From where I stand: “We want to engage young men and boys in the fight to end violence against women and girls”

Date: Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Milos Djajic is the Director of the Center for Modern Skills, an NGO working to promote political education, civil participation and social justice in Serbia. In the context of the EU-UN Women regional programme on ending violence against women: “Implementing Norms, Changing Minds”, the Center for Modern Skills is working with young men and boys to prevent violence against women and girls.

Activist Milos Djajic is working to engage men and boys to campaign for ending violence against women in Serbia. Photo: UN Women/Giulia Gustavsen

There is a growing awareness that men, in partnership with women, can play a significant role in ending violence against women. However, research shows that men, especially young men, are not active in this field. This is why we decided to work with this specific target group.

In Serbian society, there are many problems with violence in general. Statistics are grim for survivors of violence in the country, especially when it comes to violence against women and girls. This is why women's organizations in Serbia work mostly on supporting women and girls and on improving the legislative framework, while efforts to engage men and boys often remain very limited.

Through our project, we want to engage young men and boys and motivate them to actively take part in campaigning to end violence against women and girls. Through campaigns and seminars, we want to empower them to stand in solidarity with women. This way, we hope to encourage them to take a stand against violence and become positive role models in their communities.

For the first time, we are testing some elements of the Communication for Behavioural Impact (COMBI) methodology, which is an approach that can help to plan, implement and monitor social mobilization and communication in a strategic and structured way, in order to achieve and maintain behavioral outcomes. We are convinced that this new approach will give us new and interesting insights in our work to end violence against women.”


SDG 5: Gender equality

Milos Djajic is working to engage young men and boys to become activists for ending violence against women in Serbia. Through his work, Djajic is contributing towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 on gender equality and its target on ending violence against women.