This month we speak to Vangelis Kosmatos (pronouns: he/him), a psychologist, gender expert, and scientific director at Gender Alliance Initiative (G-All).
‘Meet a member’ is a regular feature in the global MenEngage Alliance newsletter. Click here to subscribe to the newsletter. The newsletter has been developed together with the global Communications Working Group. It aims to be a small snapshot into ‘men and masculinities’ work around the world and across MenEngage Alliance.
What do you work on?
At G-all, we unpack and challenge stereotypes of masculinities and femininities, and offer alternatives. We do this in different ways including with innovative tools, exercises, games, art, performances, cultural events, presentations, campaigns and much more. We work at the intersections of awareness raising, capacity building, networking, research, counseling and activism.
We work with all kinds of groups in Greece including young people in school, educators, parents, university students, scientists, the media, and public servants. We communicate in different ways including through media articles and speaking events where we share research, ideas, and promising practices for gender justice work with men and boys.
We also provide specialized personal and group counseling with a gender perspective. And we foster networks in Greece—especially for bringing together gender justice, social justice, and LGBTQI organizations and movements.
G-All will continue its efforts till the development of the appropriate conditions of freedom, peaceful coexistence and personal development for every human being. Without any kind of discrimination and exclusion based on race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, nationality, origin, language, religion, age, disability.
How did you get involved in this work?
It all started 22 years ago in a Counseling Center for Women, a service offered by the Gender Equality Center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Greece. That was my first role as a counseling psychologist, where I trained and supervised under a gender perspective.
A resource you can share from Gender Alliance?
We can share a short video series on deconstructing gender stereotypes – you can select English subtitles in the YouTube settings. The video is part of a campaign that accompanied a guidebook (in Greek) we developed for advancing gender equality in adult education.
What keeps you motivated in this work?
The process of creating tools and opportunities for transformation on personal, social and ecosystemic levels.
What do you hope to achieve working together as part of an alliance?
By uniting and combining our efforts, we have a greater potential in realizing development in every sphere of life: family, education, workplace, society, politics, culture, media and so on. We can create the appropriate conditions for freedom, peaceful coexistence and personal development for every human being. Without any kind of discrimination and exclusion on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, nationality, origin, language, religion, age, disability.
A quote you would like to share?
This quote is actually the G-All adage: “From one to two, from two to many, from many to One…”
An aspect of the MenEngage Core Principles that resonates with you?
G-All is an initiative for working together to reinforce and reconstruct a positive, intersectional and inclusive future in regard to gender, diversity and human rights issues. So in that regard many of the MenEngage Alliance Core Principles resonate with us including: We embrace intersectional feminism; We work to disrupt and end patriarchy; We celebrate and embrace diverse identities, expressions, and characteristics of sex, gender and sexuality; We believe in the capability of men and boys to actively support gender, social, and climate justice, and; We believe that transformation must begin with ourselves.
Is there a concept you would like to share?
Our Initiative stands critically against the idea that gender is binary. The idea that gender is divided into two categories deprives individuals the freedom to be who they want to be. It impacts individuals’ right to decide what to do with their body, gender and sexuality.