“SHAMELESS” Campaign takes off in Brazil

Student champions of Brazil's "Shameless" campaignPublic school students in Brazil have created a campaign entitled “Shameless” to promote sexual and reproductive health in schools. MenCare+, which in Brazil is called ‘Mais Pai,’ in partnership with the Manager Group of Health and Prevention in Schools (a Federal Government program) and the State Education Secretary of Rio de Janeiro kicked off the campaign in November, along with students and teachers from 10 public schools in Rio de Janeiro.

“Shameless” was created by a group of 12 high school students, who participated in educational workshops to raise gender awareness, and developed everything from the campaign’s concept and name, to crafting the wording of its messages. The concept of the campaign arose from the need to break the gender patterns that often hinder communication regarding sexuality among young people and hamper condom use during sexual encounters. The name, “Sem Vergonha” in Portuguese, arose from the desire to critically discuss stereotypes and give new meaning to the word “shameless.”

During the launch event, students who participated in the creation of the campaign invited the 100 students in attendance to act as spokespersons for the campaign in their respective schools.

The campaign’s activities will take place between November 25th and December 16th (corresponding with the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence) in seven schools in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Through Facebook, the students will share information about gender, sexuality and health. An informative booklet and posters will be distributed in schools and four videos, in which the students themselves act out the scenes, will tackle the campaign’s issues.

MenCare+ : A Global Initiative

The “Shameless” Campaign is part of MenCare+, a broader initiative aimed not only at increasing young people’s sexual and reproductive health education, but also at engaging men in equitable gender relations and emotional connectedness with their children, partners and themselves.

MenCare+ encourages active parenting, parent involvement in prenatal care, promotion of maternal and child health, prevention of violence against women and children and counselling with male perpetrators of violence. The initiative is funded by the Dutch Foreign Ministry and is being implemented by partner organizations in Brazil, Rwanda, South Africa and Indonesia.