The Global Boyhood Initiative (GBI) is an international programme promoting healthy boyhood from an early age. Lifting Limits is proud to be the implementation partner for GBI in the UK.
Founded by Equimundo and the Kering Foundation in 2020, the Global Boyhood Initiative (GBI) is coordinated by Equimundo with advisory support by a Partners’ Council composed of members from the national and global level civil society space.
What is the Global Boyhood Initiative?
GBI aims to create long-term systemic change by engaging with every level of boys’ environment – home, school, the media, and so on.
- Boys aged 4 to 13
- The people in boys’ lives
- The institutions in boys’ lives
It offers the resources they need to encourage boys to become men who embrace healthy masculinity and gender equality.
GBI in the UK
The GBI pilot in the UK is being rolled out September to December 2022. This is the first GBI initiative in the UK and, with France, is one of the first in Europe. It is being funded by the Cummins Foundation.
The pilot in the UK has been broadened from boys to include children of all genders. We want to offer all children the opportunity to reflect on how gender affects their lives, and how they can support each other in creating positive change.
In partnership with Equimundo, Lifting Limits has developed a new curriculum for Key Stage 2 (aged 7-11) children of all genders. It is called “Me, My Future, Our World: Exploring Gender in the Lives of Young Children”.
“Me, My Future, Our World” is being piloted in two South London primary schools. KS2 teachers in the two schools have been trained to deliver this new curriculum over a period of 10 weeks.
The pilot aims to produce a replicable programme that will support schools and children across the UK. Evidence from this pilot will influence future curriculum design and implementation in the UK and across the world. It will also enable more schools and children to benefit from this vital work.
The curriculum aims to promote gender equality, develop healthier identities for all children and challenge limiting gender stereotypes. It draws on several months of research to understand the best approach, in the context of the lives of children, their families and their communities.
The curriculum is designed for delivery within PSHE. PSHE stands for personal, social, health and economic education. It is a school curriculum subject in England that helps children stay healthy, safe and prepared for life.
Through participating in this curriculum, children will have an opportunity to:
- learn about the role gender norms play in their lives through activity-based questioning and critical reflection;
- explore equitable, inclusive and nonviolent attitudes and behaviours in a safe and comfortable space;
- internalise these new gender attitudes and norms by applying them in their relationships and lives; and
- become agents of change for gender and social justice, with support from the social institutions and networks that affect their lives.
Why is GBI needed?
‘We believe boys can be themselves – their wonderful, complex, healthy, emotional selves – with a little help.’”Equimundo
We cannot fully achieve gender equality without involving boys.
The behaviour of boys and men makes a big difference to the lives of people of all gender identities. But the messages boys often receive about how they should behave can lead them to close off emotionally.
Evidence shows that engaging boys and young men in discussions and activities about healthy masculinities and gender equality is crucial. Firstly, boys’ and men’s own well-being will benefit. But it can also empower children, achieve gender equality, and reduce male violence.
To achieve this, we need to start early – as soon as they are exposed to messaging about how society believes boys and men should behave. This will prevent these messages from being internalised.
We need a generation of boys who are not influenced by restrictive gender stereotypes. We need to raise a generation of boys who can build and sustain healthy, respectful, caring relationships.
The implementation Project Lead on the Global Boyhood Initiative in the UK is David Bartlett. If you are interested in knowing more about this UK-based project, please contact Lifting Limits via our website or by emailing email@example.com (including Global Boyhood Initiative in the subject line).
For more information on the Global Boyhood Initiative efforts around the world, visit Equimundo’s GBI website.
For more information on our programmes, please follow the links below: