On June 12 the ÅIPI together with the cooperation partners form Latvia, Lithuania and Finland held a well-attended seminar on the girl and boy group method as a way of challenging gender stereotypes and working with gender mainstreaming in youth activities on a long term basis. The participants of the seminar have provided positive feed-back to the organizers and a number of organizations have expressed an interest in joining the existing cooperation network, among others NGOs from Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Serbia. The participation of the ÅIPI and its partners in the Nordic-Baltic network was made possible by a project grant from the Nordic Council of Ministers.
The ÅIPI representatives attended a number of seminars and lectures with the focus on violence prevention in everyday life and gender mainstreaming in education. Many organizations highlighted the importance of including boys and men in prevention of violence. One of the strategies that have been presented is offering boys a possibility to discuss and reflect about the norms surrounding masculinities today. Getting a chance to sit down and discuss expectations, feelings and relations with others is something that boys also ask for. Organizations from Sweden have also introduced a bystander perspective, which is a method that empowers bystanders to take action in violent situations.
The representatives from the project Fair Sex, Cecilia Brenner and Liselott Lindén, chose to give priority to lectures and workshops on gender based violence, equality integration and up-to-date gender research. New contacts for the upcoming work have been established and the Forum has not least been inspiring.
Further lessons learned from the Nordic Forum was that clear and concrete action plans are needed for the long term work with gender mainstreaming as well as full engagement of the staff and working teams in order for the goals to be reached. It is also of great importance that adults are present in places where young people interact and clearly take action when witnessing cases of violence and harassment.