DECIDES Europe – Youth Ambassadors for the Prevention of Gender-Based Violence

Picture Decides Ya

DECIDES Europe – Youth Ambassadors for the Prevention of Gender-based Violence (DECIDES YA) is a new project that builds on the extensive experience in working to prevent and combat gender-based violence of  its four partners (Interarts and Coeducacció from Spain, Aproximar from Portugal, Association Transcena from Romania, and Anthropolis Association from Hungary), specifically through socially engaged participatory methodologies and techniques. It is financed by the EU under the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme (CERV).

The project’s main objective is to contribute to primary prevention of gender-based violence (GBV) by building new narratives through youth’s lenses (aged 12 to 17), addressing root causes and empowering young people to be ambassadors of gender equality.  In fact, DECIDES YA draws on the findings and lessons learned from the earlier DECIDES Europe project, which was conducted by Interarts (Spain) in collaboration with Transcena (Romania), Trabe (Spain), and Kvindemuseet (Women’s Museum – Denmark).

All  four countries where the project will take place show a worryingly high rate of GBV (40% in Spain, 35% in Romania, 68% in Portugal against the 2021 FRA EU average of 35%, and only Hungary with a lower index of 18%), according to the UN Women global database on violence against women, the surveys by the Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union (FRA), and the publications of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE).

In this framework, the project seeks to make young people aware of the existence of GBV, able to identify it, reject it as a relationship model, and be agents of change within their communities and beyond. Therefore, the project’s specific goals are:

  1. To contribute, through socially engaged practice, to positive attitudes and behaviours from young people (aged 12-17), their entourages (parents, teachers, friends, trainers and youth workers) and relevant stakeholders in relation to GBV.
  2. To empower youth in tackling prejudices, stereotypes, cultural and social norms related to different forms of GBV and in speaking up against GBV.
  3. To ensure transnational knowledge sharing and capacity building between young people and relevant stakeholders about experiences, perspectives, tools and methodologies to develop and implement strategies at all levels.
  4. To increase the visibility of, and improve stakeholders’ awareness and knowledge on GBV, its forms, causes and related stereotypes, prejudices and social norms; and on how to address them for public recognition and social behavioural change.

Project activities will include theatre exercises that will develop skills such as critical thinking and empathy, by being able to look into one’s own experience and share it with the group.

Digital Storytelling will provide opportunities to work individually and in groups, to reflect on, and address injustices and social constructed stigma. Other activities include youth-led dialogue and debate, as well as awareness raising campaigns.

Duration of the project: 24 months starting from January 2023

Information retreived from Interarts' website*