Embracing Healthy Masculinities For The Prevention Of Violence Against Women And Girls

PR – The Spotlight Secretariat held a Cross-Regional Learning Session on “Embracing Healthy Masculinities for the Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls” on May 19, 2021. There is not only a need for women to support ending violence against women and girls, but also for men to support women. As such, the overarching objective was to collectively examine how to approach harmful vs. healthy masculinities for the prevention of violence against women and girls and in what ways alignment with the UN Reform can support these efforts.

Tyrone Buckmire, Director of the Legal Aid and Counselling Clinic, Grenada, participated in the conversation, speaking to his experience with men and boys who display toxic masculinity traits and the framework he incorporates in the “Partnership for Peace (Man-to-Man) Programme” to address these gender stereotypes and negative social norms. He stated “we believe that it is important that any programme that intends to work with men in terms of challenging the notions around gender-based violence, have to deliberately challenge this idea of toxic masculinities. One entry point for that is around helping men to understand that they do not have the right to control another person’s life, and their actions will have consequences.”

The main driver that leads to violence against women and girls that was highlighted as a part of the discussion is the need for some men to exercise power and control in their intimate relationships. Some of the take-aways from the discussions to meaningfully engage men and boys centered around education, rehabilitation, awareness-building and creating safe-spaces for open communication.

Engaging men to prevent violence against women and girls heavily involves working with men and boys to understand the root of their belief systems and recognize negative behaviours and how it contributes to violence against women and girls. It allows the creation of safe spaces where men and boys can feel free to speak in open discussion, learn how to deal with their frustrations and express themselves positively without violence. In addition, safe spaces are established where women and men can interact and build a bridge to understand each other better by providing opportunities to share experiences. Critically, too, it promotes public awareness of gender stereotypes and negative social norms to help transform behaviours.

The learning session provided insight and opportunity from fellow-country Spotlight Initiatives that can be incorporated into the Grenada Spotlight Programme to enhance overall success.

The Cross-Regional Learning Session was organized by the Global Spotlight Secretariat for Programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean.