In 10 towns in Serbia, Be a Man Clubs (BMC) organized public actions on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and by doing so they tried to raise public awareness about this serious problem in our society.
So, the public actions were held in the following towns: Vranje, Pancevo, Sombor, Nis, Kragujevac, Pirot, Zrenjanin, Irig, Krusevac and Ivanjica.
Members of Be a man clubs, together with their peers and fellow citizens, left messages and slogans of BMC in colored chalk. In this way messages of fight against violence and particularly gender-based violence, as well as promotion of gender equality, could be found in many squares, busy streets and pedestrian areas, schoolyards and other public places.
In these actions, young men from BMC were joined by female participants of the training on the prevention of gender-based violence “Start from yourself” organized by the Autonomous Women’s Center. In Nis, Be a man club conducted the action jointly with the Center for girls, while in Krusevac young men from BMC joined the action of Alternative Center for Girls and they jointly performed a flash mob action. On the other hand, members of BMC Sombor visited 10 primary and secondary schools in one day, performed a flash mob action and then talked with students about violence and promoted BMC. In Pirot, besides the action with banners, a series of meetings were organized with the representatives of the community where, in addition to becoming familiar with the work of BMC, Mayor of Pirot, Pirot District Mayor, representatives of the Youth Office, Rotary Club, professors, actors of Pirot theater, kickboxing club members, as well as other citizens signed the “Declaration of the Forum of real men for the elimination of violence against women”. In Zrenjanin, action with chalk was conducted in the schoolyard of the elementary school “Petar Petrovic Njegos” where the action was joined by peer teams and members of Students’ Parliament with which the BMC had achieved an excellent cooperation after they had organized workshops and panel discussions in that school.
Activities of Be a man Clubs were supported by CARE International, Austrian Development Agency, UNICEF Office in Serbia as well as the Ministry of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Serbia. The “Be a man” program is implemented by the Centre E8, which is part of the regional network called Young Men Initiative, as well as the global network called MenEngage, which gathers NGOs and UN agencies with the aim of engaging boys and men in the fight against violence and promotion of gender equality.