Members of Forum to Engage Men (FEM) are shocked and upset over the never ending stream of reports of violence against women in our society. While the secondary status of women in a male-centric world has been an issue of concern, the extent of brutality and sexual violence that is increasingly becoming evident makes it extremely important that all sections of society, especially men, stand up, resist and react against all such violence acts. Satish Kumar Singh Convenor of FEM and Deputy Director of the Centre for Health and Social Justice says “When I see or hear any incident of violence against women, I feel hurt and vulnerable because of my inability to stop the incident. Today there are various studies that show that nearly one in every three women will be beaten, harassed or raped in her lifetime. This is a very large number. Although not all men are perpetrators, most if not all men remain silent and do not speak out against this violence. We believe that all the men who are not speaking out against Violence Against Women (VAW) end up as contributors to this violence by silent endorsement. There is a serious need to challenge our role as the silent spectator. All men have to speak out and oppose VAW. It is the biggest crime and human rights violation on earth and the responsibility of ending VAW cannot be put on women’s shoulders alone.”
The One Billion Rising (OBR) movement is a collection of global voices, rising on 14th February, 2013 to stand up against all the atrocities against women. This call resonates with the stance of FEM that deep seated gender inequalities and patriarchal notions of masculinity allow these atrocities to happen and go unchallenged. FEM believes that men also have to take a leading role to eliminate such practices.
Anand Pawar, executive director of SAMYAK an NGO in Pune, is taking a lead to mobilise men across the state of Maharashtra to stand up and be counted on the occasion of the One Billion Rising campaign. He says, “While working with men is becoming one of the key approaches in the development sector, many of these initiatives are not necessarily informed with feminist perspectives and practice. These remain technical and their analysis of patriarchy is superficial. OBR provides an opportunity for men to participate in a campaign lead by women’s groups and understand feminist perspectives in organising protests against violence against women. It is very important that men across the world stand in support of OBR.”
Members of FEM have been working to stop Violence Against Women in different parts of the country. Notably in UP, FEM members of MASVAW (Men’s Action for Stopping Violence Against Women) have been protesting against VAW along with women’s groups over the last decade. On 14th February, members of FEM in different parts of the country, will be rising on the occasion of OBR to make ourselves be counted in the struggle for gender equality. We call upon all men and boys who want such atrocities to end to join us.
For more information contact: Dr. Abhijit Das (9871713314)
Satish Kumar Singh (9910589201) Phillip Perl (9818562923)
Secretariat : CHSJ, Basement of Young Women’s Hostel No2, Avenue 21, G Block, Saket, New Delhi 1100117. Ph.:011-26511425, 26535203
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