Men as Partners Radio Feature

Date: January 1, 1970
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The radio feature talks about men who are in the struggle to fight gender violence. It talks about what factors contribute to men becoming abusers, what impact violence has on young men, ideas of masculinity and what it means to be a ‘real man,’ and what men can do to end gender violence.

This audio programme may be used to:
1. promote understanding of gender violence among men;
2. raise discussion about masculinity and expressions of masculinity;
3. promote gender equality;
4. provide an example of gender aware reporting; and
5. illustrate an example of journalists finding unique angles for covering gender issues.
Trainer’s notes
This audio feature displays gender awareness. It is about men who are partnering to fight gender violence against women and children. Some of these men have experienced violence in their own homes. They also explain their understanding of what a real man is and how they are prepared to fight gender violence.
It is not everyday where you can come across examples of positive men who demand change and a better life for women and children. Often, when talking about gender violence, men are portrayed only as abusers and wrong-doers. This kind of portrayal alienates men, and discourages them from becoming involved or interested in gender issues. However, not all men abuse, and more and more men are taking a stand and are willing to learn more about partnering in the fight against gender violence. This feature illustrates that there are actually a lot of men who do not abuse, who treat the women in their lives with love and respect. It provides a host of positive role models. However, the problem is that these kinds of features are often only produced and taken to the people during the 16 Days of Activism. Outside of commemorative days, it is difficult to find such positive stories told.
The language that is being used is balanced and is positive. Although the feature is about men’s role, the story also includes women’s voices and opinions. This balance of sources an voices is important, as it maintains the idea that both men and women need to work together – ‘men’s issues’ are not just for men to hear about, and ‘women’s issues’ are not just for women.
Discussion questions
1.  Do you think a lot of men have a good understanding of gender violence?
2. Is the media doing enough to publish positive stories about men? Why or why not?
3. What language is being used to call men to action? What positive language can be used to bring change?
4. Will the country have a bigger change if both sexes partner in the fight against violence?
5. What kinds of images of men do we generally see in the media? Do they provide positive or negative role models for men? What do these role models say about how a woman should be treated?
Training exercise
1. Conduct a poll in your community on what different people (women and men) think a ‘real man’ is? Compare the kinds of answers you get. Are men saying the same things as women? Does age or education make a difference?
2. There are very few organisations that focus on men’s role in gender equality. Find out how men can get involved in your community.

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