SANAM projects explore diverse masculinities in South Asia

Acts of sexual violence committed by truckers, honour killings and the migration patterns of Pakistani men after marrying western women - these were just some of the complex issues addressed in projects finalized by fellows who were chosen and trained by the South Asian Network to Address Masculinities (SANAM). SANAM, supported by P4P, is designed to develop the capacity of young activists on masculinities, gender justice and GBV prevention in South Asia. Through an intensive learning course that, provides theoretical frameworks and promising practices on these issues, the initiative is enabling individuals and organizations to develop more critically engaged actions and successful projects . Thirty SANAM fellows from Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan conducted and presented the findings from individual projects. In April, the Pakistani fellows joined together in Islamabad, at Quaid-i-Azam University, with a host of students, professors, civil society groups and UN agencies to discuss their findings. The projects covered areas as diverse as ‘how masculinities influence the development of boys into men’, ‘the role of electronic media in reinforcing nationalism’, and ‘the nature of honor crimes against women’. Also in April, the cohort of Indian SANAM fellows met at Ambedkar University in Delhi to present their research findings and training materials. The research explored issues of masculinity and grieving; expressions of gender and sexuality; and the influence of family and society on men’s behaviors and practices. These were further complemented by a series of tools and manuals, produced by the fellows, to inform and guide awareness-raising activities. The research findings will feed into the design of new programmes and policy recommendations and the training materials will help to raise awareness and develop capacity to address harmful masculinities. The sessions also resulted in expressions of interest from the involved universities, to invest in masculinities studies through their respective gender studies departments. For more information, see www.engagingmen.net/networks/sanam or contact raymond.brandes@one.un.org.

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