Men Against Violence:
A Culture of Peace Perspective

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Presentation and Discussion

Men against Violence

A culture of peace perspective

UNESCO Headquarters, Paris

October 30, 1999

Guest Presenter: Michael Kaufman, Ph.D
International Director and Founder
White Ribbon Campaign

The presentation began with a welcome address by the Director of the Women and a Culture of Peace programme (WCP). Among the 40 persons (mainly women) who attended were representatives from the National Commissions for UNESCO of Canada, the Gambia, Lebanon and Morocco, Head of the UNESCO Office in Dar es Salaam, representatives from UNESCO Offices in Kingston and Windhoek, NGO representatives and staff at Headquarters including the Director of the Unit for the Coordination of Women and Gender Equality.

The Director, WCP provided information on the UNESCO background and context to this topic, namely the transdisciplinary project Towards a Culture of Peace, the UNESCO organized meeting on Male Roles and Masculinities in the Perspective of a Culture of Peace which was held in September 1997, the establishment of the Women and a Culture of Peace programme following the Fourth World Conference on Women and the programme’s objective of gender-sensitive socialization for non-violence and egalitarian partnerships with a special focus on young men and boys.

In his presentation on the topic of Men against Violence, Dr. Kaufman noted that both men and women have the capacity to behave violently and even though more men than women act violently, the majority of men are not violent. It is in the socialization of the boy child for manhood and in the social constructs by which society creates and defines men that violent behavior is given birth. He introduced his theory of the "Seven P’s" as the factors which together have the potential to transform the capacity for violence into the reality of some men’s lives. Practical suggestions for change included an increase in both the quantity and quality of time spent with children, parental including paternal leave, rehabilitation programs for violent men that is based on self respect, educational campaigns to stop violence, legal and judicial reform that ensure prosecution and facilitate victims rights, and the promotion of campaigns to end the pattern of "silencing".

A number of interventions were made and some of the raised included:

  • the complex and multi-dimensional aspect of the problem of men and violence;
  • the need for the issue to be effectively addressed at the political and decision-making levels;
  • the time factor that is involved in behavioral change;
  • the role of the family, women, law enforcement agencies;
  • marginalized men and links to violence;
  • the role of the media;
  • the need to share success stories concerning the transformation of conflicts and violence; and
  • the need for training in parenting skills for parents, child caretakers and others with influence on children.


Interest was expressed by a number of participants to work on building a culture of peace and non-violence among men.

For more information on the Seven P’s and International White Ribbon Campaign

Mail: The White Ribbon Campaign
365 Bloor Street East, Suite 1600
Toronto, Canada M4W 3L4
Tel: 1416 920 6684
Fax: 1416 920 1678


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