The OSCE MenEngage network was launched on 29 November 2012 in Vienna as part of a larger advocacy effort during the global 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence.
As part of the launch seven ambassadors to the OSCE and other officials were recognized for their efforts to promote equality and combat violence against women.
“Men can be advocates for promoting gender equality - a key tool in combating violence against women, and ultimately achieving real and sustainable security for all people,” said OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier.
The event also featured Dean Peacock, co-founder and co-chair of the MenEngage Alliance- a global effort to engage men and boys on promoting gender equality throughout the world.
“The men we celebrate here have advanced gender equality and women’s rights and therefore sent a powerful message that men can and must take action to promote women’s rights and to stop men’s violence against women,” Peacock said. “Their commitment provides inspiration to other men across all 57 OSCE member states to follow their example and work for gender equality in their homes, communities and governments.”
The OSCE and its field operations are marking the 16 Days of Activism with a number of initiatives, including an online campaign by the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, along with UN Women, to raise awareness and provide information for survivors of violence. The OSCE Mission to Moldova launched a campaign around the slogan “Real Men Don’t Beat Women” while in Ukraine, the Project Co-ordinator hosted a five-day training session for (mostly male) security sector personnel on appropriate responses to domestic violence. Finally, the Mission to Serbia worked with civil society activists to bring attention to laws related to combating violence against women and prevention of violence against women.
The 16 Days of Activism will conclude on 10 December, Human Rights Day.