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(CS) Luxembourg does not offer enough social services dedicated to boys and men, a study commissioned by the ministry of equal opportunities finds.
While around 40 institutions and organisations in Luxembourg offer counseling and helpline services for men and boys especially, more than initially expected, many lack sufficient know-how and support.
At a presentation of the study minister for equal opportunities Françoise Hetto-Gaasch said that services dedicated to men and boys were new territory, and that the study was commissioned to find out more about already existing offers in order see where improvements can be made.
The topics included in the study covered issues of family, relationships, education and career, drugs, violence, and more.
More connections between existing services and a consultation office where men and boys can direct their questions, as well as dedicated training for staff were two of the main ideas to emerge from the study. Precise plans on how to proceed from the results of the study have not yet been made.
Beate Stoff from Plan B who helped create the study, highlighted the importance not to limit men to problem areas, such as violence or poorer education results, but to also create services dedicated to family and to find a positive approach to the issue.
The Luxembourg Initativ fir Jongen a Männer, an initiative for boys and men, also helped create the study and hopes to play a role in the future developments brought forward by the study.
While critics might voice concerns that services for the equality of women, especially in the job market, are more pressing than men's initiatives, Hetto-Gaasch pointed out that all of these issues are inter-connected and need to be addressed as a whole.
Stoff added, that the idea of equal opportunities for all should prevail. While this might mean giving special importance to the job market where women remain underrepresented, it also means raising awareness for men's health issues, a problem little tackled so far.
A conference on November 18, in conjunction with International Men's Day on November 19, will explore the challenges and opportunities of boys and men's services in society, politics and the economy, marking another step toward a more concise plan for future developments.