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«Exploring Dimensions of Masculinity and Violence Anne Eckman1 Aparna Jain2 Sarah Degnan Kambou2 Doris Bartel3 John Crownover4 with Milena Prvulovic5 ...»

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Western Balkan Gender-Based

Violence Prevention Initiative

Exploring Dimensions

of Masculinity and Violence

Anne Eckman1

Aparna Jain2

Sarah Degnan Kambou2

Doris Bartel3

John Crownover4


Milena Prvulovic5

Srdjan Dusanic5

Vlatka Matkovic5

Adrijana Husic5

1 Consultant, Washington, DC

2 International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), Washington, DC

3 CARE, Washington, DC

4 CARE NW Balkans, Banja Luka, Bosnia

5 Consultants, NW Balkans

Exploring Dimensions of Masculinity and Violence The authors would like to thank the Norwegian Ministry for Foreign Affairs for its support.

Without such funding, innovative work to involve boys and young men in addressing causes of gender inequality and violence would not be possible. A special thanks goes to Unni Poulsson, Senior Advisor.

Contents Acronyms/Abbreviations


Background: Gender-Based Violence in the Context of the Yugolsavian Wars

Western Balkan Gender-based Violence Prevention Initiative: Project Goal and Objectives..... 9 Overview of research methodology

Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) Research Design and Methodology



Data Collection and Analysis Procedures

Informed Consent

Community Member Profile

Demographics of community members

How Young Men Were Recruited


Themes across Countries/Sites

Research question 1:

What are the current social constructs, attitudes and experiences of young men, especially with regard to hegemonic masculinity?

Visible Strength and Related Characteristics of Ideal Men

Sexual Virility and Being Ready for Sex

Men are Not Women, Weak or Gay

Nuances among Sites

Research question 2:

How do social institutions such as media, school, religion, family and peers influence social constructs of masculinity?

Research question 3:

What is the range of young men’s attitudes and behaviors toward women and their relationships with women?

Symbolism / Gender Differences

Division of Labor

Power Relations

Emotional Relations and Desire

Nuances among Sites in Discourse of Gender Equity

Exploring Dimensions of Masculinity and Violence 3

Research question 4:

How are social constructs of masculinity related to men’s violent use of power?

Types and Sites of Violence

Violence among Men

Violence against Women

Causes and Consequences of Violence: “A Circle”

Social Expectations of Violence for Young Men

Nuances among Sites

Research question 5:

For men who don’t use violence, what are the influencing factors and consequences?

What Enables Men Not to Use Violence

Consequences of Not Using Violence

Young Men’s Own Ideals for (Not) Using Violence

Nuances in Young Men’s Sense of Agency to Choose

Strengths and Study Limitations

Discussion and Implication of Results

Potential “Cracks” in Hegemonic Masculinity

Programmatic Implications

Possibilities for More Gender Equitable Messages

Potential Entry Points for Interventions to Reduce GBV

Types of Actions: By Young Men and Other Organizations


Further PLA and Research

Ongoing Guided Facilitation of Critical Reflection and Learning Related to Masculinity

Appendix 1: PLA Guide

–  –  –

BiH Bosnia and Herzegovina GBV Gender-based violence ICRW International Center for Research on Women LGBT Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender NGO Non-governmental organization PLA Participatory Learning and Action YSA Youth service agencies

–  –  –

The authors of this report wish to thank all those who helped to facilitate this research. We gratefully acknowledge the youth service agencies that participated in the five-day PLA exercise, provided critical input to the design of the PLA and contributed to the preliminary analysis of the data findings.

