Around 750 gender activists from over 90 countries would be gathering here next week for a global symposium to discuss ways to challenge the conventional boundaries of gender stereotypes of a cowering woman and an overly protective man.
More than 400 organisations, including UN Women and Centre for Health and Social Justice (CHSJ), working on issues of gender equality have come together to organise 'MenEngage Global Symposium 2014' from November 10 to 13.
Terming it as "collaboration" between feminist groups and men, Anand Pawar of a Pune-based NGO Samyak, who participating in the symposium said, "the normative ideas of masculinity impacts men as well by creating clearly defined hierarchies. The one who goes out of that is termed a lesser man."
Abhijit Das of CHSJ said, "Our aim is to create enough social resistance so that the boundaries start breaking and the norms starts to change."
Underlining the importance of involving men in the struggle against patriarchy, noted feminist Kamla Bhasin spoke about how "patriarchy dehumanises man".
A study, conducted by the International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW) in collaboration with UNFPA on "Masculinity, Son Preference and Intimate Partner Violence in India", will also be released during the symposium.
Giving brief details on the study, Regional Director of ICRW, Ravi Verma said, "In states like Punjab, younger men compared to older men were found to be far more rigid in their attitude and behaviour towards women and girls."
More than 750 gender activists from 93 countries are slated to participate in the symposium, the last edition of which was held in Rio-de-Janeiro in 2009.