Gender Conscious Practice and Youth Work

Besides utilizing youth work approach the young men initiative integrates a gender conscious practice, a framework articulated in a paper by YouthAction Northern Ireland and further developed in the lens model approach to youth work. YouthAction’s 2006 paper on Gender Conscious Practice with young people presents gender conscious practice as a cognisant attempt to engage young men and young women through processes that proactively address societal issues such as inequality and oppression and challenge restrictions they may encounter in their lives as a result of gender.

There are a variety of approaches and interventions utilised that directly challenge social norms about how young men and young women should live their lives.

These interventions may include:

  • providing space for young people to explore and learn about their gender socialisation as well as their perceptions and attitudes;
  • educating young people about historical impacts such as feminism and patriarchy;
  • addressing the reality of young women’s and young men’s lives in preparing them emotionally and practically for a changing world in terms of female and male roles.

Gender conscious practice challenges the status quo and systems which undermine the role and position of young men and young women.

YouthAction Northern Ireland (2006) Gender Conscious Practice with young people.

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