This profile was prepared when Carlos Guida Leskevicius was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2000.
The New Idea
A medical doctor by training, Carlos Güida is convinced that, in order to transform traditionally authoritarian structures and to reverse gender discrimination in his native Uruguay and beyond, efforts must reach out directly to men and address questions of masculinity. At the core of his multidimensional approach are workshops with men from different social sectors who are more culturally resistant to changing their sexual practices and everyday behaviors, such as the police, the military, and underprivileged youth. To complement these workshops and to address the society-wide lack of information about issues such as reproductive health and domestic violence, Carlos is also developing prevention programs, spearheading academic research and studies about masculinity, and conducting a mass-communications strategy that is gradually modifying decision-making in the health, education, family, and social arenas. Aware of the urgent need to coordinate civil society organizations' efforts, he is also laying the groundwork for a regional masculinity network that will facilitate the exchange of experiences, learning about best practices, and development of collaborative initiatives.