Focusing on men to eliminate violence against women

Publication date:
Cristina Oddone, Socióloga, Violence against Women Division, Consejo de Europa (Estrasburgo)

The evolution of the definition of “violence against women” in international human rights law has increasingly focussed on gender-based discrimination against women as the result of structural inequalities between men and women. In this context, increasing attention has been paid to male responsibility in recent years. This paper attempts to reconstruct the process of recognising men’s active role as perpetrators of violence against women and the role of violence in the social construction of masculinities. Pro-feminist studies on masculinities, the experiences of practical interventions with men in order to prevent violence against women, along with the results of qualitative research on its perpetrators, show the possibility for social change, but at the same time highlight the need for a radical structural transformation in the cultural construction of genders in order to prevent this serious violation of women’s rights.

Key words: human rights, violence against women, masculinities, perpetrators, ethnography


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