Men speak up against domestic violence

An online competition aiming at eradicating violence against women will end today but it continues to receive responses especially on its Facebook account composed of 1,258 members so far.
The Dimulai dari Saya! (It Starts with Me) competition is conducted by United Nations Indonesia and urges all participants, especially men, to post comments, short essays, pictures, videos, designs or sketches related to the issue from Nov. 25 (the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women) to Dec. 10 (Human Rights Day) through its Facebook and Twitter accounts.
However, its Twitter account, @dimulaidarisaya, so far only has nine followers. “Competition on Twitter is not as popular as on Facebook,” UNFPA national program officer for media and communications, Nugroho Nurdikiawan Sunjoyo, said recently.
One participant on Facebook, known as Wawan Suwandi, says that patriarchal societies stigmatizing husbands who share domestic responsibilities with their wives, preserved violence against women.
“A silent majority toward violence and discrimination against women is also a [form of] preservation of violence,” he said.
Another form of violence against women according to Wawan was polygamy. “Polygamy is hurting not only women and children but it also negates the existence of women.”
Another participant, Eko Bambang Subiantoro, said in one of his postings under the hashtag of #mitoslaki2 (myth of men) that men were supposed to realize that stigmas attached to them would also impact negatively on men.
“When a man cannot become a breadwinner, would it make him less of a man?” he said.
According to Eko, men not being “breadwinners” was not failure, but a man failed when he was guilty of committing domestic violence.
For Uki Jurnalisious, men needed gender awareness to prevent working women from suffering double burdens.
He said most of the time men’s patriarchal nature demanded working women to take full responsibility of household chores as well whereas it should be handled together by men and women. Uki said in another posting that gender equality was the most important thing to improve living standard’s of women.
He called on other people to join in campaigning for a change toward a world free from discrimination and violence. “Let’s live a respected life without violence against women.”
Nugroho said the winner of the competition would be announced in January. The winner will be awarded on creativity and considered to have had a significant impact on many people. The latest model of iPod Touch will be awarded to the winner.
Source : The Jakarta Post

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