The project “NEWMEN” explores new masculinities through the use of emotional and social intelligence. It is a new Erasmus plus project, driven by five diverse organizations.
NEWMEN project addresses the well-known phenomenon of machoism. Actually, machoism is the root of many social conflicts. It is masculinity based on the projection of an external image and gender role sustained by aggressiveness, dominance, competitiveness, and ultimately, inequality as the norm, which mostly affects women, among others in the workplace. In our project, we recall men to reformulate the idea of masculinity and advocate for unlearning harmful gender roles acquired over generations.
Although gender equality is formally recognized by law, real inequalities between women and men still persist. It is often mistaken to think that gender refers only to women, as most institutional policies are designed to fill the remaining inequality gap. However, gender also affects men. A study by the European Parliament (2020) admits that women in the EU earn on average almost 15% less per hour than men. If we turn to data on sexual harassment, a report by the French Institute for Public Opinion (2019) determines that 60% of female workers in the EU have endured sexist treatment or suffered sexual violence during their careers.
To achieve effective equality between women and men is necessary to bring men into the debate and create intrinsic motivation through Emotional Intelligence. Including them in gender policies encourages their responsibility and involvement in change. Excluding them, however, may lead to hostility and resistance and possibly an exacerbation of inequalities.
IKF Malmo (Sweden), INDEPCIE (Spain), STePS (Italy), VAERV (Austria), and NP2E (The Netherlands) attempt to develop a training system and a toolkit on alternative masculinities for employees and managers in companies and organizations of all sizes and sectors, to educate and change behavior in the workplaces. Together, we will create a bank of resources and design a good practice guide plan to impact men in expressing their gender in the workplace without feeling they have to act according to a certain stereotype. Ultimately, our aim with NEWMEN is to support the fight against sexism, gender-based violence, or any kind of abuse.