Engaging men and boys has emerged as a vital strategy for ending gender based violence, including in refugee and post-conflict settings. While prevention and response activities are essential, the humanitarian community and host country service providers understand that they must move beyond simply addressing each individual case of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and begin to address the societal, cultural, economic, religious and political systems that either perpetuate or allow for violence based on gender to continue.
Working with Boys and Men
Could changes in men’s attitudes and behaviors about health, violence and parenting benefit women, children – and men? Do national policies influence men’s behaviors in relation to child rearing, employment and gender-based violence?
This discussion paper was produced for “Partners for Prevention: Working with Boys and Men to Prevent Gender-based Violence” a UN interagency initiative UNDP, UNFPA, UNIFEM and UNV. This regional programme is a coordinated approach to support primary prevention of gender-based violence in Asia and the Pacific with the deeper involvement of boys and men.
This report offers a comprehensive overview of best practice in violence prevention education in schools, identifying five principles of best practice. It maps promising programs around Australia and internationally. And it offers directions for advancing the field. The report is relevant beyond this, however, offering indicators of effective practice in violence prevention education which are relevant for a variety of settings and populations.
Some sections of the report focus in particular on issues of interest for those working with men and boys in violence prevention, such as the teaching methods to use and the content to address (pp. 36-43), whether to have mixed-sex or single-sex classes (pp. 47-50), whether curricula should be delivered by teachers or community educators or peers (pp. 52-53), and whether the sex of the educator makes a difference (pp. 53-54).
Note that I have also included the text of a seminar which summarises the report, titled "Advancing the field", and the Powerpoint which goes along with this.
Sonke Gender Justice Network and the MenEngage Alliance recently held a weeklong symposium in Johannesburg Oct 5-9th to profile research, programmes and policies related to efforts to engage men and boys in achieving gender equality and to promote greater dialogue and shared action between women's rights organizations and organizations working with men and boys for gender equality.
EngenderHealth’s Men As Partners (MAP) program is a global initiative designed to work with men on reproductive health issues within a gender framework. This manual is designed to be used by PPASA MAP educators to lead workshops with groups of men and mixed-gender groups. The manual is intended for MAP master trainers: skilled individuals who would use it to train and supervise selected life skills educators to implement MAP activities with the public.
This brief article summarizes the characteristics of many sexual violence prevention programs, and the dominant theories in prevention program development.
As described by the author, "This chapter provides an overview of the issues involved in men taking responsibility for sexual assault prevention, suggests a philosophy and pedagogy for rape prevention, provides a developmental model for prevention programs, makes recommendations for advancing the field, and reviews promising interventions and strategies. The chapter’s primary focus is the prevention of sexual assault perpetrated by men against women (or young men and young women) who know each other in college or high school settings."
Many efforts to prevent men's sexual violence have focused on changing some men's belief that most other men approve of rape-supportive attitudes and behaviors, when in fact this is not true. A person's beliefs about the attitudes and behaviors of others, and the way those beliefs influences that person’s own attitudes and behaviors, are called social norms. Changing social norms around sexual violence is an important part of prevention effots.
Men have a positive role to play in helping to end violence against women. Growing numbers of men have come to the realisation that violence against women is an issue that touches their lives in deeply personal ways. And it’s a social problem they can do something about.