Partnering with women’s groups, and recognizing and respecting their leadership and expertise on the issue, is crucial to sustaining the work on ending violence against women and girls. In particular, partnerships can address two very important areas:
1) Address some of the fears regarding working with men to prevent violence against women and girls, such as:
Initiatives with men will compete for funding with other initiatives that are severely under resourced, but critical to addressing the needs of survivors/victims;
Initiatives with men will dilute the feminist agenda;
Men will manipulate the gender discourse to their own agendas; and
Men will take over the role of women in this work.
2) Exchange experiences and develop mutual understanding and capacities among the two groups. Women’s groups, in particular can bring added value to the work of men and boys by:
Bringing a strong gender perspective and identifying effective strategies based on their considerable experience in the area of violence against women;
Presenting valid concerns about the work with men in the area of violence against women that need to be addressed, so that potential frictions and resistance can be avoided; and
Providing for the needs and human rights of survivors/victims. This is paramount in any initiative in the area of violence against women and girls, including in prevention work.