Context matters

The programme highlights the importance of recognising the complex and dynamic nature of violence in specific contexts and its diversity across settings. Gendered context and power analyses enables the identification of key building blocks of collective action strategies engaging men and boys to address SGBV by transforming unequal power relations.

Understanding sexual harassment in public spaces in Egypt requires a different contextual analysis than understanding intimate partner violence in post-conflict Sierra Leone. This includes challenging simple interpretations of men and women’s social roles and the frequent assumption of men being perpetrators and women victims of violence. Understanding cycles of victimhood and perpetration, for example, is critical in engaging in the lives of young men involved in gangs in South Africa.

Understanding context is integral to sustainable and transformative change as it shapes the process of collective action across societal levels. Distinct contexts shape how social norms are constructed and influence how and why collective action emerges over time and space.