HRC 35, A.I. 3: Annual Full-Day Discussion on the Human Rights of Women
Morning Panel: Engaging Men and Boys to Eliminate Violence Against Women
U.S. Statement As Delivered By Jason Mack
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Thank you, Mr. President.
We thank the panelists for their presentation. Because men and boys may be partners, caregivers, decision-makers, or potential perpetrators of violence, their perceptions and potential roles must be considered in efforts to address gender-based violence. Changing harmful gender attitudes and behaviors is necessarily a long-term endeavor. The “U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally” recognizes the importance of involving men and boys to effect sustained change. The Strategy calls for engaging them as allies, agents of change, partners, and role models to inform the development, implementation, and evaluation of gender-based violence policies and programs. Likewise, the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security engages men and boys to challenge the norms and practices that contribute to rape and domestic violence in their communities. Engaging men and boys is particularly important in post-conflict situations, where men and boys may have to heal from trauma and move away from violence as the daily norm.
“Voices Against Violence: The Gender Based Violence Initiative” is a public-private partnership of the Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor and the Secretary’s Office on Global Women’s Issues. The program provides training on how to engage men and boys in combating gender-based violence; engages men to be advocates for gender equality; and aims to change perceptions of harmful gender norms. Through this Initiative, we have funded studies such as the International Men and Gender Equality Surveys which contains recommendations on how men and boys in the Middle East and North Africa region can help stop gender-based violence. The Department has also provided over $2 million to help eliminate female genital mutilation and cutting in West Africa and South East Asia. Community leaders can play an influential role in transforming negative attitudes and practices and preventing violence. This project trained a broad range of community leaders – many of whom were men – to advocate for abandoning female genital mutilation and cutting.
There are a number of UN entities, both here and in New York, that have addressed gender-based violence. We would be interested in the panelists’ ideas on how to better mobilize UN efforts so that they take into account the perceptions and roles of men and boys in conducting programming and training and in their recommendations to states.