13,028 The Communication Initiative, Communication to Address Violence against Women and Girls, The Drum Beat 723, November 16 2016

The Drum BeatCommunication to Address Violence against Women and Girls – The Drum Beat 723
November 16 2016

In this issue:


Affecting more than 1 in 3 women globally, violence against women and girls (VAWG) is a profound public health issue and pervasive human rights abuse that is also understood to adversely affect a country’s human, social, and economic development. VAWG includes, but is not limited to: domestic and intimate partner violence (IPV), sexual violence (including rape), sexual harassment, emotional/psychological violence, sexual violence in conflict, sexual exploitation, and practices such as female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), honour killings, dowry-related violence, and child, early, and forced marriage. In recognition of the severity of the problem, the United Nations General Assembly has designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Despite international attention and advocacy, the scale and true nature of the issue is often hidden. This Drum Beat features just a few of the programmes, strategies, and resources that are unfolding around the world to bring the issue of VAWG into the spotlight and to spark action to get at its deep cultural and societal roots, such as different norms for masculinity and femininity. [Note: Due to the fact that GBV mostly affects women and girls, the terms gender-based violence (GBV) and VAW are often used interchangeably. However, men and boys can also be subject to GBV; the below selections encapsulate both but do not explicitly address male victims. For more on the distinction and the types of GBV and VAW, click here.

