How a lack of accountability undermines work involving men to address violence against women and girls
Feminist analysis and activism have been instrumental in achieving gains in women’s rights, including action to address violence against women and girls (VAWG). Over the past two decades, strong local, national and international women’s movements have brought VAWG, including in armed conflict and natural disasters, into the public domain as a development, public health, international peace and security and women’s rights issue.
Although the late 1990s and early 2000s witnessed positive developments regarding VAWG, many of these gains are now under threat. In many countries, we are witnessing the erosion of women’s human rights to live free from violence and exercise their full and equal rights in all domains; women’s rights organisations’ efforts to address VAWG face mounting challenges. Further evidence of this trend is the shrinking space for women’s movements and women’s rights work across local, national and global contexts.
This paper considers a specific concern linked to this trend: accountability to women and girls in the programming, policy and support of male involvement efforts to prevent and respond to VAWG. The paper discusses four practices that reduce accountability to women and girls, all of which result from a lack of feminist analysis: 1) investment in male involvement programming without demand or evidence; 2) male-dominated efforts that do not support women’s leadership; 3) shifts toward men’s priorities and needs; and 4) failure to transform patriarchy. The paper concludes with targeted recommendations for increased accountability to women and girls across VAWG prevention and response efforts.
Both women and men may experience violence and abuse by intimate partners or former partners. Men are a visible, although small, proportion of adult victims of intimate partner violence. What are effective and appropriate ways to respond to male victims? In this XY collection, we have gathered resources and guides on this area. Unfortunately, much of the public commentary on male victims of domestic violence is driven by anti-feminist political agendas rather than by a genuine concern with male victims' needs.
How can universities work to prevent sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating violence, and other forms of violence on campus and among staff and students? In this XY collection, we have compiled key reports and guides for action.
A recent report from the New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse explores how to effectively involve men and boys in preventing violence against women. The report has the following key messages:
What are the links between guns, violence, and masculinity? In the wake of yet another mass shooting in the USA, it is long past time to highlight how gun violence is structured in powerful ways by traditional, patriarchal masculinities. In this XY collection, we have brought together a range of commentaries on guns, violence, and masculinity. Further inclusions are most welcome.
My Masculinity Helps: Film (free) on the role of African American men and boys in the prevention of sexual violence
MY MASCULINITY HELPS explores the role of African American men and boys in the prevention of sexual violence. It shows African American male allies (psychologist, professor, peer educator, attorney, pastor, athlete, middle and high school students, activist) demonstrating understanding and support for survivors of sexual violence. Strategies for assistance and prevention are provided. Survivors also share their stories and what has helped them. The film serves as a counter-narrative to often inaccurate and misleading portrayals of African American masculinity.
How can we prevent and reduce men's violence against women? What does violence prevention involve? What does primary prevention mean?
In this XY collection, we present short, accessible introductions to the field of violence prevention. They are listed below, and provided in full text at the bottom of this page.
There is an excellent international literature on how best to prevent and reduce men's violence against women. It includes major, systematic reviews of effective practice in this field. In this XY collection, we present key reports on and guides to prevention practice. They are listed below, and provided in full text at the bottom of this page.
Yes, large numbers of men and boys are killed and injured in war. They are sent to war largely by other men. Wars are supported more by men than women. And traditional masculinity has been central to justifications for war. It is men, not women, who have excluded women from joining men in military and combat roles. Feminist women and women’s movements have played key roles in challenging war and militarism. Finally, the overall impacts of war and conflict and their aftermath are greater for women than men.