Young Men Saying No to Violence against Women in Lebanon

by Josh Harris | International Medical Corps - UK
Tuesday, 6 December 2011 12:35 GMT

* Any views expressed in this opinion piece are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

A new generation of Lebanese and Iraqi men took up cameras and spoke out in Beirut last month to call for action to end violence against women. The men were participating in an International Medical Corps’ film-making workshop to create, direct, and film television adverts on the topic of violence against women. The videos, inspired by trainings and discussions within the community about gender violence, will be shown on Iraqi and Lebanese stations throughout the 16 Days of Activism.

The workshops, held, in collaboration with local NGO ABAAD, the Lebanese Ministry of Social Affairs and Wonderbox Productions, explored challenging issues such as gender roles in Middle Eastern society and participants views on masculinity. They also taught tangible filmmaking skills in scriptwriting, direction, production, and the technical aspects of lighting and camera work.

By giving me the necessary techniques, I can now truly voice my opinion on the importance of taking a stand and aiding in the campaign of ending violence against women.”
Allen, an Iraqi participant in the workshop.

The impact of these workshops and the television adverts is expected to result in greater awareness of the issue of gender violenece, less tolerance of such violence and ultimately, a reduction in cases of violence against women amongst Lebanese and Iraqi communities.

All the videos are available to view, with English subtitles on the International Medical Corps website here.