Grace-Francoise Nibizi is a Burundian ladies rights activist who desires to interrupt the taboo of menstruation in one of many international locations with the very best charges of home violence on the earth.

Hilde Ousland Vandeskog is a gender researcher who comes from one of many extra egalitarian international locations in Europe – Norway. They each have met the Abatangamuco. What do they consider these males who stopped abusing their wives? Is their method actually working in Burundi? And might it’s exported?

After listening to the story and the testimonies of the Abatangamuco within the first two episodes of Cry Like a Boy, on this and within the subsequent one we focus on their position in reaching gender equality, but additionally what their expertise can educate to everybody on the earth.

We accomplish that on 19 November, Worldwide Males’s Day, and by getting a South African activist for gender equality, a Burundian humanitarian employee and a European researcher round a desk.

This episode is hosted by Khopotso Bodibe, a radio journalist specialising in well being and gender points in Johannesburg. He’s joined in dialog by Nibizi, who based an affiliation to empower underprivileged ladies in Burundi and by Vandeskog, creator of the primary worldwide research on the Abatangamuco communities in Lesotho.

About Cry Like a Boy

Cry Like a Boy is a Euronews unique collection and podcast devoted to males defying centuries-old stereotypes in 5 completely different African international locations.

For every nation, we deliver you two narrative episodes – a full reportage on the bottom, executed in collaboration with native journalists, break up into two elements – and two roundtables, bringing collectively the African and the European views.

Cry Like a Boy is revealed each two weeks. In the event you haven’t listened to our earlier episodes concerning the Abatangamuco, a bunch of males in rural Burundi who determined to cease beating their wives, please, accomplish that within the participant beneath.

If you wish to keep tuned, subscribe to Cry Like a Boy in your podcast app.

About this episode

Grace-Francoise Nibizi is a nurse by occupation, in 2010 she based SaCoDé, an NGO selling gender equality in Burundi. The venture began in her storage, the place she taught 20 underprivileged single moms abilities for working within the hospitality business.

SaCoDé is the one organisation in Burundi that makes reusable and washable menstrual pads and supplies them to highschool women freed from cost. It’s also the one organisation in Africa that makes them wearable with or with out underwear. Nibizi has additionally been working with organisations like UNIFEM, UNDP, UNHCR, CRS and the European Union.

Hilde Ousland Vandeskog is a PhD candidate at Oslo College. You’ll be able to learn her report on the Abatangamuco that she wrote in 2012 at You too can try her present work on the web site of UiO Institute of Well being and Society.

Abatangamuco is an organisation by Care Worldwide, run by males in rural areas of Burundi. They don’t have an internet site, however they’ve a big following within the nation.

This episode of Cry Like a Boy is hosted by Khopotso Bodibe in Johannesburg.

It has been produced and edited by Clarisse Shaka in Burundi, Naira Davlashyan, Marta Rodriguez Martinez and Lillo Montalto Monella in Lyon, with Lory Martinez in Paris.

Our editor-in-chief is Yasir Khan.

Manufacturing design by Studio Ochenta. Theme by Gabriel Dalmasso.

For extra info on Cry Like a Boy, a Euronews unique collection and podcast go to to seek out opinion items, movies and articles on the subject. Comply with us @euronews on Twitter and on Instagram.

Share with us your personal tales of the way you modified and challenged your view on what it means to be a person, use #crylikeaboy. In the event you’re a French speaker, this podcast can be out there in French: Dans la Tête des Hommes.

Full script of the episode


Khopotso Bodibe: Welcome to Cry Like a Boy, a Euronews unique collection and podcast that explores how the stress to be a person can harm households and societies. Stick with us as we journey throughout the African continent to fulfill males who defy centuries-old stereotypes.

I’m Khopotso Bodibe with you from Johannesburg in South Africa. On this episode, we are going to discover a group in Burundi the place a bunch of males perform a revolution towards gender-based violence by theatre, altering mentalities and preventing towards home violence. They’re referred to as the Abatangamuco, “those who shine gentle” in Kirundi.

