Violence Against Women

Masculinity, Son Preference & Intimate Partner Violence

Masculinity, Son Preference & Intimate Partner Violence

Priya Nanda, Abishek Gautam, Ravi Verma, Sanjay Kumar and Dhanashri Brahme
2013

A preference for sons over daughters has a detrimental impact on women's and girls' health and well being.  It also affects society by driving gender-biased, sex selection resulting in a skewed ratio of females to males at birth in favor of males.

This report presents the findings of a large-scale study that examines men’s and women’s underlying attitudes and behaviors around son preference, with a particular focus on how they conceptualize manhood and masculinity.  The study was conducted in seven Indian states (Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh) involving more than nine thousand men and three thousand women, aged 18-49.  The study identified key factors that influence men’s views about masculinity, as measured by their support for gender equality and control of women’s behaviour, and how these views impact on their preference for sons and perpetration of intimate partner violence.  

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Son Preference in India

In India, gender inequality manifests in many different ways, including a preference for sons over daughters.  Girl’s lack of value and son preference are key drivers of gender-biased sex selection at birth, which is responsible for skewing India’s female to male sex ratio in favor of boys.  

This large-scale study examines men’s and women’s underlying attitudes and behaviors around son preference, with a particular focus on how they conceptualize manhood and masculinity.  The study is being carried out in seven Indian states (Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh) involving more than nine thousand men and three thousand women, ages 18 to 49.  The study looks at what factors influence men’s views about masculinity, as measured by their support for gender equality and control of women’s behaviour, and how these views about masculinity impact on their preference for sons and perpetration of intimate partner violence.  

Duration: 
January 2013 - December 2013
Location(s): 
India

Expanding the Evidence Base for Primary Prevention of Gender-based Violence: Multi-country Evaluations of School-based Interventions in Asia

ICRW and Partners for Prevention will conduct a randomized controlled trial of school-based, violence prevention interventions for young adolescents across three countries in Asia: Vietnam, India and Bangladesh.  The intervention in each site is based on the Gender Equity Movement in Schools (GEMS) program that ICRW and partners developed and tested in Mumbai, India, from 2008-2010.  That study demonstrated the feasibility and importance of intervening early to shift attitudes and norms around gender equality and gender-based violence. 

The current study will make a significant contribution to the evidence base of what works in developing gender-equitable and non-violent attitudes and behaviors among boys and girls through rigorous, mixed-method evaluations across three sites in the region.  

Duration: 
2013 - 2015
Location(s): 
Vietnam
Location(s): 
India
Location(s): 
Bangladesh

In India Courts, Sexist Marriage Attitudes Hinder Justice

Fri, 05/17/2013
Wall Street Journal Online

The Supreme Court of India overturned a lower court verdict in a spousal abuse case that lead to a woman's death, mentioning that the lower court's suggestion that wife-beating is "a normal facet"  of marriage is a "mind-set which needs to change".  

The article cites an ICRW study to demonstrate the prevalence of these attitudes, saying:

For instance, in a survey by the International Center for Research on Women published in 2011 of more than 1,500 men in two urban areas - the capital of Delhi, and the southern city of Vijayawada - some 65% of respondents agreed with the statement, "There are times when a woman deserves to be beaten".

VIDEO: Assessing Approaches to Ending Violence Against Women

ICRW’s Brian Heilman takes us on a short trip to Fiji and Vanuatu, giving us a wonderful glimpse into ICRW’s recent project focusing on reviewing the effectiveness of AusAID-funded initiatives to end violence against women. Watch the Video.

Lyric Thompson

Lyric
Thompson
Senior Policy Manager
Bio: 

Lyric Thompson is Senior Policy Manager at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). In this capacity she leads the institution’s formulation of evidence-based policy recommendations and manages the institution’s advocacy efforts with the US Government and Internationally. Lyric also serves as co-chair of the Girls Not Brides USA advocacy coalition working to end child marriage, on the steering committee of the Coalition to End Gender-Based Violence Globally, and plays a leadership role in various other coalitions advancing the global policy agenda on women and girls. Her ICRW field work includes building the advocacy capacity of a coalition of women’s property rights groups in Tanzania and mobilizing a wide variety of stakeholders to achieve gender-responsive, urban development in slum communities of Mumbai, India.

