DEMO TEXT The first phase of SANAM was dedicated to developing a curriculum on understanding gender- based violence and its intersection with masculinities and rolling out an action oriented fellowship programme based on this curriculum.
The idea behind formulating this curriculum and its implementation was that effective primary prevention requires the generation and application of skills that facilitate
i) a critical understanding of methods, tools and theories that formulate violence prevention programmes,
ii) a knowledge base that sharpens the understanding that masculinities, gender and violence need to be located at the intersection of social, historical and economic processes
The SANAM focus was arrived at through a series of discussions that took into account the current range of interventions in the region, the tools that were employed within these interventions, available training programmes and theories of social change & transformation. The group decided that since this was a melting pot of groups and individuals who had been working in the field of violence prevention through various means for more than a decade, the pooling together of knowledge and experience could be a significant contribution in catalysing and developing violence prevention efforts in the region. SANAM thus, defined its role as a catalyst that would generate more effective and critical knowledge on prevention methods, skills and approaches and at the same time create an ever expanding pool of activists, researchers and academicians who would develop interventions in different social settings and expand the body of knowledge around masculinities. SANAM sees the effectiveness of prevention in a constant dialogue between theory, experience, intervention and change. It also sees the long term importance of developing several nodes of resistance and prevention, a rainbow coalition that can address the hydra headed monster of gender-based violence from different positions and routes.
The SANAM curriculum and fellowship programme on masculinities and gender-based violence was thus formulated to create several fronts of prevention and the success of this idea became more than apparent through the projects that were undertaken by the fellows, who participated in the capacity development process. The range of knowledge pieces and prevention strategies on violence that have emerged from these projects is a clear indicator of the importance of multiple sites of resistance as well as a rigorous engagement with knowledge on masculinities, methods and tools. The 30 or so projects on masculinities and violence prevention that have emerged include, in addition to development of training manuals and tools, explorations of themes such as conflict zones, political spaces, religion, media and popular culture, mental health, gender based violence, sexualities and diverse sexual identities. The diversity of the social settings of the projects also represent a fascinating portrayal of the complexity of the subject that masculinities intervention seeks to address; from specific ethnic and indigenous groups of men across South Asia, school going boys, male marriage migrants, transgender persons, to male sex workers, truckers, boys living on the street and families coping with bereavement in war.