New Delhi, 6 August 2015: To identify solution-oriented strategies to prevent and address violence against women and girls (VAWG) through effective engagement of men and boys, the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), with support from UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and University College London (through a grant from the Economic and Social Research Council) held a day-long consultation in New Delhi. The consultation brought together representatives from civil society organizations, government and academic institutions to reflect on existing efforts and interventions with respect to engaging men and boys, as well as to discuss issues specific to adolescents. Findings and recommendations that emerged from the day’s meeting will be presented to key policymakers in the Government of India and other development partners.
There is a growing consensus emerging among practitioners, scholars, and policymakers that ending gender-based violence requires the full participation of communities — and in particular, the increased participation of men and boys. Indeed, globally and in India, efforts to prevent gender-based violence increasingly include the proactive engagement of men and boys. This involvement can entail educating men and boys, fostering their awareness of gender-based violence, and nurturing their ability to cultivate non-violence and gender equity in their families, peer groups, communities, and at broader societal and policy levels.
A need for this kind of a tangible discussion has never been as relevant as it is now, as governments come together at the UN next month to adopt the world’s next global development agenda – the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“The Outcome Document for the SDGs, the 2030 Agenda, stresses the importance of achieving gender equality and specifically calls on governments to eliminate discrimination and violence against women and girls. Within that context, there is a critical need to recognize the role of men and boys,” says Dr. Ravi Verma, Asia Regional Director for ICRW. “As Agenda 2030 is adopted and a monitoring framework is developed,” Verma said, “we will be pushing for indicators that track the engagement of men and boys in violence prevention programs and policies.”
Ms. Lalitha Kumaramangalam, Chairperson of the National Commission for Women, noted that “Nearly all institutions in India are still run by men – the police, judiciary, medical schools, politics, so unless we get these institutions on board, it will be very challenging to support the empowerment of women in our country. We need to discuss gender norms at all levels of society, and we need to do it early.”
Ms. Preeti Sudan, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development, called for more discussions like the one today, as well as more research. “Talking about what works to shift gender norms is important, but knowing how it works is even more important.”
About ICRW: For nearly 40 years, ICRW has been the premier applied research institute focused on women and girls. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., with regional offices in South Asia and Africa, ICRW provides evidence-based research to inform programs and policies that help alleviate poverty, promote gender equality and protect the rights of women and girls.
For more information, please contact:
00 1 202 742 1263