Prior to now two episodes of our present, we witnessed how {couples} like Harmless and Capitoline benefited from their group efforts. And for this episode at this time, we’re joined by Grace- Françoise Nibizi, dwell from Burundi. Miss Nibizi is a nurse by occupation but additionally has a bachelor’s diploma in social and financial administration and a few years of working expertise in worldwide humanitarian and improvement organisations together with UNIFEM, UN, DPE, UNHCR, CIW and the European Union.

And Hilde Ousland Vandeskog, gender skilled at Oslo College, additionally joins us. She’s a gender skilled at Oslo College. She did analysis on the Abatangamuco for Care in 2011. Her newest work is on cultural limitations to data switch in improvement help and the influence thereof on the realisation of the SDGs pertaining to gender and well being.

For every nation we’re exploring on this collection of documentaries, we can be in dialogue with two visitors, one from Europe and one other African, to assist us put into perspective the studies you should have heard beforehand. When you’ve got not but listened to each the documentaries on the Abatangamuco, do your self a favour and go to our web site to have a pay attention. Within the meantime, let’s get our dialog with our visitors began.

Miss Vandeskog, miss Nibizi, welcome to Cry Like a Boy.

Hilde Ousland Vandeskog: Thanks very a lot.

Grace-Francoise Nibizi: I am very happy to be right here.

Khopotso Bodibe: It is pretty to have you ever round. We’re recording this podcast below particular circumstances amid the present Covid-19 pandemic, which requires social distancing. Francoise is in Bujumbura and Hilde is in Oslo. Now, within the Abatangamuco episode, we met these males who on the group degree try to vary issues through the use of theatre to denounce what’s fallacious. Hilde, you made a report on this in 2011. Might you inform us extra about your expertise?

Hilde Ousland Vandeskog: Sure, I used to be commissioned really by Care Worldwide in Norway, who supported the Abatangamuco to do a research-based analysis of their work, and on the time I used to be working on the Peace Analysis Institute in Oslo. And to be frank, I did not actually know something concerning the Abatangamuco or about Burundi earlier than taking over that task. And it was to me a extremely type of perspective-shifter of an expertise to return to Burundi and meet these males in a context the place I moderately anticipated very conventional gender roles to materialise. And to listen to them discuss how they’d mainly realised the destructiveness of a few of the type of elements of masculinity they’d grown up with on their very own households, on their very own improvement views, on their wider communities and themselves as human beings. It was fascinating and it is thus far one of the vital fascinating items of educational work I’ve executed.

Khopotso Bodibe: Do you assume the Abatangamuco could possibly be a part of the options that European international locations may undertake?

Hilde Ousland Vandeskog: In some ways, sure, I believe they will. As a result of one of many issues that actually struck me with the Abatangamuco, was how they have been in a position to type of strategy their ingrained concepts about what it means to be an actual man. They have been in a position to query that and to strategy that with a type of essential lens even from the within. And to take a look at: OK, but when what I be taught is that to be an actual man, I have to beat up my spouse, how does that truly influence myself and my spouse and my group? Is that this really good for us?

And that skill that they need to have that self-reflection and to query these norms that they grew up with, I believe is such a large studying level and positively an strategy to not simply poisonous masculinity, however damaging gender roles in a wider sense and in Europe as nicely.

Khopotso Bodibe: Certainly. Françoise, let me deliver you into the dialog right here. You might be conversant in the Abatangamuco. What’s your view of the group and their efforts? Do you assume that they’re making an influence?

Grace-Francoise Nibizi: Yeah, thanks very a lot. As you stated, I do know concerning the Abatangamuco as a result of the organisation that I created, I based in 2010 has been in partnership with Care Worldwide since 2014. And that’s the reason why I do know very nicely concerning the Abatangamuco motion.

Really, what they’re doing could be very good as a result of the principle duties they’ve set themselves is to problem conventional gender expectations of their communities by private adjustments and testimonies. And what they’re doing could be very nicely as a result of all of the gender harms or gender-based violence we’re experiencing in Burundi are rooted in our tradition.

