Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Men Combating Violence against Women

by John Austin, Member of the UK Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Committee (PACE) and also member of the PACE Equal Opportunities Committee.

The Council of Europe (COE) is currently running a massive 2 year campaign Combat Violence against Women across all 47 member countries, focusing this year on ‘involving men’...

The COE is currently supporting national parliaments and encouraging male parliamentarians to raise awareness politically and amongst the general public, specifically with the intention of engaging more men in combating violence against women.

Mr Chris Green, Chair of the White Ribbon Campaign UK, the largest NGO effort worldwide led by men that seeks to involve men in getting involved in advocating gender equality, argues that more male MPs need to take the lead in advocating gender equality:

"Parliamentarians enter parliament in order to make their community a better place.
There is no more important way to do this than by working to eliminate violence against women. Yet because of the overrepresentation of men in every Parliament in Europe, it is vital for individual male parliamentarians to be involved in order for change to take place”

One such model of best practice of men getting involved at political level is the Swedish network of Male Parliamentarians. Formed in 2002, this Male Network aims to carry out the debate in the meeting-rooms, on the building scaffoldings, on business trips, and, to improve men’s level of knowledge regarding the underlying structures that make men’s violence against women possible.

The Parliamentary Assembly is now in touch with MPs in the UK and is offering to help support the creation of any formal network of male MPs dedicated to combating violence against women within the APPG (All Political Party Group) on Domestic Violence. The recent rise in ‘involving men’ initiatives has been controversial, however with the 25th November fast approaching, arguably there is not better time for male parliamentarians in the UK to get involved, than now…


Council of Europe: Combat Violence against Women

Council of Europe – Men Combating Violence
White Ribbon Campaign UK


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