Partners for Prevention’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence blog

During the 16 Days of Activism, from 25 November to 10 December 2011, Partners for Prevention will post a new blog each day on our website. Follow Partners for Prevention’s blog to find out how we are supporting an end to violence against women. *** DAY 16 Supporting the ‘Good Men’ campaign in Cambodia To promote the engagement and involvement of men in realizing gender equality in Cambodia, H.E. Sy Define, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Women's Affairs chaired the launch of the national ‘Good Men’ campaign. The launch took place coinciding with the 16-days campaign, an international event that aims at ending all forms of violence against women (VAW). The Good Men campaign is a nation-wide communication initiative that targets boys and men throughout Cambodia. Its slogan is ‘Good men give value to women’. The ‘Good Men’ Campaign focuses on primary prevention or stopping violence before it starts. Its ultimate goal is to end violence against women and girls in Cambodia by promoting gender equitable behaviours amongst men. “Gender equality in Cambodia is not possible without the engagement of men,” said H.E. Sy Define. The Secretary of State recalled that “even though there is evidence that awareness on gender equality and women’s rights is increasing, Cambodian men and women often hold contradictory notions of these issues”. Her Excellency stressed that it is a priority for the Royal Government of Cambodia to tackle the root causes of violence against women. The ‘Good Men’ Campaign has launched a series of TV and radio spots as well as posters to engage audiences by asking the question 'Do you know why I am a Good Man?'. Partners for Prevention is one of the supporting partners for this campaign, along with more than 15 NGOs, both local and international, which are supporting the MoWA on this campaign. To view the first segments of the Good Men campaign TV spots, see: For information see: Good Men campaign launch press release: Facts and figures about the Good Men campaign: *** DAY 15 is a website for people who care about gender justice and are working to make a difference on issues such as gender equality and gender-based violence prevention. Through this online portal, practitioners and others can connect and share ideas and resources with people in your region and from around the world who are working with boys and men for gender justice. This website currently has more than 1000 members from every region of the world who are sharing resources and experiences, connecting about job and funding opportunities, taking part in online discussions, and much more. Partners for Prevention is supporting this valuable tool that is helping people connect, develop and expand their work to involve boys and men in preventing gender-based violence. For more information, see *** DAY 14 Reaching out to schools in Viet Nam to stop violence before it starts Gender experts believe that education on violence prevention in Viet Nam should begin in schools. However, the subject is not in the curriculum and the topic is unfamiliar to most teachers. "School-based violence prevention is very important, to teach young people before they get in a relationship or start to learn to use violence against each other," said Partners for Prevention Programme co-ordinator James Lang. A recent survey found that one in three or 34 percent of ever married women had suffered physical or sexual violence from their husbands at some time in their lives. About 58 percent of Vietnamese women reported experiencing at least one type of domestic violence in their lifetime – physical, sexual or emotional. "It is important that the Ministry of Education and Training and local authorities are involved and understand the importance of school-based violence prevention," Lang said. To help bring primary prevention to schools in Viet Nam, Partners for Prevention facilitated a south-south knowledge sharing along with ICRW India to review promising strategies and tools for school-based prevention. The overall objective of this workshop was to facilitate an exchange of practitioners involved in school-based violence prevention initiatives to review promising strategies and tools. The participants learned from Vietnamese school-based projects and the ICRW’s school-based model, and outlined promising approaches and materials that may be used for future school-based work in Viet Nam. For more information, see: *** DAY 13 Mapping Masculinities in Cambodia What it means to be a man in Cambodia has long been linked to notions of strength, bravery and leadership. But recent research on gender-based violence and masculinities in Cambodia suggests that the lived experiences of men are much more complicated and complex than this. P4P has launched a working paper, 'Mapping Masculinities: A Framework Analysis of Factors Associated with Violence against Women in Cambodia', to explore how men’s gendered identities and patterns of behaviour across the individual, household, community and social levels are linked to use of violence against intimate partners. The findings demonstrate the various ways in which men internalize and act on socially prescribed masculinities, but also how they challenge and navigate those gender norms in their daily life. For more, see the report: *** DAY 12 The SANAM Capacity Development Initiative in South Asia With the support from Partners for Prevention, SANAM (South Asian Network to Address Masculinities, which is a consortium of 21 NGOs from India, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh working to prevent gender-based violence) is currently implementing the second phase of the 'Capacity Development Initiative in South Asia' project. This project aims at facilitating, building and contextualizing knowledge on masculinities and gender-based violence