New images of masculinity
to stop violence against women

Faith-based gender justice movements say that men have the chance to develop a sense of positive masculinity in order to counter increasing levels of violence by men against women. Citing reports by the United Nations and human rights groups representatives of the gender-justice movements say that the extent and type of violent attacks on women is escalating. Initiatives aimed at changing male patterns of behaviour are urgently needed.

In an effort to stem the rising tide of violence against women, faith-based gender justice movements have challenged conventional images of masculinity that promote the ideal man as strong, dominant, and in charge. Such sense of superiority justifies in the eyes of men the use of violence to resolve conflict and to establish male control of public, faith and domestic spheres.

A more positive image of masculinity is needed”, says Philip Vinod Peacock, a theologian and deacon with the Church of North India. “When we move away from a situation where men seek to dominate women and into situations where men and women are in partnership, we will be more faithful to God.”
“The idea is for men to recognize that patterns of male violence against women result from negative images of masculinity - images of men as warriors and gods,” Peacock says. “We want them to see that there are other images for men that see strength in partnership with women rather than dominance over them. We need to look to biblical teachings which present those alternate images of partnership between men and women,” says Peacock.

Philip Vinod Peacock and Patricia Sheerattan-Bisnauth have co-edited a manual with the title Created in God's Image From Hegemony to Partnership – a set of guidelines for discussion, theological reflection and bible study

Other publications for download

Ezra Chitando and Sophie Chirongoma (ed), Redemptive Masculinities, Geneva: WCC 2012
Aruna Gnanadason (ed), Streams of Grace, Geneva

Today: White Ribbon Day

In 1991, a handful of men in Canada started to wear white ribbons as a pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls. Since then the White Ribbon has spread to over 60 countries around the world.

White Ribbon Campaign Canada
Initiator of the Global White Ribbon Campaign

new masculinity



Pray that men and boys discover how much they gain in relationships of equality and tenderness between men and women.

Gather a group of women and make an effort to identify teachers, religious leaders and men who can be allies in addressing hegemonic masculinities.