What Will It Take?

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Analyzing South Asian
Men’s Violence Against
Women
Confrontation &
Engagement
Firoza Chic Dabby-Chinoy
Director, Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on
Domestic Violence
Aarohan Conference
August 2013
Lifetime Spiral of Gender
Violence
I. ANALYSIS:
WOMEN
Women’s Lives at the Center
of the Analysis
2
Gender Violence Is Most Extreme
Expression of Gender Oppression
The presence of gender violence tells us about the presence of inequality; the extent of the violence
tells us about the extent of the inequality.
• In a 10-country study, 15-71% of women reported physical, sexual, and emotional abuse by an
intimate partner at some point in their lives.
• World’s five most dangerous countries (in descending order) in which to be born a woman:
Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, India, and Somalia.
• In combat zones, it is now more dangerous to be a woman than to be a soldier.
• 38% of women murdered worldwide are killed by intimates
3
Lifetime Spiral of Gender
Violence
The Lifetime Spiral of
Gender Violence
illustrates:
1. Historical nature of GBV, not about
being in wrong place at the wrong time
2. Types of violence/coercive controls
women, girls are vulnerable or exposed to,
or experience
3. Location of various perpetrators across
lifespan
Lifetime Spiral of Gender
Violence
Lifecourse violence and
gendered harms have
traumatic, cumulative
impacts on:
• Health & mental health
• Architecture of the brain: its neurochemistry and
neurobiology
• Gene expression
• Healing from complex trauma/PTSD
• Cognitive development, learning
• Parent-child bonds, adult relationships
• Emotional labor, i.e. the 3rd shift
• Sexual pleasure & autonomy
• Help-seeking behavior
• Sense of self
Trauma disrupts time, memory, identity
Lifetime Spiral of Gender
Violence
Confrontation |
Engagement:
Can We Do Both?
 We want you, the community to meet us, the
advocates, halfway
 Will the community be part of the problem or
part of the solution?
 Shift the onus by focusing on perpetration. My
naseeb, my fate, is written on my forehead
11
II. ANALYSIS: CULTURES OF
PATRIARCHY
Patriarchy is a system for maintaining class, race and/or gender privilege and the status
quo of power.
• It is not merely about men’s oppression of women but power relations between men &
men, women & women, men & women.
• Power, however, rests on multiple axes of identity
• Patriarchy upholds culturally prescribed gender roles & traditions, patrolling the
borders of self-appointed ‘transgressions’ to guard against change.
• Cultures of patriarchy can change when confronted by cultures of resistance – which
brings us to conference theme: Aarohan!
12
ANALYSIS: PATRIARCHY
Patriarchy: A Pattern of Oppressive
Tactics
•
•
•
•
•
Violent acts resulting in injuries and even death
Sexism, misogyny, devaluation, humiliation resulting in a climate of subjugation
Coercive controls resulting in fear, entrapment
Systematic, repeated, intersectional, oppressions resulting in complex, historical trauma
Patriarchal reinforcements from culture, family, community that support abusers and
blame victims, resulting in gendered harms
• Laws that legitimize institutionalized inequality
13
Patriarchy, cont.
Patriarchy and GBV: South Asian
Contexts
• 41% women experience domestic
violence in their lifetime
• 64% of Indian/Pakistani DV survivors
report intimate sexual violence
• 50% of Indian/Pakistani DV survivors
report being stalked
• Indians were 3rd largest group (of 160
Asian cases in U.S.) of DV-related
homicide victims
• Childhood Exposure:
– 59% of Indian men witnessed father beat mother
and ever perpetrated IPV
– 79% women & men report being hit regularly as
kids
• Trends
–
–
–
–
–
–
Abuse by in-laws; Forced marriage; Marry-&-Dump
Transnational abandonment
Immigration status-related abuse
Familial homophobia & rejection
Sexual violence
Losing access to/custody of kids
14
Confrontation & Engagement: Where & When?
 Is Aarohan, i.e. Rising Up, Confrontation or Engagement?
 Heat! Being Overcome & Overcoming It: Both  Change
 Confrontation: Shift the onus, focus on men
 Flip the numbers: Are 41% of South Asian men batterers?
 “Aren’t (straight) men victims too?”
Engagement
 Messages of respect, love and trust: when do they work? How do we convince men
that this is in their self-interest?
 To shine a light, to ignite a blaze: Isn’t it also men’s work?
