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Skupština Crne Gore
Tuesday, 19. May 2015. 15:24

Press conference on the occasion of completion of campaign “Men’s League against Violence against Women” held

At today’s press conference on the occasion of completion of campaign “Men’s League against Violence against Women”, the results of the campaign were presented by: Chairperson of the Gender Equality Committee Ms Nada Drobnjak, Ambassador of the USA to Montenegro Ms Margaret A. Uyehara, Executive Director of the NGO NOVA Feminist Culture Centre Ms Nataša Nelević and one of the promoters of this campaign Mr Danilo Marunović.

Chairperson of the Gender Equality Committee Ms Nada Drobnjak emphasised that “Men’s League against Violence against Women” was a campaign whose aim was and would be – since the campaign would be continued – greater and more engaged inclusion of men in fight against violence against women. This campaign wants to send a clear message to men in Montenegro that violence against women is not “a female thing”; that men have an important role in combating violence against women; that models of masculinity that imply the violence may not be tolerated and that public advocacy of influential men for cessation of violence and use of instruments intended for that are the important factor in that fight. Certainly, the campaign wants to empower women victims of violence as well as to raise awareness of the public about this problem. 

She reminded that basic elements of the campaign were production and broadcasting of five video messages at which men from different spheres of public life sent clear messages to public – and primarily the other men -  on the necessity of greater and more devoted inclusion of men in fight against violence against women and stated that according to data of the United Nations, one of three women during her lifetime was being beaten, raped or mentally abused and that this statistics results in devastating cognition that more than a billion women in the world every day were exposed to psychological or physical violence.

With implementation of this project, Montenegro has been continuing activities in important global initiative which represents an attempt of humanity to find effective answer to the problem of violence against women. In order to change the situation, it is necessary to change the access to the problem, change awareness, and conduct braver, more decisive and more creative activities which may provide decrease, i.e. cessation of the violence against woman. Violence against women will not cease if men do not start to advocate non-violence publicly and oppose publicly to aggressive models of masculinity, Chairperson of the Gender Equality Committee Ms Nada Drobnjak concluded.

Ambassador of the USA to Montenegro Ms Margaret A. Uyehara assessed that everybody agreed that women should be empowered, but that it was also necessary to empower men, particularly when it comes to topics that were discussed today, because – only when we include men in the discussion, the equation is complete.She said that the participants of the campaign, leaders in their fields, showed that to be strong and smart does not mean to hurt others or make someone feel frightened or inferior. They also offer opportunities for men to talk about this issue with other men. Finally, studies have shown that many offenders were themselves victims of violence. In order to break the cycle of violence it is important that potential perpetrators have somebody to address to, in order to find a solution which is not violence, the Ambassador said.She expressed appreciation for the campaign, because at the time when a lot of people focused on the division, this project showed what was possible when people of different backgrounds work together for a common goal. She believes that this project has not only brought together men and women, but also civil society and government leaders and stated that that is the kind of cooperation that will improve Montenegro.

Executive Director of the NGO NOVA Feminist Culture Centre Ms Nataša Nelević noticed that all of us who are looking ways to make Montenegro safer place for women, for some time have been realising how much in this struggle we miss the voice of men and how much do we need those voices. In planning this campaign we started from the belief that an important reason for the often passive attitude of men towards male violence is the domination of those models of male behaviour that condone or even include some forms of violence and that it is therefore necessary to deconstruct the model of masculinity which, of course, can be done only by men themselves, Ms Nelević said. By conducting this campaign, we wanted to send a message to men in Montenegro, primarily those that have impact on the public, how important it is that they do not distance themselves from the issue of violence, and to begin to speak in public about the violence, to promote models of modern, non-violent masculinity and to become our partners in the struggle for a society free of violence against women, Mr Nelević explained.

Mr Danilo Marunović, director and one of promoters of the campaign, said that he was proud to be a part of that socially-engaged campaign. He drew attention to the fact that women are still treated in the manner which is not good, because he thinks that invisible, insidious, psychological violence becomes a part of the Balkan macho worldview. He pointed out to a difficult position of Montenegrin woman who is crucified between a traditional relation towards her and an insidious consumer relation towards female sexuality and sensuality. He thinks that men should influence to changes and said that being loyal to the principle of the protection of women means to be attractive to women

Campaign “Men’s League against Violence against Women” was conducted by the Gender Equality Committee and NGO NOVA Feminist Culture Centre, with the support of the US Embassy to Montenegro.