• Phone
  • +91-9870 3077 48
  • Email
  • mavamumbai@gmail.com
  • Location
  • Dadar (West), Mumbai

About Us

About MAVA India

Men, often become violent, aggressive, and uncaring due to patriarchal modes of socialization that moulds their psyche. Images of masculinity in society are linked to being strong and violent, and to notions that men with ‘power’ are ‘real men’. The situation necessitates efforts that address how men can analyse perceptions of masculinity and create appropriate alternatives.

There is a woeful dearth of safe platforms to talk about problems that give rise to violent behaviour, including those relating to issues of gender and sexuality. There is also an equal need for positive role models among men, who assert a gender-sensitive society and can engage more young men and boys in the discourse. Thus, to address the root cause of the problem, focused efforts promoting men’s involvement (simultaneously with women’s empowerment) are required at various levels. Men have to be involved not as supporters (or do-gooders) but as ‘partners’ and ‘stakeholders.’ And they would be seriously involved only if they are convinced that the problem affects them equally, that it is a problem of all the genders.

Men’s domination over women has come at a price, of not having the freedom to laugh and cry, to befriend one’s children and spouse, to be vulnerable, to share rather than sit lonely in one’s thrown. Men need to appreciate that by stopping or preventing any form of gender-based violence against women, apart from enabling empowerment of women and promoting a gender-just society, it’s their lives which will be more humane, their partnership with women will improve their quality of life. When we take this perspective to the issue of violence against women, we have seen real change happen on the ground. All our programs are designed around this philosophy.

Men Against Violence and Abuse - MAVA has pioneered efforts in India to engage Boys and Men to address issues of gender inequality and discrimination by interrogating the existing dominant model of Masculinity, and help stop prevent gender-based violence against women. Established in 1993, MAVA is working towards building a movement that explores the role of men as ‘partners’ and ‘stakeholders’ – addressing gender issues through cultural advocacy, direct intervention and youth education initiatives.

For the past 26 years, MAVA has been engaging and mentoring thousands of young men in schools, colleges and communities in healthy conversations around sexual health and gender-sensitive behavior through leadership–driven training and using out-of-the box methods including interactive workshops, wall-newspapers, story-telling, folk songs, street-theatre, travelling film festivals, youth blogs and other social media.

We believe that men are not genetically wired to be dominating and aggressive, but are socially conditioned to be so. Our work, like that of several emerging men’s groups all over the world, shows that men are capable of becoming sensitive human beings and can help prevent and stop gender-based discrimination and violence against women.

Through strategic collaborations with local colleges, universities, women’s groups, grassroots community-based organizations and individual health activists, our 700 plus youth mentors working in nine districts of Maharashtra have reached out to over 3,00,000 young men and adolescent boys in the last 12 years. These young people are spreading the message of respecting women and treating them with dignity.

Our contribution to the understanding of gender and masculinities in India is acknowledged at national/international conferences and workshops. With the help like-minded groups and individuals, we are in the process of nurturing the nascent movement on men and masculinities taking shape in Maharashtra and several other states of India.

Genesis

The organization came into existence in response to a small appeal by journalist C.Y.Gopinath, in the ‘Indian Express’ daily and its sister publications in September 1991 which called for men “who feel that wives are not for battering and they could do something to stop or prevent it”. It is out of this appeal (to which 205 men from all walks of life had responded) an organization has been born and taken shape in the last 26 years. The organization has women members as well. Men Against Violence and Abuse (MAVA) was formed on March 11, 1993 to deconstruct masculinity, help men break out of their dominant masculine image and help form an equal society that would regard women with respect.

Our Vision and Mission

MAVA’s Vision is to have a gender-just society - where men, women, transgender persons and all others live in harmony and with self-respect, by providing spaces for mutual growth and well-being. MAVA’s Mission is to bring about social change, particularly in traditional, male-dominated attitudes and help stop and prevent violence and abuse of women by working primarily with Men and Boys.

Road Map

To attain the Mission, MAVA will provide, undertake or promote any or all of the following activities.

  • To provide information, counseling, guidance and other services – either face-to-face, from person to person, in groups or on a mass scale -- to needy men and women, on matters of Gender & Sexuality
  • To provide men specific need-based inputs like dealing with dilemmas, emotions like anger and conflict-management
  • To organize seminars, symposia, workshops for schools, colleges, NGOs, corporates, conferences, meets, open forums for men and study circles for creating better awareness and promoting understanding on gender issues
  • To sensitize and mentor adolescent boys and young men and enable them adopt positive models of masculinity
  • To publish magazine, journal, newsletters, pamphlets, books, manuals, other literature and develop resource material on issues of gender, masculinities, sexuality and work done by MAVA
  • To organize street-theatre, other forms of audio-visual mass communication, public service advertising either on TV, Radio, through newspapers or other media on gender matters
  • To provide training and capacity building of men’s groups and other voluntary organizations working on gender and sexuality matters
  • To co-ordinate, network, tie-up with the police and other government, corporate houses, voluntary agencies including men’s and women’s groups
  • To help initiate, develop and collaborate with other groups involved in the same work as MAVA and support them financially or otherwise as found necessary
  • To set up and run telephone helplines for needy men and women in distress facing marital conflict and other gender-related problems
  • To provide legal aid and other assistance for speedy redressal of various problems of abused women and men (including homosexual /gay / bisexual men, transgenders, physically and mentally challenged men)
  • To conduct research and studies on Masculinities, Sexuality and Gender-based Violence including violence against women
  • To arrange temporary shelters for women and men in distress and crisis situations
  • To help in the process of bringing out legislations for the protection of women and stopping / preventing violence against women
  • To organize specific programs for advocating and promoting men’s involvement on gender matters

MAVA has a team of veteran professionals in the field of psychiatry, law, sexology, social work and social media who volunteer their services whenever needed. Registered in March 1993 as a ‘Society’ under the Societies Registration Act, MAVA is run by a Managing Committee of 6 men and 2 women from various professional backgrounds.