Mobilizing young men to prevent gender based violence

26 November 2016
Young man and young woman holding a message "against domestic violence". ©UNFPA Algeria

In 2016, UNFPA Algeria focused its efforts on creating a dynamic movement around male involvement in GBV prevention. The local context and existing data and  well understood impact on health, rights and overall well being  were the basis of the Government’ Plan launched in mid 2016 to reduce sexual violence amongst youth.

Through the advocacy and IEC efforts for mobilizing public opinion GBV prevention and response, UNFPA Algeria engaged with partners to sensitize men especially young men on their role to respect, protect and promote women and adolescents rights. Communicating that discussing addressing GBV is not merely a women’s issue but also men’s responsibility was a message raised through a variety of communications channels, including TV, Radio, newspapers,  billboards ,  social media as well as through youth associations.  The efforts mobilized Government, private sector, bilateral partners and civil society to organize and participate to a large range of activities sensitizing young people and promoting constructive dialogue  around how to better advance the response to GBV.

For the first time in Algeria,  the efforts for  male involvement in prevention of GBV have given a positive role to young men rather than picturing young men as perpetrators of violence. UNFPA supported the initiative with technical inputs for production of a variety of advocacy and communication materials.  The tag line ”Be a man, respect women” was used as the umbrella theme and it triggered a reflexion on  ways to contribute to gender equality and ending GBV.

Main results include male engagement as a strategy in the Government’s plans to address violence amongst youth. The efforts mobilised youth networks in 7 wilayas (regions)  where over 4000 youth were reached through interactive sessions that were led by young people. On social media a song with video produced for the campaign received over 20,000 views.   The final campaign around the 16 days of activism for EVAW reached densely populated spots in Alger including main squares in the capital Algiers and in front of the national post office where posters and billboards were estimated to reach over 1 million people per day.  The billboards and TV radio newspaper placements were all in-kind collaboration efforts that yielded high impact and excellent value for money returns on the initiative.