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Construction of Masculinity and Violence Against Women: Engaging Men in Preventing VAW


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1 Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Vasanta College for Women, Krishnamurti Foundation India, Rajghat Fort, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
     

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In the last few decades, rampant increase in the cases of violence against women is observed throughout the world. The state and civil society both have shown their concern for such cases and have also attempted to evolve measures to prevent occurrence of such incidences. It has been observed that the state, civil society and sometimes, even the feminist groups emphasize the need for introduction of stringent laws and its strict implementation to control the incidences of violence against women. But this approach seems quite flawed. Because if we take the case of India and other countries as well, we would find that though there are some gaps and lacuna in the existing laws but there is no dearth of laws to prevent violence against women. Still, the graph of cases of violence against women is alarming. One can argue that this is due to weak and uncommitted implementation agencies. Although there is some weight in this argument but there is a need to move beyond this legalistic and state-centric approach and to focus upon the deeper causes of violence against women like patriarchal social structures, gendered socialization and hegemonic constructs of masculinity giving validity to violent behaviour of men. The present paper seeks to investigate the relation between the construct of patriarchal masculinity and violence against women and to explore, how far undoing of this hegemonic masculinity and engaging men in the process of preventing and eliminating VAW would be a viable and effective measure in dealing with the situation.

Keywords

VAW (violence against women), patriarchy, hegemonic masculinity, femininity
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  • Construction of Masculinity and Violence Against Women: Engaging Men in Preventing VAW

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Authors

Preeti Singh
Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Vasanta College for Women, Krishnamurti Foundation India, Rajghat Fort, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

Abstract


In the last few decades, rampant increase in the cases of violence against women is observed throughout the world. The state and civil society both have shown their concern for such cases and have also attempted to evolve measures to prevent occurrence of such incidences. It has been observed that the state, civil society and sometimes, even the feminist groups emphasize the need for introduction of stringent laws and its strict implementation to control the incidences of violence against women. But this approach seems quite flawed. Because if we take the case of India and other countries as well, we would find that though there are some gaps and lacuna in the existing laws but there is no dearth of laws to prevent violence against women. Still, the graph of cases of violence against women is alarming. One can argue that this is due to weak and uncommitted implementation agencies. Although there is some weight in this argument but there is a need to move beyond this legalistic and state-centric approach and to focus upon the deeper causes of violence against women like patriarchal social structures, gendered socialization and hegemonic constructs of masculinity giving validity to violent behaviour of men. The present paper seeks to investigate the relation between the construct of patriarchal masculinity and violence against women and to explore, how far undoing of this hegemonic masculinity and engaging men in the process of preventing and eliminating VAW would be a viable and effective measure in dealing with the situation.

Keywords


VAW (violence against women), patriarchy, hegemonic masculinity, femininity

References