Lyric brings expertise in policy and advocacy on such issues as women, peace and security; violence against women; girls’ rights; child marriage and women’s economic empowerment. She has advocated for gender-equitable policies at the United Nations, White House, State Department, Department of Defense, USAID and on Capitol Hill. She is a women’s issues expert and blogger for the Thomson-Reuters Foundation and a primary expert and strategist for Amnesty International USA’s women’s human rights program. In 2012 she served as a leadership and empowerment expert on the selection committee for the Women Deliver Top 50 Innovations and Ideas that Deliver for Women. In 2011, Diplomatic Courier Magazine named her among the Top 99 Under 33 Young Professionals Impacting Foreign Policy.

Prior to joining ICRW, Lyric worked as Senior Policy Analyst and External Relations Officer at Women for Women International, where she advised officials at the White House, State Department and Department of Defense in the crafting of the United States’ first-ever National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. Prior to this, she worked on USAID-funded conflict mitigation and democratic governance projects in Sudan and Serbia for Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI), where she conducted fieldwork on post-conflict reconstruction efforts in Sudan. Lyric has addressed the UN General Assembly on harmful widowhood rituals and given testimony to the Human Rights Council’s Special Working Group on Discrimination Against Women in Law and Practice.

Contact Lyric at lthompson@icrw.org and follow her on Twitter: @lyricthompson

Expertise: 

Adolescents, Economic Empowerment, Violence against Women, Advocacy and Policy Engagement

Languages Spoken: 

English (native); Spanish (proficient)

Education: 

Lyric is a Phi Beta Kappa alumna of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a graduate of the Bard College Program on Globalization and International Affairs.

Maps for change: Making Delhi safer for women

Tue, 03/26/2013
Kashmir Times

ICRW's work with the Safer Cities Programme in Delhi is mentioned as one initiative that is trying to make public spaces safe for women. 

Why India Still Allows Marital Rape

Tue, 03/26/2013
Wall Street Journal, India Real Time

This exploration of the political and religious barriers to criminalizing marital rape cites ICRW's International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES) to show the prevalence of marital rape in India.  

Analysis: Afghan women navigate a challenging judicial landscape

Tue, 03/12/2013
IRIN

ICRW's Lyric Thompson discusses the powerful role that tribal elders can play in ending violence against women. 

Help-Seeking Pathways and Barriers for Survivors of Gender-based Violence in Tanzania

Help-Seeking Pathways and Barriers for Survivors of Gender-based Violence in Tanzania
Results from a Study in Dar es Salaam, Mbeya, and Iringa Regions

Jennifer McCleary-Sills, Sophie Namy, Joyce Nyoni, Datius Rweyemamu, Adrophina Salvatory, Ester Steven
2013

Over the last few decades, gender-based violence has gained international recognition as a grave social and human rights concern. In Tanzania, gender-based violence is widespread; the most recent Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey found that 44% of ever-married women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime. ICRW and the University of Dar es Salaam's Department of Sociology and Anthropology, in partnership with EngenderHealth, conducted a qualitative study in three target regions of the country: Dar es Salaam, Iringa, and Mbeya. This report documents community perceptions and attitudes about gender-based violence, identifies the range of informal and formal services currently available to survivors, highlights gaps in service provision, and provides recommendations for improving existing services. The findings are based on 104 key informant interviews conducted with a wide array of stakeholders, service providers, and duty bearers at the national, district, and ward levels, as well as participatory focus group discussions with 96 male and female community members. The research and recommendations currently are informing the overall design of a multi-sectoral intervention to scale up the response to gender-based violence in Tanzania under the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS (PEPFAR). The effort was funded by PEPFAR and the United States Agency for International Development.

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We encourage the use and dissemination of our publications for non-commercial, educational purposes. Portions may be reproduced with acknowledgment to the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). For questions, please contact publications@icrw.org; or (202) 797-0007.

Terms and Conditions »

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