In an Afghan refugee village in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan, a group of men and their families are building new lives filled with hope and purpose. After fleeing conflict in their home country, they joined International Medical Corps’ gender-support groups. Some of them also enrolled in the Engaging Men in Accountable Practices (EMAP) program, which brings men and women together over 16 sessions to discuss the gendered impact of conflict.
In EMAP, men explore how they have been socialized, and learn how to change their behavior to promote gender equality in their communities. The men interviewed in this piece span ages and generations, and we’re grateful to them for giving us a window into their lives.
Subat Khan, a husband and teacher, aspires to create a better world where everyone has the right to an education. He wants to promote education in his community, and one day hopes to open his own school in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Haji Ghaffar is an electrician and a member of an International Medical Corps gender-support group who has lived a peaceful life in Pakistan for more than 35 years, after fleeing the violence surrounding the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. After the death of his two young sons, he realized that life is fragile and resolved to live with purpose. He now helps young boys and men in his community learn more about the roles women play in their lives, and how they can establish peace in their homes. He aspires to create a world where everyone lives in harmony and spreads love, patience and respect.
Umar Jamal is a medical student who is an active member of an International Medical Corps’ EMAP group. He hopes to establish a healthcare facility in his community to provide better access to quality healthcare.
Zabita Khan is a member of an International Medical Corps gender-support group who owns a small fruit and vegetable stall. Though forced by conflict to flee from his previous home in Afghanistan, Zabita says that he is happy with his new life because he can earn a better living and continue growing his business.
Musa Khan, a community elder and owner of a meat shop, always participates in awareness activities led by International Medical Corps. He prioritizes his family’s safety and sees a future for his children and grandchildren in Pakistan. Although he initially longed to go back to Afghanistan, he knows it still is not safe there.
Find out more about the EMAP program and its impact by reading Abdullah’s story.