However sadly, they’re solely in these zones the place Care Worldwide is working, which implies solely in eight provinces and Burundi has received 18 provinces. I can let you know that they have not actually been recognized by all of the communities in these provinces, which I want they could possibly be actually recognized, they might broaden their actions in all provinces, really. However what they’re doing, their fundamental activity and their fundamental position, what they’re doing is admittedly very good.

Khopotso Bodibe: You say that they’re energetic in eight provinces out of just about 20, that the nation, that Burundi, has and also you say that out of the eight provinces the place they’re energetic, not all communities are literally conscious of the group, however the place they function. What successes do you see? What sort of influence are you seeing that’s noticeable? What are folks in these communities saying concerning the group?

Grace-Francoise Nibizi: Considered one of their successes is that the place they’re working, rural Burundian males who had begun to query their conventional methods of life, that truly they’re beginning to query their masculinity. As a result of in Burundi, all gender-based violence, as I see it, is rooted in our tradition, which implies the gender-based violence is taken as a traditional factor. Males who’re insulting their wives, degrading them… The insult is a each day factor in a Burundian group. And the vast majority of males did not see it as one thing actually dangerous, however the way in which the Abatangamuco had been in a position to work and sensitise and educate males, now they’re altering their approach of speaking with their wives, which is a really good factor certainly.

Khopotso Bodibe: That sounds superb. It really implies that it is a venture that could possibly be replicated throughout the nation. We’d like an entire lot of those interventions in Burundi, not solely within the eight provinces the place they’re at the moment working.

Now, I’ve a query for each of you. Within the first episode of our collection, we learnt about poisonous masculinity, which refers back to the concepts, the norms, the attitudes that we increase boys round to assume that boys and males are dominant, that violence is the way in which to resolve issues, that males and boys are superior to ladies and so forth and so forth. What’s the position of poisonous masculinity in gender violence or in marital violence in your respective international locations? Let me begin with you, Hilde.

Hilde Ousland Vandeskog: So in Norway, we see that home violence is to a really massive extent, a part of intimate accomplice violence, the place ladies are uncovered to violence, generally even killed by companions, husbands. And what we do see is that lots of the time these cases come about when the girl is possibly threatening to depart or there was some type of occasion whereby the person’s thought of himself as the person is in a way threatened.

And I to me, I believe that’s the tragedy of those elements of masculinity that we discuss with as poisonous. For some males, the logical response or the emotional response to feeling belittled or uncontrolled can be to make use of violence or aggression to reinsert masculinity.

If I could make a comparability to a case that I do know higher as a result of, paradoxically I am in Norway, however I do not do analysis on the Norwegian context, however I did do analysis in Colombia a few decade again on the state of affairs concerning landmines and folks being pressured to flee their home, their properties within the countryside due to landmines and within the households that had fled from rural context and into the town.

It was a lot simpler for girls than for males to get jobs as a result of, you recognize, they might get home service, a few of them would get jobs within the garment business. It was a lot tougher for males. So there was a shift the place the ladies in lots of these households turned breadwinners. And what was seen there was that in parallel with that, you’d see an upsurge in home violence, which was related to these males feeling like their position as breadwinners was taken away from them and that that was one thing that triggered reactions of violence indirectly. And that, once more, to me, is only a tragic consequence of poisonous masculinity whereby males really feel like they are not allowed to ever not be in cost.

Khopotso Bodibe: They really feel emasculated, that is what I hear you talking about.

Hilde Ousland Vandeskog: Sure, certainly.

Khopotso Bodibe: If I can throw this query at you, Françoise, should you can discuss to us concerning the position of poisonous masculinity in gender-based violence or marital violence in Burundi, what are your observations round that?

Grace-Francoise Nibizi: The position of poisonous masculinity in gender-based violence is that it creates actually a really dangerous, very dangerous expectations of feminine being as passive, as submissive, as weak, as powerless, as depending on males and which I believe is just not true.

And truly, that is why I see that what the Abatangamuco are doing is admittedly good as a result of their fundamental objective of their actions, even of their exhibits is to assist males, as many males as potential to grasp that actions comparable to home violence [are bad]. And in addition a majority in Burundi, as I stated, within the majority of income-generating actions and households work are executed by ladies and ladies are excluded from all decision-making. They don’t seem to be allowed to all prospects for reaching monetary and social progress.

