WRITING AND COMMUNICATION FOR SOCIAL CHANGE

Since 2014, we have written over 25 articles dealing with the intersection of gender issues, masculinity, and life. Topics have spanned from the Zika virus to women airplane pilots to the Colombian peace process. We develop campaigns to debunk outdated social notions such as the meaning of "man up!" or the role of men in the household.

The fundamental idea behind DGR is to make visible the role of gender in our lives, to make it as explicit as possible. It is not about telling people what is right or wrong, it is about allowing them to gain awareness of how gender aspects are part of their day-to-day of life. In our work, we make a strong emphasis on engaging men and find ways to make visible harmful as well as desirable traits of masculinity.

The conceptual framework of DGR relies on the work of Paulo Freire in his “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”. Adapting his concepts to the gender field, it suggests that the oppression that women experience in the current patriarchal system is also experienced by men. Therefore, if we want to liberate women of such oppression, we ought to liberate men in the process. The only way in which we will achieve gender equality is by involving purposefully men and boys too.

The cornerstone of this process of liberation is critical reflection. This means a purposeful introspective process that invite us to review what informs our actions, attitudes, and beliefs around gender. We understand gender as a structural power relation. As such, the way in which each of us experience gender is deeply personal.  Gender is one of the fundamental pieces of who we are, how we see the world, and how the world perceives us. However, it is not the only factor that shape our experience in life. As result, in DGR we strongly believe that we need to take into consideration other key factors such as race, sex, religion, ability, age and class. This manifests in our written pieces. 

Below are some samples of writing pieces we have published. 

 
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‘LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND’ CAMPAIGN LEAVES MEN BEHIND

Men are responsible for most acts of violence against women and girls, yet they are barely involved in the fight.

To eliminate violence against women and girls is imperative to include, engage and confront men. It is men’s actions that kill and harm women. Unfortunately, this year, the UN campaign aimed to "leave no one behind" but it did

 

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The ONLY WAY TO STOP ZIKA IS TO STOP MEN

In dealing with Zika we are making the same shameful mistake than in dealing with GBV: the burden of responsibility is being placed heavily on women. Here you find 3 three specific actions that each of us can do today to use this situation as a real opportunity to bring gender equality into the picture, especially men.

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MASCULINITY, MACHISMO AND CORRUPTION

 

Héctor Portillo and Sebastián Molano grew up in Mexico and Colombia respectively, countries where corruption is normalized to the point where not engaging in it is not only considered rare but naïve. They say that their countries also have deeply embedded cultures of sexism and machismo, noting that their “personal experiences with sexism, masculinities, and corruption motivated [them] to explore how the expectations, pressures, and privileges of ‘being a man’ can encourage or deter an individual’s engagement in corruption.”

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WILL PEACE EVER GET A CHANCE IN COLOMBIA?

Violence has become central to our understanding of what it means to be a man. It manifests in fist fights on the playground and the soccer field. It erupts on highways and city boulevards where men’s road rage is a constant menace. It is part of what it is expected of us as men to be men; no one wants to be the guy who lets others take advantage of him. Men are not necessarily inherently violent, but we have normalized violence to the point that we no longer notice its presence as part of our landscape.

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En Español


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the pedestal effect

Do we give men credit for “promoting gender equality” when in reality they are leveraging their power and privilege for their own benefits? What happens when we praise people or companies for gender equality actions that are motivated by profit? What about when we praise men for performing the same tasks that women are expected to perform?

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