'Because I am a man, I should be gentle to my wife and my children': positive masculinity to stop gender-based violence in a coastal district in Vietnam

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Despite the efforts of the government to promote gender equality in Vietnam, genderbased violence is still a critical issue. This article explores a pilot project, the Responsible Men Club, developed and implemented in a coastal district in Vietnam from 2010 to 2012 to work with men to stop violence against their wives. Focusing on masculinity and promoting gender equality in a culturally relevant way significantly improves acceptance of the programme by men themselves and their communities, and enhances its impact. We argue that empowerment, a process often used for women, is also important for men. To construct and encourage a positive, non-violent version of masculinity, men need relevant knowledge, skills, mentoring, and peer support. It is a challenge for gender-based violence programmes to work on increasing public awareness of the issue of violence against women, and reduce society’s tolerance of it, without increasing stigmatisation of and objections to men in general, and to perpetrator men in particular. This article is hosted by our co-publisher Taylor & Francis. For the full table of contents for this and previous issues of this journal, please visit the Gender and Development website.