Working as the Secretariat of Engaging Men and Boys Network in Bangladesh 2013-2014

Centre for Men and Masculinities has been a member organization of Engage Men and Boys Network since January 2012. In January 2013 it has been given the responsibilities to work as the Secretariat of this network. The network has been working for the last few years to mobilize men and boys against VAW&G and CMMS has always contributed in different initiatives taken by Engage Men and Boys Network. For the last few years the network observed the 16 days activism for no violence against women and children program in association with the UNFPA Bangladesh, which was a huge success – both in terms of drawing attention in media and mobilizing mass people at different places.

Training Workshop with Save the Children in 2013

A training Workshop, designed to discuss about some formative studies on Gender Based Violence and Masculinities, was organized at Nabab Nawab Ali senate building of University of Dhaka on 26-27 November 2013. This workshop was jointly conducted by Save the Children, Engaging Men and Boys Network and Center for Men and Masculinity Studies (CMMS) and had the midlevel officials of many national and international NGOs working in Bangladesh. This training workshop specially focused on Masculinities as a new tool to combat GBV. Focusing on masculinities rather than on one form of masculinity under the definition of Patriarchy creates scope of promoting positive masculine practices and identifying the crisis tendencies of men which help see an effective way to address GBV. Thus, the training workshop devoted itself to address GBV from the lens of Masculinities. CMMS have been working towards establishing human rights for all and to ensure peaceful society but Gender based Violence is so strongly rooted in the structural as well as personal level of our society that enacting different laws by government has been proved to be ineffective even to reduce Gender based Violence where to stop violence is an out of reach concern. This training was an approach to sensitize people; to make people aware of the features of Gender based Violence in order to combat those. The workshop tried to increase the conceptual clarity on gender, socialization, masculinity and patriarchal roles perpetuating hegemonic forms of masculinities in society along with developing an idea on possible use of the concept for policy/development interventions in Bangladesh addressing masculinity and violence against women and children issues and to recognize violence, its link to power and mobilize them to stand up against gender based violence at a personal and community level. The workshop budget was around 300,000 BDT.

Partnering with Channel I for Maximus Tarun Kantha in 2014

CMMS partnered with the Channel I for organizing Maximus Tarun Kantho – a TV talk show based on opinion poll which is dedicated to raise youth voice on different socio-political issues using electronic media. Youth in Bangladesh were always a very active agent in the progress of Bangladesh – be it in political sector or in economic sectors. Unfortunately, over the last 20 years, we see a gradual decline of interest among the youth to be active in political process. Such decline of interest of the youth to be engaged in politics, partly resulted in from the increasing criminalization of politics and partly from the lack of democratic practices within the political party. As a result youth voice remain virtually absent in the major policy decisions within the party.

What is more unfortunate is that the state also fails to develop active mechanism to include youth as active agents of policy formulation. On the other hand, civil society movements also fail to engage youth as from the very beginning such movements were more focused on age based hierarchy that resulted in only passive participation of the youth as change agents. Needless to say youth in Bangladesh were always very much active in social and humanitarian works through voluntarism. Thousands of youth volunteer organizations and millions of individual youth are continuously engaged in social and humanitarian goods in the country. Tarun Kantho is the active platform to make this initiative visible and create networking among youth actors.

Partnering with DWA, MoWCA and CARE Bangladesh for National Lesson Learning Workshop 2014

On 27 – 28 March 2014 CMMS together with Department of Women’s Affairs, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, Government of Bangladesh and CARE Bangladesh jointly organized a National Lesson Learning Workshop based on the findings of the study that was conducted by CMMS for CARE Bangladesh in 2013. The seminar titled “2014 National Lessons Learning Workshop on “Addressing Masculinities for Women Empowerment – Engaging Men and Boys” took place on Sunday 27 March at Hotel Lakeshore, Dhaka. The national workshop was attended by Gonzalo Serrano, Second Secretary, Head of Section- Rural Development, European Union as the chief guest; Dr. Nazmunessa Mahtab, Professor, Department of Women and Gender Studies, University of Dhaka as the special guest; and Md. Ashraf Hossain, Director General of the Department of Women Affairs, Ministry of Women & Children’s Affairs, Government of Bangladesh as the chairperson. As well as engaging men and boys’ network members including Brave Men Campaign, plan Bangladesh, FPAB, DWA, Cholonbeel networks and Democracy Watch shared their experience with the concept – Addressing Masculinities for Women Empowerment – Engaging Men and Boys. The total budget was around 2,500,000 BDT.

Partnering with Plan Bangladesh in 2014

CMMS partnered with Plan Bangladesh in 2014 to organize a workshop titled “Boys and Men Engagement to Reducing Gender Based Violence”. The day long workshop was held at Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban of Dhaka University. In this workshop Mr. Tarikul Islam, Honorable Secretary, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs was present as Chief Guest while Dr Shahid Akhtar Hossain, Pro Vice Chancellor (Administration) University of Dhaka was present as Guest of Honor. Senait Gebregziabher, Country Director, Plan international Bangladesh, Mr. Aubrey McCutcheon, Chief of party, PHR Program, Plan International Bangladesh, Ms Samira Al Zwaini, Plan International and Ms. Tania Haque, Chairperson, Department of Women and Gender Studies, University of Dhaka also spoke on the occasion, Around 100 participants from academia and NGO were present in the occasion. To made this project successful total expenditure was around 4,100,000 BDT.