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A Call to Action – 16 Days of Activism
The Africa Alliance YMCA held a forum on Tuesday, 6 December 2016 to share results from a baseline study conducted earlier in the year. Funded by the UN Women Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women (UNTF), the project is being implemented by AAYMCA in partnership with Kenya YMCA, Zambia YMCA, PAWA 254 Initiative, Coexist Initiative. It focuses on transformative masculinity through a program titled: A Real Man is.
- The key objectives of the baseline study were to inform:
• Perspective of women and girls about violence and harassment
• The per cent of women and girls who report feeling safe in the project areas
• The extent to which women experience high levels of violence
• Current perceptions of men regarding Violence Against Women
- Data collection methodology framework for the baseline study:
• Targeted 1000 respondents aged 15 to 24 years old in Kenya and in Zambia
• The Project officers also interviewed government officials, local/traditional leaders, and representatives of non-governmental organisations
• Schools; Secondary Schools, Colleges, Universities, Vocational Training Centres
• Engagement at this forum allowed for opportunity to consider different ways that men could play a more effective role in ending VAW.
- In Kenya, the results are as follows:
• 521 young people were interviewed
• 279 (54%) results coming from Mombasa and 239 (46%) coming from Kilifi
• 521 people in Kenya, the majority were between the ages of 15-18 (269; 52%); 223 (43%) responses were received from 19-25 year olds; and 25 responses were received from 26-35 (5%) year olds
- Results of the study revealed the following:
• The definition of VAW is not consistently understood across the various types of violence women and girls are exposed to.
• Physical harm inflicted by a male partner, husband, or boyfriend was recognised as VAW by 44% of respondents;
• The act committed by a family member saw a similar response at 43%.
• When committed by a stranger, respondents recognised it as an increase to 49%.
• Forced marriage saw an increase of 55% recognition of VAW.
• The majority of respondents do not easily recognise incidences of VAW within their community, especially acts community by their peers and family members.
(In other words, it is considered to be more tolerable by a family member or friend)
- Perceptions of safety and safe spaces:
• When considering perceptions of safety, the survey looked at the community in general, the family home, public spaces such as toilets and parks, the workplace, streets and roads, and entertainment spaces such as clubs.
• In the community in general men “always” felt safe at 32. 70% of men felt safe in the family home.
• During commutes, the majority of men felt unsafe at night at 32%, compared to 25% always feeling safe during the day, indicating a clear feeling of insecurity during night-hour travel.
• About 16 % females felt unsafe in their home at night
• Women generally always consider the safety of public spaces
• The immediate call to action is that men need to mobilise men as they relate to each other
- The discussion forum summarised that:
Men can play a more effective role in ending VAW through mobilising men whom people respect to speak out more against VAW as men relate more to men and respect each other.
Men can play a more active role in shared parenting to inculcate good family values.
Activism requires early intervention and should be intensified in schools and encouraged in family and religious sectors.
Campaigns should be more personalised for youth to be able to relate through story-telling.
Networking between like-minded organisations for greater social impact will establish greater awareness and impact.
Determine to go back to addressing the roles and value-systems in the family structures
Traditional and cultural spaces provide the platform to raise awareness on VAW.