What About the Boys?

Raising men to end violence against women

Gender-based violence and discrimination is a society-wide problem, which requires a society-wide solution. In 2011, India ranked the worst G20 country to be a woman. National statistics show an 873% increase in rape cases from 1971 to 2011. To tackle rife inequalities, men and women have to be involved in preventive and curative efforts. Men must be given an opportunity to reflect on and reconstruct attitudes around gender. It is now universally acknowledged both in theory and practise that this can help reduce incidences of discrimination and violence. However, efforts in India and worldwide have generally been small scale. Initiatives in India are largely targeted at schools and low income communities. These have been resource intensive, using professionally trained staff to deliver specially designed programs. Involvement of state agencies in these efforts has been minimal. This report considers how to scale efforts in India. The question asked by the research was “How can every young man and boy in India be given the opportunity to reflect on and practise gender equitable behaviour?” Answers to this question were derived from interviews with 14 professionals in this field. There was consensus that boys need to be raised to develop and adopt gender sensitive attitudes and behaviours from a young age. The report highlights the following three actors central to facilitating this process at a large scale.

What about the boys?

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