15
From Gender Violence to Gender
Democracy: What Will it Take?
1. Aarohan! South Asian Women Rising Up
• 27 S. Asian Women’s Organizations in U.S.
• Activism in South Asia
–
–
–
–
–
–
Confronting sexual violence
Name changing ceremonies for unwanted girls
Addressing GBV in post-conflict societies
Anti-trafficking work
Legislation, services re: acid attacks
Hackathon (prev., resources, services, monitoring)
16
From Gender Violence to Gender
Democracy: What Will it Take?
2. Men Divesting from Misogyny, Sexism,
Abuse
• Confronting traditional masculinity
• Challenging women who act as enforcers of gender conformity, gender
roles, and GBV
• Understanding male socialization: why men use & excuse violence, devalue
women
• Taking on the usual ‘culprits’ | explanations:
– Culture
– Stress | Victim-blaming
– Colonization | Racial Identity
17
From Gender Violence to Gender
Democracy: What Will it Take?
3. Men Investing in Equality
•
•
•
•
Re-purposing masculinity, abdicating privilege
Valuing girls, women, mothers: Revisiting female socialization
Designing pre-violence & post-violence strategies
Changing the division of labor, and therefore gender roles, in 2nd &
3rd shifts
• Promoting our feminist analyses: not privileging race over gender
18
What Will it Take?
3. Replacing Relationships of Power with
Relationships of Meaning
DIVEST | CONFRONT
Confront traditional
masculinity
Challenge women who act as
enforcers of gender inequity
Understand why men use
violence, male socialization
Divest from inequality
INVEST | ENGAGE
Re-purpose masculinity
Invest in women’s power,
revise socialization
Design intervention programs,
socialization that makes
equality normative
Share in 2nd & 3rd shifts
19
What Will It Take?
4. Making Gender Central
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
f.
g.
Putting gender equality first, privileging gender over race;
Addressing sexism, misogyny, inequity, inequality;
Analyzing patriarchy, power;
Changing gender roles, expectations;
Redistributing power: building women’s power, making women’s autonomy
central; and
Rewriting masculinity
Investing in women and girls, not just services for them
20
What Will It Take?
5. Making Equality Central
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
Investing in well-being to benefit everyone;
Investing in women and girls, not only in services for them;
Building economic equality, security;
Changing the basic conditions that disadvantage girls and women; and
Building women’s power and self-reliance in new ways, in practical ways.
21
What Will It Take?
6. Confronting and Engaging Community,
Culture
a.
b.
c.
d.
Welcoming community leaders who focus on preventing gender violence
instead of preventing change;
Re-defining culture as a liberating, not restricting, force;
Confronting all forms of oppression, including homophobia; and
Making community the subject, not the object, of change.
22
What Will It Take?
7. Stopping Men’s Violence
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
Addressing the range of male predation, coercive control and abuse by public and private
actors;
Stopping family complicity: e.g. domestic violence by in-laws, early forced marriage by
parents, honor-related abuses and crimes;
Teaching community leaders to support victims and survivors, to condemn victim-blaming,
and to sanction abusers;
Taking away permission and impunity for abuse and undermining its societal reinforcements;
and
Building systems that are gateways, not barriers, to services.
23
What Will It Take?
8. Re-Designing Power to Ensure that:
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
Power is shared in egalitarian, dynamic ways;
Power is mutually given, agreed to, intentional; it is not assumed or seized
Power is negotiable, that equal power is not a 50-50 split but the ability to
negotiate how it is divided;
Power can be trusted and will act in trustworthy ways; and
Power is accumulated in order to be distributed.
24
What Will It Take?
9. Building Movements of Solidarity
a. Clear analyses that can be well-understood;
b. Anticipating and planning for backlash, and being prepared to respond;
and
c. Changing strategies for a changing world - identifying strategic, winnable
goals.
25
Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on
Domestic Violence
Arab, Bangladeshi, Bhutanese, Bruneian, Burmese, Cambodian,
Central Asian, Chinese, Filipino, Hmong, Indian, Japanese, Korean,
Indonesian, Laotian, Malaysian, Maldivians, Mien, Native Hawaiians,
Nepali, Okinawan, Pacific Islanders, Pakistani, Singaporean, Sri
Lankan, Taiwanese, Tibetan, Timorese, Thai, Vietnamese, and West
Asian.
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