Brave men campaign starts
The Brave Men Campaign involves young men, particularly the school going boys students aged between 12-15 to motivate them into taking action that would break men and boys silence on violence against women in the community. Violence against women is a critical issue that is widely prevalent in Bangladesh for which the brave men campaign aims to raise awareness and promote the notion of ‘Brave Men’ that would encourage young men to protest and say no to violence against women.
The Bangladesh National Human Rights Commission- Capacity Development Project (BNHRC-CDP) is assisting the National Human Rights Commission Bangladesh in implementing a pilot initiative known as the ‘Brave Men Campaign’ in collaboration with the Centre for Men and Masculinity Studies (CMMS).
The second phase of Brave Men Campaign involves training and activity session in 14 schools. The Brave Men Campaign teams delivers the notion of being ‘brave’, interacts with the students on their perceptions of VAW, bravery and their perceptions of what can be done as an active citizen to stop VAW in Bangladesh.
The activities is also facilitated by the use of the “Brave Men Diary”, which is an effective educational tool for broader learning on VAW, Bravery and the different aspects of gender sensitivity and the importance of brave men to end VAW. This session involves approximately 20-40 students in every class where they have completed the first activity of the brave men diary on “MY MOTHER”. This activity develops the students understanding on the role of mothers in household work, it develops the sense of responsibility to assist and be more conscious on the role of men in society. After receiving the Brave Men diary and completion of activity “my mother”, students expressed their thoughts and opinions.
Sifaat, Class 8, Mohammed Laboratory School: “In an office you will find different departments where the workers are allocated with their work. However, in a household you will find no departments and hence our mothers take the full responsibility of household work. After helping my mother, I realized that it is simply not an easy task and hence we should be more sensitive and help our mothers.”
Altaf, Class-8, Mohammed Laboratory School: “We need to step up and not let our mother bear the entire burden. We should help our mothers more because they are doing everything for our happiness.”
The other components of Brave Men Diary also includes sessions on “My friendship”, “My leisure”, “Our Rights” and “Household Maid”, which is a self reflection exercise to discover and learn about responsibilities, duties and reinforces the notion of Brave Men. The diary attempts to educate, demonstrate and instill the importance of ending violence against women.
The students also participated in making and creating a presentation on their perception of VAW and eve teasing.
The Brave Men campaign is also active in terms of a social media campaign through facebook by introducing quizzes every two months in order to create more awareness and develop more interactive practices. The social media campaign recently hosted a creative writing competition on facebook where candidates were instructed to write creative essays on how to promote gender equality in Bangladesh, how to stop gender based violence in Bangladesh and what roles male members of society can play to promote the rights of women.