Violent masculinities and violence prevention

SoME Gavobevis 2023

9 March 2016


“It is possible to change. I have seen a bullying boy change to become compassionate and able to listen to his class mates in pain. I have seen how gang members in Nicaragua have changed and met provocations with a calmness and tolerance.”

Mónica Zalaquett is visiting us to make a Sweden tour, lecturing about her work on violent masculinities and violence prevention. She is the founder of the Centre for Violence Prevention and claims that the forgotten victims of patriarchy are men, men who pay with their lives in order to prove their masculinities. Men are victims because they live in fear of not being enough man in the eyes of society. It is not true that men are happy with machismo or patriarchy. It destroys their lives and men are unhappy. But there is ignorance about how to be another type of man. In a wider sense violence can be prevented by gender education about a new masculinity. The fight must stand against ignorance. Nobody wants to die in the quest to prove that he is a man. The cult of the strong superman is part of a crisis of gender identities. When armed, the consequences in this problematic society are explosive. Images of young boys fighting in the Middle East have similarities to images of young gang members in Latin America and shows macho roles.

Together we heard Jamila Raqib, executive director of the Albert Einstein Institution, speak about strategic nonviolent defense. Acknowledging that there is nonviolent opposition in Syria in women’s organisation who continue to defend women and girls, civil society which is organizing resistance and maintains non-collaboration. The Yazidi Nadia Mourad has suffered the worst oppression. She is more than a victim, she is also an actor and here in Sweden to debate and strategize for a way forward for women’s rights as human rights. Mónica believes that there is a possibility for every man and every woman for gender reconciliation.

– “Once a person has seen the freedom in a new gender role, he or she will never turn back to gender repression.” 

On International Women’s Day and every day together with women activist, we celebrate the change that is happening and join forces to increase the struggle.

Annika Schabbauer,
Director of Operation

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