Marina Hughson (Blagojević) is a sociologist, theoretician and researcher in the field of gender studies and an international gender expert. She works at the Institute of Criminological and Sociological Research as Principle Research Fellow (the highest research position) and is also Director of the consulting firm Altera MB – Gender Research and Consultancy. Marina Blagojević was President of the Sociological Society of Serbia and Director of the Institute for Sociological Research of the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade. Ms. Blagojević authored a large number of scientific publications (over 150) in the field of sociology, demography and gender studies, and she also authored and edited a number of books (over 20). She was one of the leaders of the women’s movement in the 1990s in Belgrade, and one of the founders of Women’s Studies, Women’s Party, Women’s Parliament, Women’s Initiatives Association (AŽIN) and other non-governmental organisations. She is the initiator of the first international feminist post-communist conference What Can We do for Ourselves? (Belgrade 1994) and the first Forum of Non-Governmental Organisations in Serbia (1997). Marina initiated the foundation of the Section for Feminist Research and Critical Studies of Masculinity (SEFEM) and was its President in the period 2014-2017. As a university professor, she has lectured at the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade, in Podgorica, Sarajevo, Budapest, but also in the USA, Germany and Austria upon invitation. In the capacity of an international expert, she worked on various projects for different governments and international organisations (UNDP, UNIFEM, UN Women, USAID, IFAD, FAO) in some fifteen countries in transition. She was engaged by the European Commission as expert and author of a study on the situation of women in South-East Europe for the needs of the European Parliament, based on which the European Parliament Resolution on Women in South-East Europe 2003/2128 – INI was adopted. Marina Hughson is also the author of a large number of empirical research studies on gender relations, including Gender Barometers in the region (B&H, Serbia, Montenegro). Over the past ten years Marina has also been involved in the critical studies of men and masculinities and has been cooperating intensively with Professor Jeff Hearn, the world’s leading author in this field. She is a member of Research Group on Critical Studies on Men and Masculinities, Centre for Feminist Social Studies, Örebro University in Sweden. Marina co-authored the following book: Rethinking Transnational Men: Beyond, Between and Within Nations (Hearn, Blagojević, Harrison, Routledge, 2013), and she is presently editing: The Unsustainable Institutions of Men: Gender Power and the Contradictions of Transnational Dispersed Centres (Hearn, Vasquez del Augila, Hughson, 2018, Routledge). Recently, she published the book entitled Men in Serbia: The Other Side of Gender Inequality (Hughson, 2017). Her current interests include projects related to knowledge production (non-hegemonic sociology) – this cycle of work began with her book Knowledge Production at the Semiperiphery: A Gender Perspective (2009); and the development of the “theory of semiperipherality” (Hughson, Poluperiferija i rod: pobuna konteksta, 2015), and further research in the field of gender studies and gender policy. Some of her publications are available at https://independent.academia.edu/MarinaHughson, and her contact email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nurgul Kinderbaeva is a Gender Program Specialist – UNFPA Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. An organization which stands for “delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled”. For 15 years until 2009 Nurgul was engaged in development programs by mobilizing communities for quality education and health care, policy dialogue and advocacy with national and local governments at Soros Foundation Kyrgyzstan, Save the Children UK and USAID funded Central Asian program on HIV among key populations. From 2009 -2016, Nurgul worked for the UNFPA Kyrgyzstan Country Office in the capacity of National Program Analyst on Gender, focusing on programs which protect women’s and girls’ rights in normal and humanitarian settings as well as implementing Gender Transformative Programming (GTP). She took a lead in the country study based on IMAGES instrument and successfully campaigned “Men Care” based on the findings of the study. As of 2016 she has been working with 17 countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia to strengthen response and capacity to prevent and address gender based violence (GBV) and harmful practices through GTP and multisectoral response approaches. Her education background includes a MS in Education Planning, Policy and Administration from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and she is currently pursuing her studies on a PHD in sociology at the Kyrgyz Academy of Science.
Gender Transformative Programming in EECA region: Strategy, Good Practices and Lessons Learned
UNFPA has over 30 years of experience in engaging men and boys and promoting their roles in Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights and gender equality. The agency works in close partnerships with Civil Society organizations both at national and international levels, with networks and government representatives, media, youth groups, ethnic minorities and professional unions.
UNFPA Eastern Europe and Central Asia Regional Office (EECA RO) introduced Gender Transformative Programming (GTP) to the Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) region in 2011, by establishing partnerships with a variety of actors across the region, followed by workshops and training. The diverse Eastern Europe and Central Asia region comprised of 17 countries including a territory (Kosovo) which are mostly middle-income countries.
Since 2011, UNFPA EECARO and their civil society partners across the region have engaged in a partnership to integrate gender-transformative approaches aimed at addressing stereotypical gender norms, eliminating violence against women and girls, combating harmful practices which foster injustice and increase access and utilization of sexual and reproductive health services.
While working at three different levels: Individual, community and policy, the following programmatic dimensions can be highlighted from the region:
Today we have the EECA MenEngage Platform, a virtual space for an exchange of information and expertise on GTP that was launched in 2016. The platform complements the work that is conducted by country offices and other civil society organizations in the region.
IMAGES showed that men who feel stressed or anxious often taken it out on women in the form of emotional and physical violence, therefore efforts should be made to make a friendly health system for men and train health professionals to be attuned to men’s and women’s mental health needs. In addition, engage men as allies in women’s reproductive health needs and their own reproductive health needs.
