly use a male condom – by using a huge dildo.

As funny as it was to see all of the awkward reactions from participants, it highlighted how important workshops such as these are. Since sex and gender are not openly talked about, it is so important to have workshops where people can gain information, and most importantly, ask questions and generate discussions.

The most useful dialogue came on the second day. We did an exercise where the facilitator would read a statement, then participants would stand by one of the following signs: Strong Agree, Agree, Disagree, or Strongly Disagree. There was often a very clear gender divide on some of the statements, such as “It is harder to be a woman in this world.” We discussed every statement, and it was really valuable to have both men and women explain what they feel.

Overall, I was really happy with the workshop – it felt like I had finally done something that was actually in my mandate! Now I have my fingers crossed that we will get funding to do these workshops in all of the settlements we work with.

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4 Responses to “Gender and Health Workshop”

  1. Declan Whelan December 3, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    There is something powerful with having people physically move to express their opinion on something. People can more easily see how others feel. One exercise I use with my agile coaching is similar to what you did except the agreement level is expressed as a circle so you can move towards the centre if you strongly agree and further away if you disagree. It is called “Constellations” and you can read more about it here: http://www.coachingagileteams.com/2009/08/30/agile/agile-team-start-up/attachment/constellation-exercise/

    • marnie rice December 3, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

      Kyla- Sounds like you’re having some wonderful experiences– G;ad this workshop went so well. I’ll bet you’re as excited as your mom and Colin about their upcoming visit! Love, Aunt Marnie

      • kylamckee December 4, 2012 at 2:56 am #

        I am definitely getting excited!! We’re just doing our final reports and wrapping stuff up here at the office. I am especially excited for a little bit of luxury haha.

    • kylamckee December 4, 2012 at 2:55 am #

      Thanks Dad! I thought that it was really interesting too. I am very interested to see how it would change if it were done with just men or just women as well.

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