prevention issues through information and experiences sharing by experts and practitioners across the region. The first phase of the project was successfully implemented, in which a regional curriculum around issues of masculinities for boys and men, along with girls and women, was developed and used to develop the capacity of 30 fellows from the 4 countries in the region. This phase has increased and enhanced the knowledge and skills among the fellows, with the expectation that it will instigate changes in their attitude and practice at the individual level. Through the development of the curriculum and the implementation of the fellowship programme, SANAM has built a resource pool of men, women and transgender people with the appropriate knowledge base and skills on the social, historical and political dimensions of masculinities to work independently or through groups to challenge masculinities in different social settings. The second phase of the fellowship programme has consolidated the resource pool through a refresher course and the application of the newly gained knowledge and skills in individual projects, which also contribute to the generation of new knowledge for the curriculum. This will further help in building a body of knowledge which will be used to shape and strengthen the curriculum on addressing issues around working with boys and men, masculinities and gender based violence prevention. This regional project has been trying to promote a reflective but action-oriented mode of thinking that enables everyone, especially boys and men, to challenge their own attitudes and behavior patterns that contribute to the construction and sustaining of forms of masculinities those foster gender-based violence and prevent gender equity from taking roots. For more information and resources, see the gender justice information network: *** DAY 11 Promoting volunteerism while learning from communities in Indonesia and Cambodia Partners for Prevention views volunteering as an important means of working at the community level. Thus, through the coordination of a network of local and UN Volunteers, the programme is promoting volunteerism while learning from selected pilot sites at the community level around the region. In Aceh, Indonesia, P4P, along with UN Women and the NGO Rifka Annisa, is supporting the 'Working with Men and Boys to Prevent Violence against Women in Indonesia' project. The project’s goal is to prevent and eliminate gender-based violence and to strengthen the involvement of men in the gender justice agenda. Through this project, speech contests for high school students are held and a peaceful rally against violence was organized with the Community Alliance Against Violence. Speech contests for students have become a way to build and strengthen partnerships with educational institutions and increase the awareness of students on gender-based violence. Now more students participate in activities on gender equality. A peaceful rally reinforced the voluntary participation and contribution of men in promoting gender equality. As a result, the spirit of community involvement in gender equality and women's rights issues was awakened. Marwan Idris, a national UN Volunteer deployed at UN Women Aceh as a UNV Project Associate, has been supporting this collaborative project. Marwan incorporates and promotes the spirit of volunteerism into its activities. As a result of this project, the personal commitment and voluntary spirit of gender activists is strengthened. The knowledge, skills and understanding of young men are enhanced through information sharing and training sessions, which empowers them to become more involved in preventing and eliminating violence against women. A bi-monthly discussion forum among all gender equality activists in Aceh has been created. In Aceh, people express the spirit of volunteerism through a tradition called “meusaraya” or mutual aid. This voluntary tradition based on reciprocity has become a social-cultural identity of the Acehnese society. This form of mutual self-help creates collaborative and mutually supportive communities. Communities organize themselves and build on solidarity and empathy to form the foundation for solving public affairs, supporting community progress, and sustaining societal harmony. Women’s rights activists have established women’s organizations and put the elimination of gender-based violence on the agenda and men are gradually joining the women’s rights movement. (Male) volunteers continue to play an important role in promoting women’s rights and assisting gender activists and organizations in implementing programmes to end gender-based violence and achieve gender equality. In Cambodia, the P4P and UNV report 'Making a difference: An assessment of volunteer interventions addressing gender-based violence in Cambodia' ( highlights the crucial role and the far-reaching positive effects that community volunteers play in the prevention and response to gender-based violence. One reason why volunteering matters in Cambodia is because it addresses the needs of survivors of violence. Living in the communities, volunteers bring added value to gender-based violence interventions as they have a better understanding of the particular situations, and are also available for support. They help to prevent violence by sharing information and raising the awareness of potential perpetrators. Volunteering satisfies the needs of organizations because, with the help of volunteers, they can improve the coverage (including remote areas), impact and sustainability of their community programmes. Volunteers are trusted and stay engaged with the communities after their assignments are completed. They also help to build human resource capacity of the organizations they work for by providing technical expertise and support. Finally, volunteers themselves are pleased with the change that their