Elli Scambor. Sociologist. Research Director at the Institute for Masculinity Research and Gender Studies, Graz, Austria (www.genderforschung.at). Coordination of numerous projects in the field of Critical Studies on Men and Masculinities, focussing on boys and education, gender equal balanced work, horizontal and vertical segregation, caring masculinities and family involvement, organisational analysis, violence prevention and resilience, antifeminist men’s rights groups. Board member at the Association for Men’s and Gender Issues Styria (www.vmg-steiermark.at) and the Umbrella Association for Men’s Work in Austria (http://www.dmoe-info.at). Lecturer at different Universities in Graz (Gender Research and Sociology). Scientific coordinator of the EU PROGRESS study The Role of Men in Gender Equality (2011-2012). Member of Gender Lab Graz. Managing Diversity Expert.
Caring masculinities – Men as actors and beneficiaries of gender equality
European research shows that changes in the world of paid and unpaid work have had a major impact on gender relations and have led to new models for the division of labour and new care arrangements. Typical allocations of care work to women have become ‘fragile’ in modern societies and new ways have to be found to distribute unpaid care work equally. Especially male breadwinner models have become challenged, due to an increase of insecure and discontinuous working patterns especially in the industrial sector. Under these conditions, some men are not able to provide the breadwinner-role anymore and a shift in men’s gender ideal from breadwinner towards more caring masculinities is pronounced in research.
In this presentation, a summary of facts concerning men’s share of care will be provided. Attention will be paid to the importance of changing labour market conditions (e.g. a convergence of basic labour market characteristics between men and women), current trends concerning men in professional care work (e.g. nursing, care for the elderly, early childhood education and primary school teaching) and important conditions for the involvement of men in family and household responsibilities. Current trends have to be based on intersectional analysis, as variations of men’s share of care run both between and within countries, with socio-economic position as one important variable. How can we describe Caring Masculinities as an analytical concept? Do we talk about people men care for (babies, elderly people, colleagues, themselves…) or about attitudes men care about? Or do we talk about both, tasks and attitudes?
What are the forces for social development and cohesion in European societies, and what are the barriers? What do men and women need in order to share everyday care work equally? The presentation will close with policy recommendations, through which caring masculinities can be encouraged in everyday life.
Natko Gereš is an advisor to and former Program Officer at Promundo, where he focused both on research related to men and gender equality and on men’s engagement in post-conflict and high-violence settings. He coordinated projects related to violence prevention, including the Young Men’s Clubs Against Violence in Kinshasa, as well as the International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES) in the Middle East, North Africa, and Afghanistan. Natko is currently finalising his PhD in the field of masculinity and adolescent men’s health at University of Zagreb School of Medicine, and MPH with the topic of the integrathed method of cultural adaptation of research instruments. He works as a psychiatry resident in Saint Ivan hospital in Zagreb.
On Promundo and his presentation
This year, Promundo turned 20. Promundo’s work started in low-income communities in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with the belief that men and boys should be allies with women and girls in achieving gender justice, and that many were ready to join this cause. Since the first community-based projects in Brazil, Promundo has worked with partners in more than 45 countries. The struggle for social and gender justice that has driven Promundo since we started is far from over. For that reason, our mission is as critical today as it was 20 years ago: to promote gender equality and create a world free from violence by engaging men and boys in partnership with women and girls. The meaning of our name “Promundo” – or “for the world” – is as relevant as ever. We continue to be motivated by the notion that gender justice is good for the world.
The International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES), a research effort to build the evidence base around men’s and women’s attitudes and practices on a wide variety of topics related to gender equality, as well as the studies that it has inspired, has now been conducted in approximately 35 countries. In 2017, new IMAGES reports from the MENA region and Mozambique were published, and data collection was completed in Serbia, Tanzania, Uganda, and Afghanistan. Overall, IMAGES and IMAGES-inspired studies include interviews from more than 60,000 men and women around the world.
Natko will present some of the experiences working on IMAGES in MENA and Afghanistan, and speak about the work inspired by IMAGES research.
Majda Hrženjak, PhD, sociologist is acting as a senior researcher at the Peace Institute, Slovenia (www.mirovni-institut.si). Her research topics are gender studies, including critical studies of men and masculinities, and social politics, in particular concept of care and its relations to gender, migration, citizenship and democracy. Currently she is carrying out a fundamental research project Masculinities, Equality, Care Practices (ARRS 2017 – 2020) and action project Boys in Care (EC 2017 – 2019). Her bibliography includes monographs Invisible work (2007), Politics of Care (ed.) (2011), Changing Fatherhood: Men between Parenting and Labour Market (ed.) (2016), special thematic issues First Gender: Critical Studies of Men and Masculinities (Journal for the Critique of Science, Imagination, and New Anthropology, 2017) and Paid Domestic Work in Postsocialist Context (Laboratoryum – Russian Review of Social Research, 2016, co-edited with Olga Tkach).
Fathers and Employers in Action
Moving from the identity factors to highlight the structural factors of the uncertain margins of late-capitalist labour markets seen in a Slovenian context of the dual-earner family model, I analyse how new forms of non-standard employment either enable or hinder the involved fatherhood of precariously employed men. Discussions about the reconciliation of work and family are often considered to only be focusing on women and the middle class with safe, standard employment. By identifying differences between men in their possibilities of involved fatherhood that stem from their positions in the labour market, I introduce into the discussion the perspective of a deprivileged margin in the labour market and critically reflect on the impact of neoliberal labour markets on caring masculinity, a caring society and gender equality. The analysis show that while in Slovenia the state continues to support involved fathers and men have made an attitudinal and behavioural shift from distant breadwinning to caring fathers, the neoliberal labour market developments with intensification, flexibilization and precarisation of work appear as a factor of re-traditionalisation of fatherhood and gender relations as well as of inequalities between men in fatherhood.