Engaging Men as Fathers to Prevent Violence Against Women During the 16 Days of Activism

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MenCare+, a 4-country initiative to engage men in promoting gender equality and preventing gender violence advances one step further with its launch in Indonesia during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence: a campaign which unites activists around the world in the call for substantial responses in ending gender violence.

What men do as fathers every day can create or stop cycles of violence. -Dianda Veldman, Director of Rutgers WPF

This Wednesday, November 27th Rutgers WPF Indonesia launched MenCare+ Indonesia, a national adaptation of a comprehensive global initiative to engage men in promoting gender equality, involved fatherhood and preventing gender based violence. Indonesia is one of the final of four MenCare+ launches globally, shortly after those in Brazil, Rwanda and South Africa. The launch takes place during the international 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, which unites activists around the world to eliminate sexual and gender-based violence.

"Research and experience shows that children will copy the behavior of their parents. This means that men who have witnessed their fathers using violence are twice as likely to also use violence," says Gary Barker, Director of Promundo-US.

"Men whose fathers treated their mothers with respect, who participated in caregiving and who did not use violence are likely to do the same. What men do as fathers every day can create or stop cycles of violence," adds Dianda Veldman, Director of Rutgers WPF.

Aside from increasing young men’s involvement in fatherhood and caregiving, MenCare+ also works with male perpetrators in order to end violence, engages health care providers and communities to promote a greater role of men as caregiving partner and engaged father in childbearing and childcare.

MenCare+ in Indonesia has garnered the support of national celebrities such as actor Lukman Sardi and Ersa Mayori, TV presenter and MC. In Public Service Announcements they lead by example, showing how they and their partners take on the division of care for their children. The announcements were produced by prominent film maker, Nia Dinata.

"While engaging fathers to prevent gender-based violence is effective and powerful, it is not the only solution. We need to teach boys and girls early on about respect and equality: in the places where gender norms are formed, such as the media," says Sri Kusyuniati, Country Representative of Rutgers WPF Indonesia.

A global initiative, MenCare+ is adapted to the national context of each country. In Indonesia MenCare+ is namedcalled "Laki-Laki Peduli". At http://www.lakilakipeduli.org the Public Service Announcements and other materials are available. At Facebook Laki Laki Peduli gathered almost 4000 supporters within 2 weeks.

South Africa launched MenCare+ only last week. With father and men groups already running in different provinces, large bill boards at train and bus stations now call men to be more caregiving and responsible fathers.

MenCare+ is part of the Global MenCare Campaign, which is already active in 25 countries worldwide. In Indonesia, MenCare+ is implemented by Rutgers WPF Indonesia in partnership with PKBI Lampung, PKBI East Java, Rifka Annisa Women’s Crisis Centre, PULIH Foundation and Aliansi Laki-Laki Baru.

About MenCare+

MenCare+ is a 3 year 4-country joint initiative of Rutgers WPF and Promundo US to engage young men as caregiving fathers and partners and to prevent gender based violence. MenCare+ is implemented in Brazil, Indonesia, Rwanda and South Africa and supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.


About Promundo

Founded in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1997, Promundo works internationally to promote caring, non-violent and equitable masculinities and gender relations. Promundo conducts research to build the knowledge base on masculinities and gender equality; develops and evaluates gender transformative interventions; and advocates to achieve gender equality and social justice.


About Rutgers WPF

Rutgers WPF is a trusted centre of expertise working to achieve sexual and reproductive health and rights worldwide. Through advocacy, research and programmes, mainly in the Netherlands, Africa and Asia, we aim to improve sexuality education, sexual health services and gender equality. Special attention is given to the health and rights of young people, women and vulnerable groups such as people with disabilities or chronic illnesses.


About The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence

This is an international campaign that runs from 25 November – the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women – to 10 December – Human Rights Day. The campaign raises awareness about gender-based violence from local to global; provides a forum and puts pressure on governments to implement promises made to eliminate violence against women.


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