BoysEngage Session 2024

In one of our community interventions in the Fako Division 2024, we had a BoysEngage session with adolescent boys within the Bolifamba community. We asked the question why do boys not cry and the responses we received shed light on the gender stereotypes based on societal expectations of men and boys.

“Our parents told us that men don’t cry,” said one. Another said, “If a boy cries the girls will mock him”. “Our teacher said if a boy cries he is not fit to be a man,” said another. A participant said, “ Crying makes you look weak as a man”. “Sir, men have to be strong while women should cry,” said another participant.

Due to cultural norms in society which show that boys have autonomy, there is still a need to explore healthier ways for boys to express their emotions when they are traumatized. They too are humans, they go through psychological or emotional trauma and so need someone to talk to or a safe space to open up. As advocates of gender equality, we can encourage open dialogue and create a safe space where boys feel comfortable sharing their feelings without fear of being judged based on the guiding principles of Gender-Based Violence. This is to make them understand that emotions are a natural part of being human, regardless of gender.

Let’s give the boy child a chance to speak out. Opening up is another way of healing and enhancing mental health development.

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