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  • 1. Gender Transformative Approaches to Engaging Men in Gender-Based Violence Prevention: A Review and Conceptual Model
    by Erin Casey, Juliana Carlson, Sierra Two Bulls, and Aurora Yager
    Noting that engaging men and boys as participants and stakeholders in GBV prevention initiatives is an increasingly institutionalised component of global efforts to end GBV, the authors of this paper offer a conceptual model that captures and organises a broad array of men’s anti-violence activities (e.g., one-time community events, standardised interventions aimed at violence-related attitude and behaviour change, and a range of community outreach, education, mobilisation, and social action efforts). In the proposed conceptual model, initial recruitment of men and boys provides a conduit to formalised prevention events and interventions, which, in turn hold promise for fostering activism and integration into larger GBV prevention efforts and, more broadly, gender justice movements. The project of engaging men requires careful thinking about how to appeal to men without reinforcing notions of gender hierarchy, the authors argue. [May 2016]
  • 2. Work with Men to End Violence against Women: A Critical Stocktake
    by Michael Flood
    Which approaches are effective in reducing and preventing men’s violence against women and building gender equality? This is the question animating this paper, which offers an assessment of 3 dimensions of the men’s violence prevention field: its practical relations with feminism, its understandings of men and gender, and its approaches to engaging men. Author Michael Flood explains that, although there is a substantial evidence base attesting to the effectiveness of at least some strategies and interventions, the field of involving men in the prevention of men’s violence against women is limited – e.g., much violence prevention work assumes a homogenously heterosexual male constituency, and this work is often conceptually simplistic with regard to gender. Flood critically examines assumptions that are part of an emerging consensus in men’s violence prevention, such as that it is in men’s interests to support progress towards non-violence and gender equality and that the bes! t people to engage and work with men are other men. [Oct 2015]
  • 3. Engaging Men for Effective Activism against Sexual and Gender-based Violence
    by Catherine Müller and Thea Shahrokh
    This policy briefing from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) summarises the key findings of a 6-country research programme on effective organised activism against sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). It highlights the importance of addressing the underlying structural causes of violence, calling for efforts to address these challenges by applying gendered context and power analysis in: understanding and identifying barriers to address SGBV, engaging men in prevention and response not just as “protectors” of women, and building a shared agenda between individuals, communities, and networks involving men and women. The programme highlighted the fact that gendered context and power analyses need to highlight barriers and drivers of change to address SGBV. According to IDS, such context analyses enable the identification of key building blocks of collective action strategies engaging men and boys to address SGBV by transforming unequal power relations. [Jan! 2016]
  • 4. Adolescent Boys and Young Men: Engaging Them as Supporters of Gender Equality and Health and Understanding Their Vulnerabilities
    “Far too many boys approach adolescence having experienced violence, witnessed violence, dropped out of school, had risky sex, or practiced other risk-taking behaviors because they believe that they must do so to be seen by their peers and their communities as ‘real men’.” Based on global research, this technical paper from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Instituto Promundo looks at adolescence as a “period of opportunity” to engage boys in gender equality, explores the impact of living within “systems” of inequality on gender norms and health, and reviews the importance of engaging men and boys (alongside women and girls) across the lifespan. One section makes recommendations for working with boys to change gender inequitable norms in relation to popular media, which has a tendency to present hyper-masculine images of “typical” manhood and stereotypical views of sexually submissive girls and women. It highlights the nee! d for comprehensive sexuality education, school-based campaigns, and the use of social media as methods to spark awareness among young women and girls, and among young men and boys, about these issues. [2016]
  • 5. Engaging Men, Changing Gender Norms: Directions for Gender-Transformative Action
    by Michael Kaufman
    This advocacy brief from the MenEngage Alliance and the UNFPA explores the importance of changing social norms related to men’s ideas and behaviours and examines these questions: Can men support gender equality and learn to live gender-equitable lives? Can men transform the ideas and practices they associate with manhood? Can the spheres where men and boys are socialised and often learn inequitable norms – home, school, work, sports, religion, the media, and others – be changed? Several short case studies are offered to illustrate the success of social norm change initiatives around the world. The final section highlights 2 underlying principles for work to shift gender norms among men and boys: (i) gender-equitable and (ii) focused on human rights and equality, which involves complementarity to work with women and girls and includes addressing the gendered vulnerabilities of men by, for instance, opposing discrimination against gay, bisexual, and transgender men. It also ou! tlines key components for successfully engaging men and boys to transform gender norms. [2014]
  • 6. Be a Man, Change the Rules: Findings and Lessons from Seven Years of CARE International Balkans’ Young Men Initiative
    by Sophie Namy, Brian Heilman, Shawna Stich, and Keith J. Holyoak
    This report explores lessons learned from the Young Men Initiative (YMI), a 7-year programme that has been promoting positive masculine identities among youth across the Western Balkans. Coordinated in this post-conflict region by CARE International Balkans, implemented by collaborating institutions in 4 countries (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, and Serbia), and evaluated by the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), YMI seeks to promote a lifestyle prioritising good health, nonviolence, and gender equality through a school-based curriculum – adapted from Promundo’s Program H – plus community and social media campaigns. Many participants were less likely to support men’s use of violence against women who were unfaithful. The number of participants who thought women should not have to tolerate violence also increased. [Jan 2014]
  • See also:
    Audience Reception Analysis of the National Brothers for Life Mass Media Campaign
    HeforShe Campaign
    A National Evaluation Framework: Preventing Violence against Women and Girls through Male Engagement

  • 7. Voices against Violence: A Non-Formal Education Programme for Children and Youth to Help Stop Violence against Girls and Young Women
    On the occasion of the International Day of the Girl Child, UN Women (the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women) and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) launched this non-formal co-educational curriculum on ending VAWG, putting young people at the heart of prevention efforts. It “stems from the understanding that prevention should start early in life, when values and norms around gender equality are formed, by educating girls and boys about respectful relationships and gender equality. Effective prevention efforts entail a cross-generational approach, working within schools and communities, and providing young people the tools they need to challenge gender stereotypes, discrimination and violence.” [Oct 2013]
  • 8. Violence against Women and Girls: Professional Development Reading Pack No. 32
    Reflective of the increasing recognition that efforts to respond to survivors of violence must be complemented by holistic prevention efforts to prevent violence, the 8 readings that are the focus of this Governance and Social Development Resource Centre (GSDRC) resource explore: stronger enforcement of laws and policies to prohibit VAWG; improved access to comprehensive support for survivors; more holistic and longer-term investment in prevention, including shifting discriminatory social norms and engaging men and boys; and further evidence about what works to prevent VAWG, cost-effectiveness, and how efforts can be taken to scale. [Jan 2016]
  • 9. How to Design Projects to End Violence against Women and Girls: A Step-by-Step Guide to Taking Action
    This toolkit brings together information, resources, and practical activities to help Pacific Islanders apply a gendered analysis to the issue of violence against women and to design and implement projects to end violence against women and girls. It was developed by UN Women’s Pacific Regional Ending Violence against Women Facility Fund (Pacific Fund) in observation of the fact that, according to UN Women, after years of advocacy by women’s rights and civil society organisations, Pacific Island governments have begun to adopt laws and policies to address this issue. However, they face a number of barriers and have a need for capacity building in key areas of project design and implementation. [2015]
  • See also:
    Webinar Video: Social Norms and Violence against Women and Girls

