|Abstract: ||Physical, sexual and psychological violence against women and girls (VAW) is widespread in Zimbabwe and cannot be addressed without engaging men and boys. Men commit the majority of VAW and are most likely to be influenced by and receptive to discussions about masculinity and VAW when approached by other men, meaning anti-violence work led by and for men and boys is critical to solving the problem.
Padare/Enkundleni/Men's Forum on Gender has been leading men’s gender justice and anti-violence efforts in Zimbabwe for almost 20 years, yet their approaches and strategies have never been systematically studied. This paper uses an intersectional feminist framework to analyze relevant literature, documents, and interviews with members of Padare and their partners, in order to situate the organization’s work within Zimbabwe’s unique social and historical context. The study identifies Padare’s concerns, goals, activities and strategies of transforming masculinities and engaging men and boys to end VAW in Zimbabwe.
Padare is found to be an innovative organization with several notable strengths and challenges. Among the organization’s strengths are its ability to reach individuals and communities that women's organizations cannot, such as traditional and religious leaders, abusers and ordinary men; its ability to work at multiple levels, including with individuals, communities, civil society, government and state institutions; and its ability to expand space for public discussion on taboo topics, such as gender identity, sexuality and HIV/AIDS, and violence against women and girls. The organization's challenges include a backlash from men and women that is rooted in identity and ideology; tensions with the women's movement regarding funding; and vulnerability to domestic and international political crises. Overall, this case study demonstrates that men play an important role in addressing issues of VAW in Zimbabwe.|