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Analyzing South Asian Men’s Violence Against Women C onfrontation & Engagement . Firoza Chic Dabby-Chinoy Director, Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence Aarohan Conference August 2013. I. ANALYSIS: WOMEN. Women’s Lives at the Center of the Analysis.
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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
I. ANALYSIS: WOMEN Women’s Lives at the Center of the Analysis
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
The Lifetime Spiral of Gender Violence illustrates: • Historical nature of GBV, not about being in wrong place at the wrong time • Types of violence/coercive controls women, girls are vulnerable or exposed to, or experience • Location of various perpetrators across lifespan
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
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
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!
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
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 3rdlargest 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
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?
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)
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
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
What Will it Take? 3. Replacing Relationships of Power with Relationships of Meaning DIVEST | CONFRONT INVEST | ENGAGE Confront traditional masculinity Challenge women who act as enforcers of gender inequity Understand why men use violence, male socialization Divest from inequality Victim-blaming Re-purpose masculinity Invest in women’s power, revise socialization Design intervention programs, socialization that makes equality normative Share in 2nd & 3rd shifts
What Will It Take?4. Making Gender Central • 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
What Will It Take?5. Making Equality Central • 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.
What Will It Take?6. Confronting and Engaging Community, Culture • 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.
What Will It Take?7. Stopping Men’s Violence • 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.
What Will It Take?8. Re-Designing Power to Ensure that: • 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.
What Will It Take?9. Building Movements of Solidarity • Clear analyses that can be well-understood; • Anticipating and planning for backlash, and being prepared to respond; and • Changing strategies for a changing world - identifying strategic, winnable goals.
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