The following text has been written by the participants of the “Gender Positive” project, which has taken place in Slovenia from the 10th to the 17th November 2015. Monica, Daniel and Bogdan have been our representatives in this international experience, which has gathered 27 youngsters of all genders and ages from all around Europe in a 7-day intensive reflection upon issues of sexuality, sexual health and gender equality.

 

The training course “GP + Gender Positive” carried out by Slovenian organization Društvo Avtonomija (and funded by the European programme Erasmus+) has just concluded. Društvo avtonomija is an association active in the field of youth work striving to provide opportunities for youth and youth workers through international youth work engagements.

The main objective of the project was the construction of an area for a dialogue where issues of sexuality and education in respect of individuals’ identity could unravel and explode in all their complexity.

With this purpose, with the help of eight associations from various European countries, 27 people from different nationalities gathered in the picturesque town of Brežice, Slovenia. The countries represented were Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Italy, Romania, Spain, UK and Slovenia.

The group, made up of people with different backgrounds and cultures, has been working intensively for a week in order to achieve a profound contribution. There were representatives of LGBT*IQA organizations, youth leaders, teachers and sociologists all involved in the struggle for gender equality.

The different sensitivities present have been the most difficult challenge and at the same time the biggest potential of this meeting. Some participants enjoyed the opportunity to express for the first time their views on sensitive issues; others have deepened the complexity of some phenomena overcoming stereotypes and prejudices, while some of them have made the most of the methodologies of non-formal education offered by the trainers.

“The different sensitivities present have been the most difficult challenge and at the same time the biggest potential of this meeting”

Each participant of the training course brought their expertise, skills and sensitivity; expressed in the first person, which created a meeting between life histories, values and ideas that we can define as memorable.

The first step of the training represented the construction of shared rules for creating a safe space in which all participants felt free to express themselves. This was essential in order to deal with sensitive issues such as gender stereotypes, sexuality and violence. In an escalation of emotions, the group went through the challenges and developed them problematizing it with passion, skills and courage.

“In an escalation of emotions, the group went through the challenges and developed them problematizing it with passion, skills and courage”

We feel honest in saying that what happened in Brezice from 10th to 17th November 2015 was a revolution. Each of the participants, including trainers, received a deep personal enrichment and returned home bringing innovative views and concrete proposals for the future. From the group of GP + Gender Positive gets a great message against ignorance and violence, for the construction of a European culture of inclusion, equality and freedom.

 

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[Elisabet Tasa-Vinyals, President, from Halifax, Canada] International reflection is the key to a safer, healthier, and anti-opressive sexuality for people of all genders.

If you’d like to represent the Adalet Project in international training experiences like this one, do not hesitate to become a member or contact us on ajadalet@gmail.com!