work produces and it motivates them to continue. They are also gratified and encouraged by the recognition and respect they receive from survivors, communities, non-governmental organizations, and even perpetrators. Volunteers appreciate the knowledge and experience they gain through their work, and feel a positive change in self-growth and their place in their families and communities. *** DAY 10 Involving men as key allies in ending violence against women in Pakistan In Pakistan, Partners for Prevention is supporting activities to involve men as key allies in ending violence against women. Together with the NGO Rozan, the Humqadam programme aims at creating spaces for men and boys to engage on gender issues, with a special emphasis on involving men and boys in stopping violence against women. Humqadam has three major objectives: expanding the research and knowledge base on men and masculinities; networking and alliance building around work with men and boys; and capacity building of practitioners and trainers on masculinities and work with men and boys. Recently, with support from P4P, Rozan has published 'Partners for Change: A Mapping Study of Organizations working with men and boys on Gender Equality in Pakistan'. The primary objective of the mapping study was to provide an overview of the work being done with men and boys on gender equality in Pakistan, with a view to understand current knowledge, capacity and learning needs of national/local/public organizations. More specifically the study aimed to: 1) Capture different approaches and strategies for working with men and boys on gender equality, especially volunteers’ roles and involvement; 2) Record capacity, skills and tools developed for engaging men and boys for gender equality; and 3) Identify the learning needs of organizations on gender equality, and challenges faced while working with men and boys. The mapping study collected information from sixty-six (66) organizations working on the prevention of gender-based violence, gender equality and services (counseling, clinical and knowledge/ information) for women, men and youth. Many organizations are working on these issues, but a comprehensive network for coordination and cooperation nationally and regionally, as well as sharing of expertise and experience by professionals and stakeholders, is often lacking. Best practices and experiences should be shared and learned from and change the behavior, attitudes, approaches and the mindset of men and women. The work with boys and men must go beyond the most obvious signs and symbols of masculinities to discover knowledge as well as ideas on how boys and men can become part of the movement for gender equality. All the stakeholders should be involved to initiate research on men's gender identities and roles and contextualize the challenges in society. For the complete publication, see *** DAY 9 Using film to draw in boys and men into discussions on gender in South Asia Partners for Prevention is supporting the Let's Talk Men film series, which aims to prevent gender-based violence in South Asia through raising awareness among young people regarding the consequences of gender socialization and providing options for more equitable and non-violence practices. With a focus on masculinities, the project aims to engage more young men as partners with women in ending violence. By the end of 2013, 5,000 Let’s Talk Men 2.0 (LTM) Packages, which will consist of 7 films (3 new films and the original set of 4), a discussion guide, training tools & resources, communication materials and assessment tools, will be disseminated across the 5 countries in the region: Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. In addition, practitioners, civil society organizations, educational institutions and other groups will be equipped to use the packages to ensure a wide outreach and effective engagement with young people in the region. The packages will also be use to show to policymakers within governmental and UN systems the importance of working with boys and men on gender issues and including this perspective while designing programmes and policies. The Let’s Talk Men 2.0 Packages and implementation strategy will build on the foundation of the first series of films on masculinities produced in 2000. The original Let’s Talk Men series was highly successful as a means of drawing in boys and men into discussions on gender, and the demand for the films remains high and positive feedback has been received consistently over the last decade. *** DAY 8 Fostering activism to end violence and promote justice in East and Southeast Asia Social and gender injustice and gender-based violence are rooted in the pattern of unequal relations between women and men, patriarchal beliefs, systems and institutions. Gender inequality is still the dominant social order in many parts of the world and the prevalence of gender-based violence is still high in many communities in the East & Southeast Asia region. Creating gender equality and eradicating gender-based violence means transforming unequal gender power relationship pattern, patriarchy, and hegemonic masculinity. To achieve this, transformation at all levels, from personal to institutional, is needed. Partners for Prevention is supporting a regional collective learning process led by the Regional Learning Community (RLC) for East & Southeast Asia – a sub-regional consortium of practitioners and activists established to develop a collective approach to knowledge creation and skills building for transforming masculinities and gender power relations to promote justice and peace, and prevent GBV in the region. The RLC generates and shares collective knowledge and skills for transformative activism for gender justice through community learning events, networking, partnerships, mentorship, and regional curriculum development. The Community believes that it is