From Benevolent Patriarchy to Gender Transformation: A Case Study of Pakistan’s ‘We Can End Violence against Women’ Program.


Wu, Joyce. 2011. “From Benevolent Patriarchy to Gender Transformation: A Case Study of Pakistan’s ‘We Can End Violence against Women’ Program.” In Men and Masculinities Around the World: Transforming Men’s Practices, 219–31. New York: Palgrave Macmillan US.

Author: Joyce Wu


"Ending violence against women and promoting gender equality have long been on the agenda of Pakistani women and human rights activists. In Pakistan and many other developing countries, initiatives that engage with men from a profeminist framework is a relatively new concept, and more or less in sync with the shifting trend of the international development field, which has moved away from a Women in Development (WID) approach to a Gender and Development (GAD) (Lang 2003, 2; Flood 2004, 43-44). In summary, GAD focuses on institutional changes and the examination of gender roles and norms in relation to social divisions, as well as gender-mainstreaming in institutions, and a greater focus on men's role in contributing toward gender equality. In this context, the focus on engaging with men and boys to end violence against women (VAW) is becoming more readily accepted by international donors and partner organizations. Due to the security and humanitarian circumstances in Pakistan, international donors and NGOs have mainly prioritized disaster relief and reconstruction, though there has been an increase in projects that focus on men's behavioral change and ending violence against women [...] In this article, I will first examine the challenges faced by NGOs when engaging with local communities – especially men and boys – on the issue of violence against women in Pakistan. I will then provide the case study of Oxfam Great Britain's regional program, We Can End Violence against Women (referred as "We Can"), which engages with both men and women in local communities. Through We Can, I will illustrate the challenges of working with men and boys, as well as highlight the innovative approaches used to change the dominant norms at both personal and societal levels in Pakistan (Wu, 2011: 219-20)."

Topics: Civil Society, Gender, Women, Men, Gender-Based Violence, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Sexual Violence, SV against Women, Violence Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Pakistan

Year: 2011

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