What’s Gender Got to Do with It?

Moment to rejuvenate ourselves

Angsamerah learning about gender diversity and gender based violence

In order to continuously develop and update the knowledge and skills of its staff, the Angsamerah management has decided to dedicate a day every month, each 15th, to internal capacity building activities. On such days the Angsamerah clinics are closed so that the entire staff can benefit.

The first such day of joint learning had been conducted on July 15, 2016, at the premises of Klinik Yayasan Angsamerah. The chosen topic for the day was “Gender Diversity and Gender Based Violence”, facilitated by dr. Asti Widihastuti, one of the Angsamerah’s associates who is a medical doctor with a Master in health counselling, and an expert in a wide range of fields from HIV and AIDS, to gender and sexuality, to gender based violence, to interpersonal and behavior change communication, to project cycle management, to research, and much more.

Angsamerah’s values and guiding principles stipulate that services at the Angsamerah clinics are provided free of discrimination and stigma to all members of society, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, profession or marital status. Angsamerah staff is expected to behave and provide services according to these guiding values in a professional manner. These values and principles have been applied from the beginning of Angsamerah’s establishment and will continue to be at the core of its service system.

Dr. Asti skillfully delivered the complex material in an interesting and interactive way, which allowed her to grab the participants’ attention throughout the day. Firstly, participants were introduced to the most important terms and basic concepts related to sex, gender, and sexuality. Dr. Asti illustrated that human behavioral characteristics and everyday practices are heavily influenced by social expectations and cultural and religious norms and values. This is particularly so when it comes to sexuality and gender. Dr. Asti then highlighted the difference between sex and gender, with the former being grounded in perceived biological differences (male, female, and intersex), and the latter describing culturally constructed or learned beliefs and behaviors considered appropriate for each sex.

After lunch, Dr. Asti talked about gender based violence. She emphasized that health professionals are likely to come into contact with women and men who have experienced gender based violence. Therefore, it is important for Angsamerah’s medical team to know how to identify and respond to cases of gender based violence, including sexual violence, and if indicated, refer victims to a network of medical and non-medical support services. The material had been specifically adapted to fit the context of the clinic, with case examples and role plays mimicking real situations occurring within the clinic context and participants’ lives.

Overall, the topic of the training attracted wide interest on behalf of the Angsamerah team, and Dr. Asti’s way of facilitating the issue resonated very well with the team. Everyone is looking forward to the next day of joint learning, which will take place on August 15, 2016.

 

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