Video stories: activists' personal journeys

Case study research in Uttar Pradesh, India, aims to improve understanding and knowledge of the changing roles of men in addressing gender-based violence and how and why collective action holds possibilities as an effective strategy to support this. This research is exploring the actors, strategies, challenges, collaborations and pathways for future engagement of the state-wide Men’s Action to Stop Violence Against Women (MASVAW).

Personal stories can provide important insights into the pathways of men as activists for gender equality, and the ideas, attitudes and motivations driving their involvement in addressing gender equality and violence.  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. The following films present some of the reflections shared during a ‘Movement Mapping’ workshop with MASVAW activists, held at the beginning of this research process. For further insight into these personal journeys please see Section 3.1 of the Movement Mapping outcome report.

Rajdev Chaturvedi

Rajdev Chaturvedi is a founding member of, and activist with the MASVAW campaign working in Eastern Uttar Pradesh. His activism is a response to the discrimination he sees in society; he is working with men on women’s rights and is addressing the interplay of gender inequality with caste and religion. His own organisation Gramin Punarnirman Sansthan is committed to the development of women belonging to Dalit and marginalised sections of the community. Through his relationship with MASVAW he has been supported to develop an internal gender policy, which has facilitated the recruitment of women staff members, and the establishment of a sexual harassment committee.

Ram Prakash

Ram Prakash is the MASVAW District Forum Coordinator for Pratapgarh and has been associated with the campaign for over seven years. In the beginning, he was uncertain as to how he could take action to address violence against women, and he was searching for a platform to work with others on the issue. He is passionate about engaging young people, and working with them to understand gender, caste and class-based inequality and the role that they themselves play in maintaining, and hopefully challenging this.