Tool for Social Change” has been implemented since autumn 2010 as a tripartite cooperation between the Åland Islands Peace Institute, the non-governmental kindergarten “Nendre” in Lithuania and the non-commercial partnership “The Star of Hope” in the Kaliningrad region, Russia. During one and a half years educated leaders in Lithuania and the Kaliningrad region have been conducting girl and boy group meetings as well as meetings for men and women.
A discussion free from judgment with integrated gender perspective has been used as the main method with the aim to increase the participants’ awareness of gender (in)equality and gender norms in the society as well as to promote their empowerment and self-esteem.
The closing seminar took place on 27-28 September in the Nordic Council of Ministers Office in Vilnius, Lithuania, and was opened by the director Bo Harald Tillberg. The partner organizations presented the challenges and achievements of the project implementation on the local level. Chairperson of the Karelian Center for Gender Studies in Russia, Larisa Boichenko, who has studied the project results together with the project manager Justina Donielaite at the Åland Islands Peace Institute, gave account for their findings and recommendations. Gender awareness among the project participants has, in general, increased, but the process of attitude change requires a longer period of time, in particularly among adult men.
The seminar was also attended by a number of gender experts from Lithuania who presented their experiences of gender equality work with the focus on both women and men.
The project was financed by the Nordic Council of Ministers and Emmaus Åland.