Women all over the world are subjected to gender-based violence–one in three, according to some global studies of both the industrialized & the Two-Thirds worlds. Violence against women is a major human rights abuse that urgently needs more voices of protest. Something else needs voices of protest, from pro life and pro choice alike.
Eleanor Kirk and other early advocates of women’s rights knew that if male irresponsibility, coercion, and violence against women and children ceased, the abortion rate would plummet, and nonviolent choice would flourish for all. That is still true today. And something else early women’s advocates knew is still true: as important as it is to challenge certain life-destroying, harmful behaviors socialized into many men, it’s equally vital to encourage and stand with men who genuinely wish to be or become peacemakers and equal partners with women. The change from power-over to power-with is a difficult one for anyone who dares to make it.
In this spirit the Nonviolent Choice Website offers a sampling of resources that can help men truly become sexual and reproductive partners. Resources that promote male responsibility are also found throughout this website. See, for example, our resources on Parenting & Child-rearing, Finances: Child Support/Child Maintenance and Pregnancy Prevention.
The following are some resources for the enforcement, and education of male responsibility issues.
EngenderHealth: Men As Partners. Much-needed initiative in over 15 countries. Started because “around the world, women carry disproportionate responsibility for reproductive health and family size. And while women receive the bulk of reproductive health education, including family planning information, gender dynamics can render women powerless to make decisions. Men often hold decision-making power over matters as basic as sexual relations and when and whether to have a child or even seek health care. But most reproductive health programs focus exclusively on women. Engender Health recognizes the importance of partnership between women and men, as well as the crucial need to reach out to men with services and education that enable them to share in the responsibility for reproductive health.” Well spoken.
Feminists for Life College Outreach Program. (English, some Spanish.) Women and men who work to make college campuses safer for pregnant and parenting students, from an organization that emphasizes greater male responsibility as key to reducing abortion and alleviating its root causes. See, for example, one man’s personal story, Remembering Thomas: Responsibility, Guilt, and the Child I Never Knew –also in Spanish. Note: To read one prochoice man’s journey with issues of male responsibility and awareness in abortion, please see (not affiliated with FFL or its website) When Annie Fell Off the Mountain.
K-12: Male Responsibility. Catalog of educational videos for youth. From the production company Intermedia.
Male Responsibility for Reproductive Health. (English, Spanish, French.) Globally focused. From Family Health International.
Male Responsibility Towards HIV Free Society: An Awareness Generation Program run by Youth Groups from Red Light Areas of Calcutta. Abstract from the 2002 International AIDS Conference in Barcelona, Spain. From the Indian gender justice group Sanlaap.
Men Can Stop Rape (English; some Spanish materials.) Great education & activism campaign that enlists men in the prevention of gender-based violence. Geared to younger men, although there is much here of concern and interest to males of all ages. This group recognizes the links not only between a rape culture and sexism, but racism. US-based, but may be useful or adaptable elsewhere.
Men’s Initiative, World Association for Breastfeeding Action. Why and how men of all nations can help women and children enjoy the health, emotional, and social benefits of breastfeeding.
Our Religion Teaches Equality and Peace. Some Muslims and non-Muslims believe devoutly that Islam is all about condoning male violence. Here are some perspectives from within Islam that powerfully show how the religion actually calls men to respect women’s and children’s rights and exercise utmost responsibility. For example, a husband has a duty to sexually gratify his wife.
Phoenix Learning Group: Male Responsibility Series. Six youth-oriented titles.
Pregnancy Prevention: “Male Methods.” Part of the Nonviolent Choice Directory.
Pro Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians. People of all genders and sexual orientations, including gay, bisexual, and transgendered men, who encourage greater social responsibility for the women and children of crisis pregnancies.
The Sage Project, Inc. “SAGE” stands for “Standing Against Global Exploitation,” namely the worldwide sexual trafficking of human beings. Dispels the myth that prostitution is a “victimless” crime. Rather it is inextricably bound up with systemic problems of violence against women and children, and it dehumanizes its consumers and their families as well. Founded by Norma Hotaling, a onetime homeless, addicted streetwalker, to compassionately offer “both individual healing and systemic change.”
The How and Why of Natural Family Planning. From the Catholic Education Center. While not keen on “artificial” contraception, this article presents the importance of male cooperation and responsibility in the practice of modern fertility awareness/natural family planning methods.
Working With Men/Male Involvement. Go to the “Most Popular Searches” box and click on this term to bring up numerous studies and articles on the subject. From the online global database End Violence Against Women: Information and Resources, part of K4HEALTH. See also Toolkit on Working With Men and Boys to Prevent Gender-Based Violence.