Gender Based Violence and Masculinity

Gender Based Violence and Masculinity

This toolkit contains resources to analyse the ways traditional perceptions of “manhood” may perpetuate gender based violence, and to help:

 
  • Design legislation and allocate resources to address the root causes of violence
  • Promote programmes that prevent violence and support survivors
  • Support a transformation of socio-cultural norms that condone or tolerate violence
 

Gender based violence refers to violence directed against a person because of expectations of a person’s role in a society or culture. Gender-based violence highlights the gender dimension of these types of acts; in other words, the relationship between women’s expected roles and status in society, and their increased vulnerability to violence.

The terms ‘gender-based violence’ and ‘violence against women’ are often used interchangeably in literature and by advocates. Statistically, women are the disproportionally higher number of victims. That said, men and boys may also be victims of gender-based violence, especially sexual violence.

Gender based violence is manifested in multiple forms. It may be physical, verbal, sexual, psychological or socio-economic.

Ending gender based violence will require an assessment of the socially ascribed roles between women and men. In our patriarchal societies, these differences maintain men’s dominance and privileges.

Gender Based Violence and Masculinity

This toolkit contains resources to analyse the ways traditional perceptions of “manhood” may perpetuate gender based violence, and to help:

 
  • Design legislation and allocate resources to address the root causes of violence
  • Promote programmes that prevent violence and support survivors
  • Support a transformation of socio-cultural norms that condone or tolerate violence
 

Gender based violence refers to violence directed against a person because of expectations of a person’s role in a society or culture. Gender-based violence highlights the gender dimension of these types of acts; in other words, the relationship between women’s expected roles and status in society, and their increased vulnerability to violence.

The terms ‘gender-based violence’ and ‘violence against women’ are often used interchangeably in literature and by advocates. Statistically, women are the disproportionally higher number of victims. That said, men and boys may also be victims of gender-based violence, especially sexual violence.

Gender based violence is manifested in multiple forms. It may be physical, verbal, sexual, psychological or socio-economic.

Ending gender based violence will require an assessment of the socially ascribed roles between women and men. In our patriarchal societies, these differences maintain men’s dominance and privileges.

Statistics

IS THE ESTIMATED PROPORTION OF WOMEN IN THE CARIBBEAN WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE
% OF MURDERS IN MANY CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES ARE RELATED TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
COUNTRIES IN THE CARIBBEAN HAVE ADOPTED A NATIONAL STRATEGIC ACTION PLAN ON GENDER BASED VIOLENCE.
  1. According to the latest available data from the UNODC, based on police statistics, three of the top ten recorded rape rates in the world occur in the Caribbean. (2013) Source
  2. (University of the West Indies (UWI) Institute of Gender Studies, 2015)
  3. These are: Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, The Bahamas, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and Saint Lucia. National action plans on gender-based violence are being drafted in Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica. (2016) Source

High rates of violence in the Caribbean hinder development. Gender based forms such as sexual assault, trafficking and domestic violence accounting for some of the criminal activity, leading to an environment of insecurity in many communities.

Violence, including gun and gang violence, can be traced to masculinity - or the social meaning of manhood - which can pressure men and boys to perform and conform to specific roles. These roles traditionally emphasize a superiority of masculine over feminine traits, and aggression as a means of self-expression or conflict resolution.

These tools will strengthen your understanding of violence and the ways it intersects with notions of gender. They provide examples of how socialisation can be harmful to boys, girls, men and women.

Law, policies and budgets must promote multi-sector responses to address gender discrimination and violence. Legislators should utilise both parliamentary spaces and their constituent base to encourage awareness and action.

A key component of the response must be education with an emphasis on early interventions in addition to responses tailored to experiences at all stages of life. Other areas of work may include institutional reform in law enforcement, justice and social services, and the commissioning of data disaggregated across intersecting identities for more informed policy making.

The following resource center outlines country-specific state responsibilities and provisions to address Gender-Based violence across the Caribbean: UN Women Country Resources on Legal Standards for Addressing Gender Based Violence

It is essential that legislators support initiatives that reduce inequalities and transform the harmful aspects of gender relations in society.

In addition to strengthening the legal framework, legislators should promote public debate on masculinities and the importance of men’s participation in initiatives to end violence in all its forms. They should also engage the efforts of civil society organizations that are often involved in advocacy and awareness raising to end violence in their communities.

These tools include references of interest to parliamentarians committed to ending gender based violence: UN Women Virtual Knowledge Centre to End Violence Against Women and Girls

Did You Know

Gender based political violence and harassment is a prevalent challenge expressed by women parliamentarians across the hemisphere, to which the Caribbean region is not immune.

To illustrate the magnitude of the problem and shared objective of political actors in fighting for its eradication, ParlAmericas launched a video project called “Mapping Gender-Based Political Harassment: Parliamentarians speak out.”

This interactive space features testimonies of parliamentarians from across the Americas and the Caribbean on the topic of political harassment and violence. To submit your own video, contact: communications@parlamericas.org

Good Practices

The following practices have been submitted by parliamentarians and related stakeholders, and describe techniques that can be applied to:

Prevent or sanction gender based violence

Gender Based Violence
Kentry Jn Pierre
St Lucia
There are regional and international organizations available to offer support to parliamentarians who are concerned about gender-based political harassment.
Gender Based Violence
UnaMay Gordon (CIWiL)
Jamaica
We have to visualize and vocalize the harassment, because sometimes when silence is an option and we choose that option we also participate in the harassment, so we need to call it out.

Check Yourself

Flash Quiz Time! Revisit key aspects of this toolkit with a short, self-guided quiz. These multiple-choice questions are intended for personal knowledge review and responses are anonymous. Go ahead and challenge yourself.

Consult Other Toolkits

Discrimination intersects with gender in different ways.
Adaptation must be responsive to social inequalities.
Gender-sensitive budgeting is critical to empowerment.