Daphne GapWork Project

PROMOTING GENDER CONSCIOUS YOUTH WORK FOR GENDER EQUALITY
The Department of Applied Social Studies [DAPPSS] at Maynooth University are currently partnering in the DAPHNE (supported by the European Commission) GAP Work Project: The EU Daphne III Programme is an EU- wide commitment which aims to contribute to the protection of children, young people and women against all forms of violence.

The Gap work Project aims at supporting Youth Work Practitioners to challenge gender-related violence against (and by) young people through the provision of education and training and research to support youth practitioners to better identify and challenge sexist, sexualising, homophobic or controlling language and behaviour. Other partners in the project include: Brunel University (UK), URV (Spain), UNITO (Italy), and the Institute of Education (UK), as well as a number of training organisations.
 
DAPPSS has been undertaking focussed work on this area for Community work and youth work students and youth work practitioners over the last 9 months and looks forward to continuing to support the increasing skill and knowledge base in  gender conscious youth work in Ireland.

Last year we held two focus group discussions, one with female youth workers and one with male youth workers, exploring what it means to be a man/woman youth worker in working with young men and women; how gender roles impact on the lives and sexualities of young people; and how youth workers can play a role in supporting young people to accept difference. Following this we hosted a workshop on Youth work with Girls and Young Women,  led by Janet Batsleer, from Manchester, author of Youth Working with Girls and Women in Community Settings - A Feminist Perspective.
 
From September to December we facilitated specifically designed Gender Related Violence sessions as an integral part of the Equality module for the degree and masters students on our Community work and Youth Work programmes.

In January 2014, we hosted a workshop for students and youth work practitioners on working with young people on gender related violence, led by Michael Whelan (a graduate of DAPPSS Maynooth University), Senior Lecturer in Childhood and Youth Studies at Coventry University. In 2013 Michael completed a PhD research project, researching the issue of 'street violence amongst young men in London'. This research highlighted the importance of gender and specifically public space masculinities in informing young men’s involvement as both perpetrators and victims of physical violence in public space. Through his involvement in the ‘GAP working’ European research project Michael has continued to explore young people’s experiences of violence, focusing in particular on linking research insights with youth work practice.

Over the next six months we look forward to hosting two further workshops led by Youth Action Northern Ireland (YANI): Gender Equality Unit. These workshops will focus on the importance of gender consciousness for youth workers; it will explore new models of working with young people and insights gained through the YANI’s Gender Equality Unit.

At the conclusion of this Gap Project DAPPSS, Maynooth University will produce a resource pack for Youth Work Practitioners on Gender Conscious Youth Work Practice which we anticipate will provide the sector with a valuable catalogue of resources currently available for the professional Youth Worker to inform their thinking and their practice. This resource will be made available to all practicing youth organisations.

Anyone interested in finding out more about this work is encouraged to go to:
http://sites.Brunel.ac.uk/gap or contact us directly at Bernadette.mcmahon@mu.ie

Please find a selection of photographs from our recent events here