  • Organised in honour of the upcoming 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (click here to learn more), the Communications X-Change Awards is a global competition designed for practitioners to exchange information on what works to end VAWG. All communications materials (e.g., posters, training materials, video campaigns, mobile apps) submitted to the competition are evaluated and shared within the community of those working toward behaviour change communication (BCC) to end VAWG.

    The Global Women’s Institute will be giving out 3 awards of up to US$3,000 each. The competition is open now until January 31 2017. Click here for complete information and to submit your entry.


  • 10. Good Men Give Value to Women
    This campaign sought to contribute to the reduction of VAW in Cambodia by transforming gender norms, to promote understanding of different ways of “being a man”, and to encourage changes in attitudes and behaviour towards gender equality. Among the tools developed by Paz y Desarrollo (PYD) Cambodia and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA): The Good Men Quiz, a mobile app game designed to influence men’s attitudes towards gender equality. It challenges and measures how good a man the player is, as far as gender equality and GBV are concerned. Operated in Khmer running as phone application available for Android, along with an interactive 3D graphic animation, the quiz has been developed as a youth-minded tool that is using information and communication technology (ICT) to generate awareness of the Good Men campaign and to reinforce the commitment of the men to the core values of the campaign.
  • 11. Priya’s Shakti and Priya’s Mirror
    With an eye to broadening awareness and action against gendered violence in India and around the world, Priya’s Shakti and Priya’s Mirror are comic books part of a larger entertainment-education (EE) initiative to highlight the threat of sexual harassment and violence that women face on a daily basis unless deeply rooted patriarchal norms are challenged. Rattapallax, a literary publishing house and film production company based in the United States (US), and New Delhi, India, is producing the project, which uses the augmented reality application (app) Blippar to make animation, videos, real-life stories, and other interactive elements come to life on any mobile device. The comic books are meant to be a form of “cultural education”, hopefully reducing instances of sexual violence and acid attacks against women around the world. In addition to encouraging attitude change to help alleviate the stigma and shame that survivors face, the comics show and celebrate the res! ilience of survivors and ultimately hope to foster solidarity among them.
  • 12. HNI Madagascar: Information Via Mobile to Tackle Gender-based Violence
    This case study describes the 3-2-1 mobile-phone-based information service in Madagascar and the impact of the introduction of gender content to the service. It outlines the journey to the development of the gender content, the positive social impacts for both male and female users of the service, the commercial benefits for the service provider, Airtel, and the lessons learned in the process. Users, especially women, were not only able to recall the information communicated through the information service, but some also reported no longer being victims of physical and mental abuse by their husbands (also users) as a result of the 3-2-1 gender content. [Mar 2015]
  • 13. Violence against Women and the Use of Information and Communication Technologies in Jamaica
    by Dhanaraj Thakur, Lloyd Waller, Shinique Walters, and Stephen Johnson
    The University of the West Indies, Mona, collected empirical data and analysis to yield insights into how ICTs are used to perpetuate different forms of VAW in the Jamaican context. For example, the research highlighted the ways in which social media and phones are used as tools of control, particularly in abusive relationships. Among the recommendations offered: Because girls are singled out for online harassment and for sexual violence offline, workshops could reach young girls in the secondary school system. Given the number of women who make up their membership, churches are described here as an ideal venue to raise awareness about the problems and strategies to address online harassment, and to initiate broader discussions about VAW in the country. However, addressing the problem of online harassment will require a multi-sectoral approach, and it should not be defined as a “gender” problem that only a handful of agencies should address. [Dec 2015]
  • See also:
    Use Your Head – Integrate Bristol (Official Music Video) – Dance to End Gender Violence
    Voices from Digital Spaces: Technology Related Violence against Women
    Global Virtual Knowledge Centre to End Violence against Women and Girls

