Attitudes and perceptions of young men towards gender equality and violence in Timor-Leste

Ann Wigglesworth, Sara Louise Niner, Dharmalingam Arunachalam, Abel Boavida dos Santos, Mateus Tilman

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This article examines attitudes and perceptions of young men toward gender relations and gender-based violence in post-conflict Timor-Leste. A high level of domestic violence is reported and a law against domestic violence has been passed in recent years. In 2013, a research team surveyed almost 500 young men using the Gender-Equitable Men (GEM) Scale in both rural and urban contexts. It was found that young men become less gender equitable as they get older, and the environment they grow up in influences their gender attitudes. Existing contradictions and tensions between national government policy and local customary practices are well-known, and these are reflected in young men s acceptance of general principles of gender equality, which is unmatched by their willingness to accept more equitable gender relations in their own lives. Of concern was the level of young men s acceptance of sexual harassment and forced sex. Mechanisms are required to influence young men s attitudes to gender equality and intimate partner relations in school programs and other arenas as a priority.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)312 - 329
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of International Women's Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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