The theme of gender in Odorheiu Secuiesc
About the project
About the project
We are surrounded by gender. It manifests itself as a pattern of relations that develop over time to define male and female, masculinity and femininity, simultaneously structuring and regulating people’s relation to society. Gender is embedded in our institutions, our actions, our beliefs, and our desires. It is rooted in the family, the neighbourhood, church, school, the media, walking down the street, eating in a restaurant, going to the restroom. Gender is asymmetrical. Whatever a person may feel about their current position on the social ladder, there is no question that male and female are not simply two equal sides of a coin. Inequality is built into gender at a very basic level, and what we experience as individuals emerges within a far-reaching social order that oppresses each of us. While the world is still obsessed with the continual differentiation of male and female, it is our job as youth workers to examine gender from a new perspective and research how this dichotomy came to be seen as common sense and contribute to our oppression. With our comics we want to look beyond the gender binary and try to re-approach it. As images are quite powerful in sending messages to young people, it is definitely a way for us to address all sorts of daily challenges we are facing. Therefore, we designed our project especially in that context: to challenge gender clichés with rich and powerful imaginary and tell stories with the visual language of the comics.
From January 10 to 18, UIET (Youth Reconciliation Council of Udvarhely) hosted the Erasmus + “Gender Up!” Training. Young people from 40 countries in 10 countries took part in regular programs on gender equality. The trainer was Éva Orsolya Grüman, who did a great job.
Methodology of the project was based on an intercultural approach and non-formal education. We had foreseen a dedicated workshop (theory and practice) on non-formal education to make them understand how this tool could be used and applied in their youth work reality. General methodology was reflecting different learning styles/needs. Methodology that we used leaded to equal and active participation of all participants. We aimed to create a safe environment for learning and the flow and counter flow from the individual needs to the group needs to the topic to the individual and so on. To increase active participation of youth workers during the planned activities were used different exercises combination of individual and team work, learner-centred ways, theoretical inputs and exercises.
At the opening of the training, Senator Lóránt Antal and the President of MIÉRT Olteán Csongor delivered an opening speech. On Thursday, participants were introduced to the RMDSZ Women’s Organization of Udvarhelyszék and to several awareness campaigns, such as NEEEM! or # non-luggage bag, thanks to Orsolya Arros.
We employed a variety of different tools: ice-breakers, name games, short activities allowing participants to learn each other’s names, team-building activities, energizers, small group work, large group work, simulation activities and role plays, media workshops (new media, social media, multimedia), dance workshops, intercultural activities, open-space activities, peer review, self-evaluation. As part of the training, we have gained some interesting information, such as how equal opportunities are in different countries.
Participants were given a glimpse into the life of Caritas, Europe Direct, the Legendary and the Harghita Business Center, as well as a revolutionary exhibition at the town hall and, not least, the historic center of Sighisoara. At Caritas, Alexandra Benedek presented several programs to the social organization. We talked about the Roma issue as well as equal opportunities and catching up of disadvantaged young people. A “Gender Up!” as a creative part of the project we got acquainted with the Legendary where Szabolcs Fazakas presented the legends of Szeklerland. Thanks to English-language short films, many were able to get to know the famous sites of the Courtyard. At Europe Direct in Harghita County, we talked about the European Union with Attila Somogyi, the office manager in Odorheiu Secuiesc. These offices are located in all EU Member States to bring the European Union closer to its citizens. Then 30 years ago we presented the young people an interactive album and photo gallery, telling them about the history of Odorheiu Secuiesc.
Before we left for Sighisoara, we went to the Harghita Business Center, where they had a look at the incubator house and, thanks to King Pálfi, we got a taste of the start-ups.
The highlight of the training was an exhibition opened on Friday at the UIET office at 16 Bethlen Gábor Street starting at 5pm. The young volunteers painted cartoons that had previously been brought to the world with the help of designer Zsolt Gráncsa.
So the overall aim of the training was to train the youth workers lending their support to involve youth for gender equality. Gender equity and inequality was addressed through the use of creative digital tools because images are a powerful tool for reflection and call to action, and digital media has the widest impact reach. It is aimed at to bring everyone’s messages for gender equity and equality through comics that we also put in a joint comic book and present it in a public exhibition.
The evenings were filled with more interesting programs, such as the intercultural evening, where you could taste sweets and drinks from Greece, Spain, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, England, Ukraine, Hungary, Moldavia and, of course, Szekler palinka (our strongest traditional shot) and chimney cake.
On the closing day of the “Gender Up!” training, we handed over the Youthpass to the participants. After the program was over, it was very difficult for the participants to say goodbye to each other because of the very enthusiastic team.
The training was supported by Erasmus + and ANPCDEFP.