So all these I think about them because the influence of poisonous masculinity. And that is why the Abatangamuco are actually difficult all these values and behaviours of gender roles by their testimonies. I want the Abatangamuco may actually cowl the entire nation, not solely Burundi, Africa, even Europe as a result of I imagine it is the identical factor all around the world.

Khopotso Bodibe: Françoise and Hilde, each of you, your responses to the query round poisonous masculinity really deliver me to this query right here, which is: reaching gender equality or gender justice is a problem for many international locations, which you’ve got already alluded to in your responses. What are the principle obstacles in your view concerning the attainment of gender equality? I’ll begin with you, Hilde. Within the context of Europe, within the context of Norway, the place you based mostly, what are you seeing because the obstacles there which might be stopping the attainment of gender justice?

Hilde Ousland Vandeskog: I believe that it is cemented gender roles wherever you go, actually, is the largest problem to gender justice, as a result of our gender roles, they create these mounted expectations about how it’s acceptable to be as a person and a lady.

And that creates these blind spots the place it turns into so troublesome to ask questions and to see the injustice of issues which might be happening. And, you recognize, even when gender equality has come a really good distance in Norway, in comparison with the remainder of the world, Norway is doing very nicely certainly, there’s nonetheless this large distinction in what’s anticipated from a lady in comparison with a person. Like, how is a lady anticipated to behave? What sort of job is she anticipated to have? And even when she’s allowed to have all the opposite jobs, even when she’s allowed to behave in each different approach, she continues to be anticipated to do that, that and the opposite.

And it is the identical for males. So, I imply, at that, similar to overarching degree, the truth that we insist on splitting the world into these two camps and assigning these very particular expectations as to how you can behave and what you are anticipated to be good at and what you anticipated to be dangerous at, I believe that is what’s holding us again internationally.

Khopotso Bodibe: Your views on this, Françoise?

Grace-Francoise Nibizi: In Burundi, the principle impediment is expounded to the truth that a majority of Burundian ladies are educated. Greater than 70 per cent of Burundian ladies are actually not educated. And which means they do not even know their rights as a result of they solely imagine of their tradition. And that tradition has received lots of dangerous norms. And certainly one of them is that poisonous masculinity.

As a result of training, sensitisation, advocacy, all these have to be lined by monetary means, that are restricted in my viewpoint. These are the 2 fundamental obstacles. Ladies should not educated, which implies that they actually do not know their rights. They imagine in tradition. It is very unlucky.

I can provide you an instance associated to inheritance. We’re in 2020 and we in Burundi, ladies and women can not inherit. And after we went to do a research, we realised that almost all of people who find themselves towards that legislation have been ladies. And for me, these ladies have been towards as a result of they might not assume deeply and extensively to see the results of not being inherited. Simply imagine within the cultural norms and a few of the norms are very dangerous.

Khopotso Bodibe: Effectively, thanks each. Thanks for sharing your time with us. Keep tuned to listen to extra from our visitors within the second half of this interview to be aired two weeks from now. Thanks a lot for becoming a member of us for this version.

This present has been produced with me Khopotso Bodibe. I am a journalist, I’m a gender activist, I am a communications specialist focussing on improvement points, significantly gender points and human rights. I’ve been joined in producing this present by Clarisse Shaka in Burundi, Marta Rodriguez Martinez, Lillo Montalto Monella and Naira Davlashyan. Particular thanks goes to Lory Martinez and the studio Ochenta for serving to us produce this podcast below particular circumstances.

I want to additionally thank our visitors Grace-François Nibizi and Hilde Ousland Vandeskog. For extra info on Cry Like a Boy, a Euronews unique collection and podcast, go to to seek out opinion items, movies and articles on the subject.

[00:19:41] Comply with us on Twitter @Euronews is our deal with and on Instagram we’re @Euronews.television. Share with us your personal tales of the way you modified and challenged your view on what it means to be a person. Use #CryLikeaBoy. In case you are French speaker the podcast can be out there in French. “Dans la tete des hommes” is the title.


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