New Man, New Confidence
“When I first heard about the “New Man Alliance”, I thought that it was a funny phrase. I was thinking to myself, what does New Men means? Are they talking about newborns?”
But Sofyan Hadi, a 25 year old community organizer living in the Nusa Tenggara archipelago, located east of Bali, would soon discover than the “New Man” is all about fighting gender injustice.
The “New Man Alliance”, “Aliansi Laki-laki Baru” in Indonesian, is an Oxfam project that works with men to redefine masculinity by discussing the values of fatherhood and the roles that men should play in caring activities within the household.
Sofyan took part in training and they had him thinking about gender injustice around him. “I have always observed that in the village, women take on more roles than men. Probably this is what they mean when they are talking about gender injustice.”
He started helping his mother with household chores at home. “At first, she was reluctant about letting me do the chores because I am a man; but I discussed the values I learned in the alliance with her. That it is okay for men to take part in household works.” Although it took some convincing, his mother finally allowed him to do the chores. After the training, Sofyan has continued to discuss gender issues and how to deal with them with the trainees.
Sofyan also says that taking part in the New Man Alliance helped him to be more confident. “Previously, I was lacking confidence due to my deformity. However, being part of the Aliansi Laki-laki Baru showed me that I can also take part in changing my village for the better.”
Photo: Irwan Firdaus/Oxfam
Speaking Indonesian? Visit this link to find out more and sign the petition: https://act.oxfam.org/indonesia/akhiri-kekerasan-terhadap-perempuan