This paper sketches a framework for understanding this violence and its relation to the lives and experiences of men. It then looks at two sets of activities in which I have worked to challenge men's violence: the activities of the White Ribbon Campaign, the largest effort in the world of men working to end violence against women and, secondly, work within the educational system.
MEGEN activists share their personal experiences as individuals and as Changemakers. While writing their stories, the activists were asked to reflect on their own change processes: what sparked their activism around gender and violence? And how has the MEGEN platform been helpful in this process? The publication also includes short briefs on the work of the project, highlighting the challenges, successes and lessons learnt in different program areas. In the process of developing this booklet, many people have been of great help; the dedicated MEGEN activists who shared some of their life experiences in their own writing, the then MEGEN Project Coordinator Kennedy Odhiambo Otina and other FEMNET staff members and MEGEN teams.
Rape Myth-Busters is a program for young men developed in South Australia in 1998. It invites young men in Year 9 and above to examine their induction into existing and predominant practices of masculinity. The program recognises that many such practices result in violent and abusive behaviour, such as rape, and are in direct contravention of democratic and social justice principles.
Violence has become a daily occurrence for some young men in Northern Ireland, according to a new report launched by the University of Ulster in June 2009.
And one in 10 teenagers admitted regularly carrying weapons, including knives, on the streets.
The report entitled ‘Stuck in the Middle’ was based on the opinions of 130 young men - aged between 13 and 16 - from different areas across Northern Ireland on their experiences of violence, conflict and safety.
For a moment my eyes turned away from the workshop participants and out through the
windows of the small conference room and towards the Himalayas, north of Kathmandu. I
was there, leading a workshop, largely the outgrowth of remarkable work of UNICEF and
UNIFEM which, a year earlier, had brought together women and men from throughout South
Asia to discuss the problem of violence against women and girls and, most importantly, to
work together to find solutions.
As I turned back to the women and men in the group, it felt more familiar than different:
women taking enormous chances – in some cases risking their lives – to fight the tide of
violence against women and girls. Men who were just beginning to find their anti-patriarchal
voices and to discover ways to work alongside women. And what pleasantly surprised me
was the positive response to a series of ideas I presented about men’s violence: until then, I
wasn’t entirely sure if they were mainly about the realities in North and South America and
Europe – that is largely-Europeanized cultures – or whether they had a larger resonance.
Here, then, is the kernel of this analysis:
In recent years most of the children's and women's wellbeing and gender equality programmes have largely focused on women and girls as beneficiaries and agents of change. However, the conceptual shift from Women in Development (WID) to Gender and Development (GAD), which has been taking place since the 1980s, was partly borne out of recognition of the inadequacies of focusing on women and girls in isolation. GAD approaches necessitate a focus on men/boys as well as women/girls. Since the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, international programmes have had a broad mandate to serve the needs of women and men of all ages and to address gender inequities. The belief that it is desirable to involve boys and men in efforts towards gender equality is now becoming institutionalised in the philosophies and programmes of the UN and other international and national organisations.
This module is designed to build the skill of participants working to engage boys and men in gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and reproductive health (RH) in conflict and other emergency-response settings. The two-day participatory module provides a framework to discuss various strategies for male engagement based on the phases of prevention and response in conflict and displacement.
Gender equality has long been synonymous with women and their struggle for economic independence, equal pay, and equal power. It has also been a key principle in eliminating oppression and violence.
However, gender equality is about both men and women. Men spend less time together with their own children, are more prone to accidents, are over-represented in crime statistics, and drop out more often from upper secondary education. These examples indicate that men would have much to gain from true gender equality. Men are under-represented in the teaching professions in preschools and schools, in nursing and children's social services. At the same time, men still sit in the majority of positions of power in society and they still make more money than women. It is mainly men who are the perpetrators of domestic violence.
In recent years there have been positive changes in the role of males in society. It has been almost 20 years since the Committee on Male Roles in 1991 presented its recommendations. The Committee on Male Roles pointed out the following goals: the reallocation of power between women and men, more time for fathers to care for their own children both before and after a family breakup, reduced gender differences in choice of education and training and the prevention of men's violence against women; all of these were to be central goals for the future work towards gender equality. In several areas the development in the period has been positive. In particular, there is reason to look at the development in the home, and the increased contact between fathers and their children. In other areas, however, the development has been stagnant or negative. While women have entered previous male arenas in the working life, there has not been any increase in employment of men in the health and care giving sectors. In the education sector men constitute a smaller group today than 15 years ago. Consequently, there is reason to reiterate the goals stated by the committee.
In this report, seven masculinity researchers write about masculinity in different parts of the world and about how masculinity is often linked to violence. These acts of violence are committed not only against women and children, but also against other men. The writers suggest a number of ways in which men can be involved in working to combat men’s violence.
Innovative interventions are important so that violent, warlike activity and its related ideas of masculinity and femininity are not carried over into post-war daily life. This 9-page issue brief provides an overview.