The sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) work has a strong focus on the power of collective actors. Organised activism against SGBV, including with men and boys, is a key way of creating transformative change on attitudes, norms and behaviours, as well as pushing for change in policy and practice.
Important elements of the uptake and advocacy process include:
- Building profiles of successful collective actors that have built constituencies against SGBV, and particularly engaging with men and boys.
- In-depth case studies exploring the value and limitations of working with men and boys to address SGBV through collective action.
- Policy briefs which pull out learning from the researh proess.
- The 'SGBV Dialogues': a blog series around specific topics relating to sexual and gender-based violence.
- Digital storytelling: telling personal stories in a visual way.
- Organising and taking part in global events.
The SGBV Dialogues ran during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence in November/December 2015. The interactive blog series shared insights from the research and created a space for activists, researchers, practitioners, and scholars working on the same issue to explore their eperienes and ideas.
Our guest bloggers came at the topic of engaging men and boys to address SGBV from different angles:
Amel Fahmy, managing director of Tadwein, a Gender Research Centre in Egypt, relays her ‘Aha’ moment. Following a TEDx Cairo talk that she gave on street sexual harassment in Egypt – a talk which women related to, but which excluded and shamed men – Amel's blog post explores why it has taken so long to involve men and boys in addressing gender-based violence.
Joanna Wheeler, Senior Research Associate at the Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation, explains why stories matter in addressing violence. Joanna shares with us the story of Ndoda, a young man from a township in Cape Town.
Tamba David Mackieu – the founder of Men’s Association for Gender Equality (MAGE SL) – brings us closer to the impact the Ebola Crisis had on the operational issues for his organisation, and others, in engaging men and boys in work to address SGBV.
Policy uptake workshop: Men and collective action on SGBV
In February 2015 a four day global learning workshop took place at IDS in the UK. The event together national partners in Egypt, India, Kenya, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Uganda, together with IDS researchers and other programmatic and policy stakeholders to explore how best to organise and sustain collective action to address SGBV, with respect to engaging men as allies and actors.
Stories of activism and survival
Video has been a large part of the uptake and advocacy work on SGBV. These films explore the issues through the eyes of activists and survivors.
The South Africa case study explored the value and limitations of collective action in challenging the community, political, social and economic institutions that reinforce harmful gender norms related to SGBV. A digital storytelling process formed the heart of the case study. Through this process, 11 people from informal settlements and townships in Cape Town created and shared stories about the actions they are taking to address SGBV in their lives and in their communities. This video was made by Sinazo, a poet and artist, working creatively to support herself and others to express the issues around gender violence, and her aspirations for gender justice. She how poverty, violence and injustice have entered her life in complex and intersecting ways.
Case study research in Uttar Pradesh, India, explored the actors, strategies, challenges, collaborations and pathways for future engagement of the state-wide Men’s Action to Stop Violence Against Women (MASVAW). Within this case study research, personal journeys have been shared in order to understand how and why MASVAW activists have become involved in the campaign, and in advocating men’s engagement in tackling gender-based violence. Rajdev Chaturvedi is a founding member of, and activist with the MASVAW campaign working in Eastern Uttar Pradesh. Here he tells his story.
While women and girls make up the majority of victims and survivors of GBV, it is increasingly being recognised that men experience such violence too. This film from the Refugee Law Project in Uganda breaks the silence around sexual violence against men in conflict. Scripted, filmed and acted by members of a unique support group 'Men of Hope', this ground breaking work captures the multiple impacts of this under-recognised reality - suicide attempts, family disintegration, unemployment, stigmatisation, exclusion, and more.