Croatian Association for HIV (Zagreb, Croatia) Natko Geres Maja Krosl Youth Cultural Centre Juventas (Podgorica, Montenegro) Djordjije Brkuljan Association for Sexual and Reproductive Health “XY” (Sarajevo, BiH) Adnan Cviko Tijana Medvedec Perpetuum Mobile - Center for Youth and Community Development (Banja Luka, BiH) Nebojsa Kuruzovic, Ilija Trninic Yugoslav Youth Association Against AIDS - The Youth of Jazas (Belgrade, Serbia) Nikola Maslac, Karlo Boras Youth Information Center (YYIC) (Belgrade, Serbia) Goran Radisavljevic Dragana Stojanovic The authors also wish to thank the following individuals for their review and critical feedback in improving the report: Vesna Nikolic-Ristanovic, Gustavo D’Angelo and Gary Barker. We would also like to acknowledge CARE Norway for their help, commitment and support of this new initiative in the NW Balkans, especially Petter Eide, Steinar Sundvoll, Ellen Beate Langehaug and Moira Kristin Eknes. Special thanks to Sasa Petkovic and Miroslav Blagojevic of the Banja Luka, CARE office for their superb assistance in travel arrangements, administrative support and commitment to the success of this project, Melissa Adams of ICRW for providing technical assistance and support in drafting the PLA methodology, and Traci Eckhaus of ICRW for formatting and administrative support. This report was copyedited by Margo Young of ICRW.

Finally, this report would not have been possible without the young men who dedicated their time and committed themselves to the PLA process. We sincerely thank you for your honesty and openness in sharing your experiences.

6 Western Balkan Gender-Based Violence Prevention Initiative


Gender-Based Violence in the Context of the Yugoslavian Wars Gender-based violence (GBV) is a major public health problem that results in devastating effects on mental and reproductive health and emotional distress.

Gender-based violence also perpetuates broader structural inequalities that limit social justice and equity.

GBV, commonly referred to as violence against women, is defined by UNIFEM as “violence involving men and women, in which the female is usually the victim and which arises from unequal power relationships between men and women.”1 Over the past decade, the international community began using the term “gender-based violence” instead of “violence against women” to shift focus from women as victims to understanding how gender norms, inequity and power relationships increase women’s vulnerability to violence. Within this discourse, increasing recognition is being given to understanding masculinity and the role that male socialization plays in promoting and supporting violence. Successful interventions working with men to deconstruct hegemonic masculine identities and to support community and institutional change have shown the positive contribution that men make as allies and anti-violence activists.2,3 During the Yugoslavian wars that took place between 1991 and 2001, numerous cases of gender-based violence were reported, including mass rapes of women and sexual abuses like castration of men and boys imprisoned in war camps.4 Currently in the NW Balkans, an emerging culture of violence is visible. A report produced in 2004 on the state of violence in Serbia and Montenegro indicates that women and girls are subject to increasing levels of domestic violence,5 while an opinion poll taken in Sarajevo by the non-governmental organization (NGO) Zena Zenama showed that 44 percent of the 169 respondents felt that violence against women in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) was “extremely high.”6 In the context of conflict and reconstruction, multiple masculine identities are shaped and formed according to the intersection of masculinity with religion, nationality and ethnicity. According to Nikolic-Ristanovic,7 during the Yugoslavian wars nationalistic rhetoric and war propaganda in Serbia was not often used as a deliberate call to arms or aggression against other nations but instead 1 UNIFEM, Gender Fact Sheet, No. 5.

http://www.unifem-eseasia.org/resources/factsheets/UNIFEMSheet5.pdf (Accessed February 2007) 2 Barker, Gary. 2006. “Engaging boys and men to empower girls: Reflections from practice and evidence of impact”, Expert Group Meeting United Nations.

3 Peacock, Dean and Andrew Levack. 2004. “The Men as Partners Program in South Africa: Reaching Men to End GenderBased Violence and Promote Sexual and Reproductive Health”, International Journal of Men’s Health, Vol 3, No 3: 173-188.

4 Zarkov, D. 2001, “The Body of the Other Man: Sexual Violence and the Construction of Masculinity, Sexuality and Ethnicity in Croatian Media”, in C. Moser and F. Clark (eds), Victims, Perpetrators or Actors? Gender, Armed Conflict and Political Violence, London: Zed Books, pp. 69-82.

5 The Western Balkan Gender-Based Violence Prevention Initiative Programme Information Document. 2007. CARE NW Balkans, Banja Luka.

6 Zena Zenema. 2000. (unpublished, untitled internal report on research findings, Sarajevo, 2000) as cited in Ward, Jeanne. “If not now, when? Addressing Gender-based Violence in Refugee, Internally Displaced, and Post-coflict settings”. The Reproductive Health for Refugee Consortium, 2002.

