Best Practices for Engaging Men and Boys in Preventing Violence Against Women and Girls

Date: Monday, December 7, 2020

[Joint press release]

Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre 
UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office 

Participants at the Pacific Regional Dialogue on Engaging Men in the Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls in 2019. Photo: UN Women

Regional – There is widespread recognition that preventing violence against women and girls requires working with men and boys as allies, partners and activists. Today, the Regional Pacific Women’s Network Against Violence Against Women and UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office (MCO), present a set of principles and best practices that allow for that while still ensuring accountability to Pacific women and girls.

The Warwick Principles[1]: Best Practices for Engaging Men and Boys in Preventing Violence Against Women and Girls, outlines seven key principles that have been developed by and for Pacific communities and are grounded in the lived realities of women and girls: 1) Be accountable to the women’s movement in the Pacific; 2) Do no harm; 3) Be grounded in a human-rights based approach; 4) Be evidenced-based and evidence-building; 5) Be inclusive and intersectional; 6) Be gender transformative; and 7) Be informed by context. The Principles are a culmination of a series of regional consultations and meeting held from 2016-2019. 

Regional Pacific Women’s Network Against VAW Chair and the Coordinator of the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre Shamima Ali said, ”In the Pacific, women’s rights movement have led the work on responding to violence against women and girls over the past 35 years and have played a crucial role in advancing local understanding of women’s and girls’ rights, getting the issue onto the public agenda, and providing much-needed services. FWCC developed the Male Advocacy for Women’s Human Rights and Against Violence Against Women programme, which is called the Male Advocacy programme, in short – it is used in Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and the Cook Islands. It is designed to work with men in questioning and reflecting on their own individual behaviours on gender inequality and violence against women, before they could support efforts to address violence against women and girls. We’re glad to see that the Warwick Principles reflects this – in fact we made sure that it did”.

This work is supported by the Pacific Partnership to End Violence Against Women (Pacific Partnership), funded primarily by the European Union, and the Governments of Australia and New Zealand, and UN Women.

The principles are also launched in this period to commemorate the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women[2] which is an important day in the 16 Days Campaign, where men’s role in preventing violence is highlighted, ‘Ofa Guttenbeil-Likiliki, Director of the Women and Children’s Centre (WCCC) Tonga shared, “…the increasing number of new actors undertaking efforts to prevent men’s violence against women and girls brings new opportunities, and the need to ensure that everyone is working from a common framework and principles that is aligned to feminist values. For us, as members of Regional Pacific Women’s Network Against Violence Against Women, it is important that there is shared understanding of the problem; agreement around the solutions when it comes to prevention and men’s role in it; and that the framework is aligned to the work we’re undertaking through our male advocacy programmes across the region”.

Shared Melkie Anton from Papua New Guinea, male advocate affiliated with The Network, and working to end violence against women, “As male advocates, our work is based on the principles of women’s human rights and women’s experiences of violence. These principles guide our work and is being led by a strong women’s network who work to end violence against women in the Pacific”.

UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office Ending Violence Against Women and Girls Programme Specialist Abigail Erikson said, “The Warwick Principles provides a path forward to guide safe and ethical engagement of men in efforts to prevent violence against women and girls, and to undertake this work in a way that addresses concerns of Pacific feminists, that this engagement is accountable to women’s leadership, activism and the Pacific women’s movement”.  

Media enquiries should be directed to:

  • Shamima Ali
    Coordinator
    Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre
    Mobile: +679 9992875
  • Shazia Usman
    Communications and Media Specialist
    UN Women
    Mobile: +679 9239857
    Email: usman@unwomen.org

 

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[1] The Warwick Principles, named after the site of the last regional meeting on Fiji’s coral coast in 2019, provides a navigational guide to ensure that we reach our destination in a way that is effective and aligned to feminist values.

[2] The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women is held every year on 6 December, in commemoration of the 14 women murdered at L’École Polytechnique in Montreal on Dec. 6, 1989. Remembering this horrific event has become the basis of recognising and supporting action against widespread violence committed against women in our society by men.