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International Community Can Stop Violence Against Women By Working Together

“For the first time, a new U.N. study on men and violence includes data from men themselves, across a number of countries, that tells us why some men use violence against women and how this can be prevented,” Emma Fulu, who works for Partners for Prevention, a U.N. regional joint program working in Asia, writes in the Huffington Post U.K.’s “Impact” blog. “Four years in the making, the U.N. Multi-country Study on Men and Violence in Asia and the Pacific is based on interviews with 10,000 men from rural and urban sites in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea,” she notes, adding, “The statistics presented in ‘Why do some men use violence against women and how can we prevent it?’ reflect unique human experiences from a diverse region that holds more than half of the world’s population.” She writes, “Across all sites, men who had perpetrated rape, most often against an intimate partner, most commonly reported their motivation for doing so was related to a sense of sexual entitlement; a belief that they had a right to sex with women regardless of consent.”

“One of the most surprising, but important, findings was that half the men who reported having raped a woman or girl did so for the first time when they were teenagers,” Fulu continues. “However, the majority of men who had raped did not experience any legal consequences,” she notes. “The study reveals that one of the most important priorities is addressing the ways society teaches men to be men,” she states, adding, “Overall 87 percent of men interviewed believe that to be man you need to be tough.” She writes, “The study reaffirms that violence against women is highly prevalent in Asia-Pacific but varies significantly across countries and even within countries,” adding, “We must address power imbalances between men and women and promote ways of being a man that value respect, non-violence and equality.” She concludes, “By working together with boys and girls, men and women, governments and communities, we can create a more peaceful and equitable world” (9/10).