7 Nikolic-Ristanovic, Vesna. Social Change, Gender, and Violence. Post- Communist and War-affected Societies. 1. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2002.

–  –  –

8 Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly (hCa) Banja Luka. Study about Family Violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina - The Excerpt.

http://www.hcabl.org/pdf/publikacije/Izvod_iz_studije_ENG.pdf (Accessed February 2007).

9 Barker, Gary. Instituto PROMUNDO: Engaging Young Men in Gender-Based Violence Prevention and Sexual and Reproductive Health Promotion. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. http://www.oxfam.org.uk/what_we_do/issues/gender/gem/downloads/Promcase.pdf (Accessed, May 2007) 10 UNICEF, State of the Children in Serbia 2006.

11 UNICEF, Report on the Results of the Participatory Research on Poverty Affected Children in Montenegro, September 2003.

8 Western Balkan Gender-Based Violence Prevention Initiative Western Balkan Gender-based

Violence Prevention Initiative:

Project Goal and Objectives Working toward the reduction and elimination of gender-based violence, CARE International NW Balkans and CARE International is implementing a groundbreaking program working directly with young men between the ages of 13 and 19 to deconstruct masculinity in their cultures and determine how gender norms and male socialization lead to inequitable attitudes and behaviors toward women and girls. Funded by the Norwegian Government, the Western Balkan Genderbased Violence Prevention Initiative is working in collaboration with six youth service organizations from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Montenegro.12 The project is based on the hypothesis that “by addressing personal attitudes about gender equity and a broader definition of sexuality for men, there will be positive effects on a range of cognitive, behavioral and health outcomes for both specific gender norms and expectations that contribute to violent behavior

among young men.”13 Three main objectives guide the project:

Objective 1: To determine the specific gender norms and expectations that contribute to violent behavior among young men in Bosnia, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia;

Objective 2: To design interventions most effective at reducing levels of violence and increasing gender-equitable behaviors; and Objective 3: To evaluate the effect of the interventions in reducing violence and increasing equitable behaviors.

Overview of Research Methodology

CARE International NW Balkans is partnering with The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) to provide technical assistance and support in action-oriented research, monitoring and evaluation of the project. To contribute to Objective 1, ICRW first supported a participatory learning and action (PLA) research activity from March 26 to April 17, 2007 in partnership with six youth service agencies (YSA) across the Balkans region at five sites.14 PLA is a research approach used to encourage participants to share knowledge and insight about their community and its needs, to determine ways to address those needs, and build capacity of partners to use PLA approaches. The main

principles of PLA are to:

• involve people in issue identification and resolution, and increase their ability to act on their own behalf;

• learn from people and their experiences, and for development experts, “hand over the stick” so that people themselves analyze, present and determine the outcome of the information that has been collected;

12 Association for Sexual and Reproductive Health “XY” Sarajevo, BiH; Youth Cultural Centre Juventas, Podgorica, Montenegro; Yugoslav Youth Association Against AIDS - The Youth of JAZAS; Youth Information Center - YYIC, Belgrade, Serbia;

Croatian Association for HIV - CA HIV, Zagreb, Croatia; and Youth Association Perpetuum Mobile, Banja Luka, BiH.

13 NW Balkans Gender-based Violence Project, project document.

14 Two YSA conducted the PLA at one site in Belgrade, Serbia.

Exploring Dimensions of Masculinity and Violence 9

• adopt an informal approach and be flexible in changing it if necessary; and

• conduct field work in a relaxed manner by listening, probing, not imposing, and allowing all different types of people to have a say.

The overall goal of this first PLA activity is, on the basis of the understanding that emerges from the research, to help identify potential entry points for youth-centered interventions that CARE and its partners could consider. That is, the results of the first PLA are intended to provide context for CARE and its partners to undertake the project’s second phase - developing an overall strategy and specific youth-centered interventions that contribute to increasing gender-equitable attitudes and behaviors of young men, and to reducing tolerance among youth for gender-based violence.

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