unquestionably important that social change movements and transformative activisms have to be grounded on critical analysis and understanding of core issues that bring about inequalities, oppressions and violence. A long-term movement and transformative activism for gender justice and GBV prevention can be assured and sustained when community members’ beliefs, attitudes, behaviours and practices are politicized, challenged, provoked, spiritualized and motivated. The work of RLC is to build critical consciousness of community members with an aim to build a collective effort to prevent GBV as a political struggle rather than a responsive or technical approach. The regional curriculum and the community learning process are based on individual reflection, activism as well as institutional/structural transformation for gender justice and peace. This regional learning process shifts the paradigm of how some work on gender justice in the region is being carried out. Through participating in this regional initiative, community members collectively generate knowledge that can guide their practices and work. Community members have formed country groups to start planning national adaptations of the regional curriculum as a process to take this regional initiative forward. Knowledge and new understanding and skills generated at the workshop have inspired some community members to incorporate new knowledge and skills in their current work on gender justice promotion and GBV prevention. The regional learning process provides a new way of building sustainable regional movements, networks, and resource pools of skilled trainers and practitioners for the East and Southeast Asia region. For more information about the RLC and its work, please visit You can also join the community online portal. *** DAY 7 Working with parliamentarians on prioritizing the prevention of violence against women Parliamentarians have a fundamental role to play in supporting and enabling social change to prevent violence against women. They are strategically placed to promote, support and lead policy and legislative activities to prevent violence against women in their constituencies, their countries and across the region. Moreover, parliamentarians are able to mobilize public opinion and action, champion causes and galvanize networks and alliances. However, they face unique challenges as well. Competing interests, voter-driven issue engagement and a lack of comprehensive understanding of complex social issues such as gender-based violence all hinder the policymaker’s potential as a catalyst for social change. Partners for Prevention, in partnership with the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD), has recently conducted research on how parliamentarians can more effectively advocate for the prioritization of prevention of violence against women. The recommendations include: (1) Understanding that VAW has multiple contributing factors, from social norms to relationship patterns, to individual experiences, attitudes and behaviours. There are thus multiple solutions. (2) Recognizing that prevention is stopping violence before it starts, and includes promoting peaceful and more equal social norms, relationships and attitudes. (3) Making prevention a priority by promoting the long-terms gains of violence prevention work. (4) Recognizing that VAW can be prevented only in partnership between men and women, and among many parts of the government. (5) Promoting reviews of current legislation on VAW and ensuring that prevention is a part of the national policies on VAW. For more on this research, see 'WHAT CAN YOU DO? Recommendations for Members of the Male Standing Committee' P4P and AFPPD will release the final report based on this research project in early 2012. Watch the Partners for Prevention website for more information. *** DAY 6 The Change Project: Conducting research on understanding gender, masculinities and power to prevent GBV Despite decades of work to end gender-based violence, there is no indication that aggregate levels of violence have decreased in Asia and the Pacific. What are the root causes of gender-based violence? How can we stop violence before it starts? The majority of research and interventions on gender-based violence focus on women’s rights and empowerment, legal reform, protection and service provision. While these interventions continue to be key priorities, understanding prevailing social norms, men’s attitudes and behaviours – and how they perpetuate violence – is vital because genderbased violence is rooted in power relations among women, men, girls and boys and linked to dominant notions of “what it means to be a man”. The Change Project is undertaking cutting-edge research to understand the root causes of gender-based violence and their relation to masculinities. Over 15,000 men and women are being surveyed in seven countries across Asia and the Pacific - Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Viet Nam – providing a comprehensive and holistic picture of the social structures, underlying norms, attitudes and behaviours related to the use of GBV in different countries in Asia and the Pacific. Coordinated by Partners for Prevention: Working to Prevent Gender-based Violence (P4P), a UNDP, UNFPA, UN Women and UNV regional programme for Asia and the Pacific, The Change Project is a collaboration between the UN, civil society, government and researchers from around the region and globally. For more information, see *** DAY 5 Supporting the UNiTE campaign in Asia and the Pacific As a committed partner of the United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign, Partners for Prevention is helping to contribute to the goals of the UNiTE campaign. Examples of recent joint activities include the mobilization of volunteer networks in Cambodia, organizing public events during the 16 Days of Activism in Cambodia, and connecting