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  • 14. Media and Masculinities – The Role of Key Media Outlets in Nigeria in Shaping Perceptions of Masculinities
    This report, published by the Voices for Change (V4C) project, sets out to explore the influence of Nigeria’s media on the perceptions and behaviours of boys, men, women, and girls around masculinity, and to understand how the media reflects, influences, and perpetuates negative gender identities, roles, and relations within Nigerian society. One finding of the 2015 study: Local media and entertainment portrayal of masculinity reflects and promotes unequal power relations between men and women by: (i) presenting VAWG in news reports as isolated events rather than in relation to men’s power over and control of women; (ii) equating masculinity in cinema and in cartoons with the need for control and dominance; and (iii) under-representing women in leadership news reports and using stereotypical images on gender and leadership to frame leadership stories. Based on the findings, the report offers recommendations for media professionals, media professional bodies and support group! s, media regulators, government, civil society, and international development agencies. [Jul 2015]
  • 15. Reporting on Violence against Women: A Case Study of Select News Media in Seven Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean
    by Luísa Abbott Galvâo
    This report from the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) outlines the results of a preliminary case study of the portrayal by the news media of violence against women in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). It focuses on national print news agencies in 7 countries: Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Jamaica, Mexico, Paraguay, and Uruguay. The aim of this analysis is to identify general patterns on the way the news media conveys violence against women and highlight areas that require additional scrutiny by the news media as well as civil society, government, and the international development community. [Dec 2015]
  • 16. Eleven Ways to Boost Your Work with News Media: How You Can Help the Media Report Prevention of Violence against Women: A Practical Guide for Violence against Women Sector Workers
    by Vanessa Born
    Developed by Domestic Violence Victoria (DV Vic), Melbourne, Australia, in partnership with the EVA Media Action Group, this practical guide for VAW practitioners is focused on strategic prevention messaging and work with media. The guide seeks to increase the capacity of practitioners to work with and provide plain language prevention messages to news media. It includes discussion and tips on working with media on prevention of VAW (PVAW), as well as suggested critical PVAW themes, messaging content, and key statistics that can assist communications with the media and encourage the inclusion of prevention messages in news stories. [2016]
  • See also:
    Reporting on Gender-Based Violence in the Syria Crisis: A Journalists’ Handbook

This issue of The Drum Beat was written by Kier Olsen DeVries.
The Drum Beat is the email and web network of The Communication Initiative Partnership.

Full list of the CI Partners:
ANDI, BBC Media Action, Bernard van Leer Foundation, Breakthrough, Citurna TV, Fundación Imaginario, Fundación Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (FNPI), Heartlines,Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs, Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP), MISA, Open Society Foundations, Oxfam Novib, PAHO, The Panos Institute, Puntos de Encuentro, SAfAIDS, Sesame Workshop, Soul City, STEPS International, UNAIDS, UNICEF, Universidad de los Andes,USAID, World Health Organization (WHO), W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The Drum Beat seeks to cover the full range of communication for development activities. Inclusion of an item does not imply endorsement or support by The Partners.

Chair of the Partners Group: Garth Japhet, Founder, Soul City garth@heartlines.org.za

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The Editor of The Drum Beat is Kier Olsen DeVries.
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