Bangladesh

Background

For many thousands of years women & children have been subjected to violence. Every week around the world, including Bangladesh, countless women and children (girls and boys) are suffering from violence. In most cases boys and men are the perpetrators of violence knowingly and unknowingly. However, this is not an inherent characteristic of men.

There are many organizations working on women and children rights and different networks addressing violence against women and children at the local and national levels. Without partnering with boys and men it is nearly impossible to reach the goal of creating a gender-equitable society. There are few organizations addressing violence involving boys and men. Similar to other countries, some like-minded organizations in Bangladesh have expressed their solidarity to join the White Ribbon Campaign to prevent all forms of violence against women and children. This coalition took the form of a network named Campaign to work with boys and men – A National Network in Bangladesh since 2006 which was again renamed as “Engage Men & Boys: Network for promoting gender justice” in 2011. This network is governed by its management guideline.

Purpose of the Network

The purpose of the network is to engage boys and men to stand up against social injustice due to the power structure through building a coalition of organizations and individuals. This coalition will work as a catalyst to break the traditional beliefs, norms and values which perpetuate cycles of violence.

Vision of the Network

Engage men and boys to promote human values and positive practices to change attitudes and behaviors to end GBV/violence against women and ensure gender justice

Objectives

  • To establish active linkages (local, national and global) to raise men’s and boys’ voices and action on gender-based violence/VAW
  • Advocate and lobby for ensuring action to engage men and boys to address gender-based violence
  • To develop a knowledge base on men and masculinity through research and study etc.
  • Campaign to change structural and behavioral barriers to ensure gender justice.
  • To establish alliances with feminist and other social justice movements to ensure gender justice

Long term (2011-2015) expectation of the Network “Engage Men & Boys – promoting gender justice”

  • More men and boys involvement in ending GBV/VAW
  • Reduction of GBV/VAW
  • Increased human values manifested in men and boys
  • More positive masculinity practiced in our society
  • Network receives credibility from all levels- national, international, government etc.
  • Social protection developed for gender justice
  • Gender equality established
  • Increased women’s participation in decision making process

(Photo: UN Photo)