Men Against Violence and Abuse
MAVA is the first men's organization in India directly intervening against gender-based violence on women. Established in 1993, MAVA is working towards building a movement that explores the role of men as ‘partners’ and ‘stakeholders’ – addressing gender issues (including women’s empowerment) through cultural advocacy, direct intervention and youth education initiatives. MAVA believes that only when men break the moulds of society and express rather than suppress their emotions, they can become less violent towards women. Whatever may be the form of violence against women, beating, rape, eve teasing or murder, it is a man whose outlook is the cause of that. MAVA also acknowledges that men are also the victims of patriarchy that accords men a dominating position. Their domination over women has come at a price, of not having the freedom to laugh and cry, to befriend one’s children and spouse, to be vulnerable, to share rather than sit lonely in one’s thrown. Men need to appreciate that by stopping or preventing any form of gender-based violence against women, apart from enabling empowerment of women and promoting a gender-just society, it’s their lives which will be more humane; their partnership with women will improve their quality of life. MAVA’s work on the issue of gender violence is grouped into 8 modules viz., counselling and guidance to needy men and women; youth helpline for distressed youth; gender sensitisation programs; pre-marital guidance; publication of “purush spandana” (male vibrations) – an annual magazine; Addressing specific cases of gender violence; networking with women’s groups and like-minded bodies; and organizing a series of one-day workshops on self-defence of women.
History of Involvement With Men
MAVA has in the last 16 years, provided face-to-face & telephonic counselling and guidance to over 5000 men and women facing marital conflict and other gender problems through a trained team of experienced counsellors. Necessary legal support is also provided by the organization. MAVA started, in September 2009, Yuva Maitri Telephonic Helpline (No. 022-26826062) for distressed youths across Mumbai on problems, anxieties and dilemmas faced on matters of Relationships, Sexuality and Violence. For the past 5 years, MAVA has been organizing special initiatives for young men on ‘Gender and Masculinity.’ The pioneering initiative, which began in Pune in 2006, has been spread to youths in over 6 other districts of Maharashtra. MAVA brings out Purush Spandana (meaning male vibrations) - an annual magazine in Marathi. Published since 1996, the magazine contains short stories, first -person accounts, interviews, poems, analytical articles and media-trends that voice sentiments of men. Joining hands with leading women's bodies like Akshara and Stree Mukti Sanghatana, MAVA has been involved in projects which help youth in questioning and changing 'stereotyped' roles of men & women in society. MAVA’s publication “Breaking the Mould” a book in English on men’s expressions released in 2007 is being reviewed by various newspapers and magazines as ‘path-breaking’, ‘India’s pioneering exploration of masculinities’
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