‘Because I Am a Man, I Should Be Gentle to My Wife and My Children’: Positive Masculinity to Stop Gender-Based Violence in a Coastal District in Vietnam


Hoang, Tu-Anh, Trang Thu Quach, and Tam Thanh Tran. 2013. “‘Because I Am a Man, I Should Be Gentle to My Wife and My Children’: Positive Masculinity to Stop Gender-Based Violence in a Coastal District in Vietnam.” Gender & Development 21 (1): 81–96. doi:10.1080/13552074.2013.767511.

Authors: Tu-Anh Hoang, Trang Thu Quach, Tam Thanh Tran


Despite the efforts of the government to promote gender equality in Vietnam, gender- based violence is still a critical issue. This article explores a pilot project, the Responsible Men Club, developed and implemented in a coastal district in Vietnam from 2010 to 2012 to work with men to stop violence against their wives. Focusing on masculinity and promoting gender equality in a culturally relevant way significantly improves acceptance of the programme by men themselves and their communities, and enhances its impact. We argue that empowerment, a process often used for women, is also important for men. To construct and encourage a positive, non-violent version of masculinity, men need relevant knowledge, skills, mentoring, and peer support. It is a challenge for gender-based violence programmes to work on increasing public awareness of the issue of violence against women, and reduce society’s tolerance of it, without increasing stigmatisation of and objections to men in general, and to perpetrator men in particular. 


Keywords: masculinity, gender-based violence, perpetrator, Vietnam

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Vietnam

Year: 2013

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