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.