Involve men to check violence against women
(CNS): The need to involve men to check violence against women has recently emerged as a strong tool for effective handling of the issue. Understanding the need and to share their views and experiences on the issue, activists from six North Indian states will gather at Lucknow – the capital of the most populous state of Uttar Pradesh - on May 7 and 8, 2010.
The occasion is the first-ever northern states regional meet of the Gender Community of United Nations sponsored Solution Exchange – a online platform for e-discussions. The event will have deliberations, discussions, presentations and experience sharing on the topic of “Involving men as Partners in prevention of gender-based violence''.
Social Activist and Actor, Rahul Bose, who is a Resource Group and Advisory Team Member of Solution Exchange for Gender Community is likely to be present on the occasion.
"The event will also witness a fruitful partnership among the civil society organisations members as well as UN Volunteers – many of them would meet each other for the first time, though they had been participating in the e-discussions on the Gender Community on UN Solution Exchange site on a variety of topic related to gender," said Malika Basu, the UN Volunteer and the event convenor.
The meeting is being held to commemorate the 'International Year of the Youth - 2010' and will be supported by Partners for Prevention, UNIFEM, UNICEF, National Foundation for Communal Harmony (NFCH), OXFAM India - Lucknow, Find Your Feet, Sahbhagi Shiksha Kendra, and CASA. The activities of the Regional Meet will also discuss 'Involving Youth in Communal Harmony'.
"The two chosen themes are highly pertinent for the six northern states, which would represent their cases and knowledge on the issue during the meet," said Augustine Valiath, the communication specialist at UNICEF Lucknow office. According to him, the aim of "Promoting Partnerships" is to promote sharing among development practitioners of the region, so that they learn from each other, share and collaborate and thereby advocate 'zero tolerance' for violence in any form – be it gender based violence or communal violence. Augustine said both types of violence affect girls and women disproportionately. It will facilitate practitioners work towards changing the practices and attitudes that provoke, perpetrate and pardon violence (of any kind).
The two-day event will bring together Solution Exchange Gender Community members as well as others representing Government, NGOs, academic institutions and development organisations from six Northern States viz. Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
During the Meet, Many organisations will put up their stalls to display their organisational work on the themes chosen for the event. There will be two panel discussions on the two themes, which will focus on innovative initiatives; challenges in success of initiatives; determining proactive steps to meet the challenges and suggesting follow-up actions on priority basis. At the end of the discussion, the panel will come up with specific guidelines or recommendations with inputs from participants.
The event will end on 08 May evening with United Nations Volunteers, leading a mega event involving all participants to bring out a symbolic message on "promoting partnerships."
Alka Pande - CNS
(The author is a senior journalist based in Lucknow, India, and Fellow of Thailand-based Citizen News Service (CNS) Writers' Bureau. Website: www.citizen-news.org)