P4P partners in the region to the Network of Men Leaders. To commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the UNiTE campaign has produced a video containing the voices of young people from across the Asia-Pacific region that showcases what young people are saying about their role in ending violence against women and girls. The video can be viewed at: In addition, a UNiTE campaign op-ed - A day to be consigned to the history books - is calling for accelerating progress to consigning all forms of violence against women and girls to the history books once and for all. Read more at *** DAY 4 The ‘Zero violence, let’s achieve it together’ signature campaign in China During the 16 Days of Activism, university students in Beijing are taking part in the ‘Zero violence, let’s achieve it together’ campaign. Campaign participants collected signatures on the campuses of three top universities in the capital and also posted messages on * Students are encouraged to both sign banners offline and the forward the weibo message to others on line. The activity is part of the ’17 man’ social media campaign (‘17 man’ means ‘being real men together’). Throughout the year, the ’17 man’ campaign engages young people through discussions and quizzes on the theme of gender equality on Weibo, Sina , Sohu and Renren (the Chinese versions of Facebook and Twitter) as well as organizes on the ground events . The ‘Zero violence, let’s achieve it together’ campaign and the ’17 man’ campaign are part of the Partners for Prevention project, “Engaging Young Men through Social Media for the Prevention of Violence against Women,” which aims to connect and inspire young people to take action to end gender-based violence. * is a Chinese microblogging website (a hybrid of Twitter and Facebook). It is one of the most popular sites in China, in use by over 30% of Internet users in China. *** DAY 3 The 'Men Say No' Blogathan in India Across India, the 'Men Say No' Blogathan is taking place during the 16 Days of Activism. The online event will help to collect ideas and experiences on the importance of men’s role and the urgency of the issue. “We hope that this Blogathon will help expose men to ideas they may never have seen before and find unique insights and perspectives on Violence against Women. The sense of community, change and action will be genuine for those of us who participate in this Blogathon,” says Kuber Sharma from Commutiny Youth Collective (CYC), a Partners for Prevention and UN Women partner that is leading the blogathan. People who write a blogpost between 24 November and 10 December 2011 can link it up with ‘Men Say No’ Blogathon, and include the host blog The Commutiny Youth Collective will also take special Must Bol films to 10 new locations to engage with 2500 young people. During the 16 Days, CYC is also inviting young filmmakers to participate in an online short film contest. Young people are invited to share their videos on one of the following themes: • Body Image Issues (like • Gender Stereotypes (like • Violence within Relationship (like Both the “Men Say No” Blogathan and the online short film contest are part of the Partners for Prevention project, “Engaging Young Men through Social Media for the Prevention of Violence against Women,” which aims to connect and inspire young people to take action to end gender-based violence. *** DAY 2 Uniting and inspiring active participation in communities across Cambodia to end violence against women During the 16 Days, across Cambodia, Partners for Prevention has joined together with more than 70 NGO and UN agency partners to plan and take part in several activities to take action to end VAW in Cambodia under the UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign. By working together we are reaching more people in more communities across Cambodia, and our joint message and activities can help to inspire even more Cambodians to join us in ending VAW. On November 25, partners participated in events to form human white ribbon shapes in towns and villages across Cambodia. Participants gathered in a public place to make a giant ribbon shape. Participants to the event also received a leaflet, which will give details of 16 simple actions that people can take in their daily lives to help end VAW. In addition, on 25 November 2011, a message was sent via text and voice call by participants attending the main activity: “United we can end violence against women and bring peace - From UNiTE. Please forward this sms for the 16-day campaign and help end violence against women”. Thanks to the companies Hello and Mfone we were able to reach about 705,000 Cambodians. A blog has also been set up:, as well as a Facebook page: All organisations joining the initiative are encouraging people to join these pages. The pages are being used as an avenue to spread information about the joint activity and also to spread the theme of the campaign and the 16 actions people can take to end VAW. *** DAY 1: Encouraging positive, gender-equitable and non-violent attitudes among youth in Vietnam The ‘Love Journey’, a social media campaign in Vietnam aimed at promoting discussions and action amongst youth on the attitudes and behaviours of caring and respectful relationships, will begin accepting idea submissions on December 4 from individuals at The campaign, which links romantic love and friendship with gender equality and non-violence, is endorsed by Pham Anh Khoa, the well-known musician and outspoken advocate of gender equality. “I believe respect, trust, understanding, love, equality and non-violence are key principles of a healthy relationship. There is no place for force and violence in love. True friends listen to and respect each other’s opinions. We (both men and women) should work towards making our relationship healthy,” said Pham Anh Khoa. Read more at

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