The high incidence of gender-based violence is a stark indicator of the severity of the gender disharmony that exists in South Africa and many other parts of the world. Equally, the entrenched patriarchy tells us that unless something is done gender injustices will persist.
This disharmony and injustice have negative effects to both women and men. It is therefore logical that women and men must work together to bring about the just change.
Gender Equity and Reconciliation International succinctly defines the practice of Gender Equity and Reconciliation as ‘a burgeoning new field of transformational healing and reconciliation between women and men … [that] recognises the profound wound in human family constellated around cultural conditioning relating to gender, sexuality, and relational intimacy.’
Through the Gender Equity and Reconciliation practice we create a rare forum that builds trust and compassionate communication through a skilful combination of interactive exercises, contemplative practices, and group processes. Participants explore the depths of their own experiences, and move beyond habitual ways of relating to discover new pathways of mutual respect, authenticity and reconciliation between women and men.
After undergoing training by Satyana institute (the founder of Gender Equity and Reconciliation International) in 2008 to become the first South African implementing agency of this form of work, Phaphama has been implementing the Gender Equity and Reconciliation for diverse groups such as NGOs, communities, social work students, religious leaders, high schools and correctional centres in various parts of the country.
In more than a decade of doing this work we continue to find that not only does this work have the potential to heal relationships between men and women; it is also a powerful tool in the fight against HIV/AIDS for it addresses the root causes of HIV/AIDS rather than just the symptoms. This gives the Gender Equity and Reconciliation practice the potential to prevent our communities from self-destructing because of GBV and HIV/AIDS (click to see the full report).
Gender Equity and Reconciliation is for everyone and anyone irrespective of ethnicity, sexual orientation, cultural beliefs, class or creed. In the workshop we have conducted in 2018 for the staff of Sithand’ Izingane (an NGO based in Brakpan) we also found that not only is this work accommodative of the LGBTQI+ community but it also promotes the importance to deepen the understanding of these gender orientations (click to see the full report). Just bring your whole being - head, heart and soul. Allow yourself to move beyond an intellectual understanding of gender issues into a spirit of open, non-judgmental listening and sharing. Then experience the full healing impact of Gender Equity and Reconciliation.
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