The gender stereotype seems to be coming an end due to wide acceptance given to the Husbands and Future Husbands School in Burkina Faso.
Husbands schools are not new. United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA has supported such schools since 2008, starting in Niger. Through these programmes, local facilitators teach men in their communities about the health needs and human rights of women and girls. The lessons are tailored to fit the customs and culture of the community.
The Husbands and Future Husbands School in Mamboué, a village in western Burkina Faso, is doing creditably well to break down gender stereotypes and shows men the role they have to play in ending violence and empowering their wives and daughters.
Right now, over 1,600 of these schools built across the country so far, it has however enjoyed patronage amongst married and single men.
It enlightens and teaches men – single and married how to be better husbands in Burkina Faso.
One of the school attendees, Mr. Gnoumou regularly attends these discussions, and takes pride in having changed his behaviour.
He said, “I would often fight with my wife and even hit her,” he reflected recently. “When you hit someone, you are aware that what you have done is not right.”
“Everything we learn, we share with others when we get back to the village,” he said.
Martine, Gnoumou’s wife said, “today, he offers a lot more help around the home.” He fetches water and wood, and does other household chores. And he hopes to inspire other men, as well.
“Ever since he started going to the husbands school, our relationship has improved significantly,” Martine said.