Promoting gender sensitivity among boys in Egypt.
The New Visions Program, a nonformal education program for boys and young men aged 12-20, was implemented in 11 governorates of Egypt during 2002-2004. The program's objectives were to increase the reproductive health knowledge and gender sensitivity of young men and encourage the development of key life skills. Over a six-month period participants attended 64 educational sessions taught by trained facilitators in youth centers. The objective was to determine whether participants in the training program experienced changes in self-expression, gender sensitivity, reproductive health knowledge, and life skills. A 2004 evaluation study in four governorates was based on a survey of 2,314 program participants before the course and 2,224 following the course. Of these, 1,477 records were matched for individuals; these records form the basis of the analysis. Respondents reported increased self-confidence, improved communication skills and greater ability to deal with anger and stress. Knowledge of contraceptive methods and HIV/AIDS increased significantly. Attitudes on traditional gender norms and roles began to break down. For example, the proportion of respondents who considered family decision-making to be a joint responsibility rose from 71% at baseline to 93% at endline. The proportion of respondents who thought a husband was justified in hitting his wife if she answers back declined from 57% at baseline to 26% at endline. Nevertheless, some unfavorable attitudes remained at program's end. For example, 35% of the respondents still thought that boys and girls should be treated differently in regard to freedom of movement outside the house. (author's)