Home > Engaging Men and Boys to End Violence in the Family

Engaging Men and Boys to End Violence in the Family

Project Background

This is a 3-year project, funded by Status of Women Canada, with the goal to engage men and boys from Muslim communities to end violence in the family.

The objectives of this project are to:

  • Develop and strengthen the skills of men and boys, working in partnership with women and girls, to identify and respond to issues and gender-based violence in their communities.
  • Engage key decision makers in the communities so as to transform the environment and create a cultural shift.

CCMW has partnered with White Ribbon for the first year of the project to carry out a needs assessment on how to engage Muslim men and boys. White Ribbon is the world’s largest movement of men and boys working to end violence against women and girls, promote gender equity, healthy relationships and a new vision of masculinity. White Ribbon’s vision is of a masculinity that embodies the best qualities of being human, with men and boys an important part of ending violence against women and girls.

Together, CCMW and White Ribbon carried out 7 focus groups in January and February of 2016. Interviews were carried out with key individuals, an online survey was distributed, and desktop research was conducted as additional research for the needs assessment. Based on the data gathered, White Ribbon has been developing a toolkit that will be used to conduct local workshops in partnership with CCMW’s chapters and volunteers.

The hashtag for this project is #muslimmensayno2vaw

Stakeholder Group

We are also very pleased that so many imams, other religious and community leaders have joined our Stakeholder Group and have provided their expertise for this project. The project is strengthened by their input and we are most appreciative to be working with our men on the issue of violence in the home.

Members of our Stakeholder Group are:


white-ribbon-toolkitWhite Ribbon and CCMW conducted extensive desktop research as part of this project. The research looked at promising practices in engaging men and boys to prevent family violence in Canadian Muslim families. It examined such issues as female genital cutting/mutilation, forced marriage, physical intimate partner violence, physical parent child violence, sexual violence, emotional abuse and elder abuse.

The desktop research and needs assessment can be found here. Key findings from the literature informed core topics and content of the toolkit, by detailing the reality of violence for Muslim women and girls. Of particular note is the finding that one-third of Muslim women in North America interviewed in a study about partner violence had experienced physical abuse in their marriages, which is consistent with the rate of violence in non-Muslim families. Additional statistics about violence against women and girls in Muslim and non-Muslim families can be found in the toolkit.

This toolkit provides resources to support communities to inspire, encourage, and engage men and boys to end violence against women and girls. These activities have been organized into four modules:

  • Unlearning patriarchy and exploring links to violence against women and girls
  • Questioning gender norms and stereotypes
  • Fostering healthy relationships, and
  • Effective intervention strategies

There are three different learning methodologies used in the toolkit: experiential, discussion-based and informational activities. The toolkit is intended to be used as a “menu” where facilitators pick and choose different activities for community workshops depending on your target participants, time allocations and space requirements. White Ribbon and CCMW encourage you to be flexible and to adapt these materials to meet the needs of participants and your communities as well as the logistical realities of each workshop setting. The toolkit can be downloaded in English and in French.

To learn how to use the toolkit, please scroll down to access the online webinar.

Islamic Perspective on Engaging Men and Boys to End Violence in the Family

islamic-research-paperWe are very pleased that Islamic scholars, Dr. Ayesha Chaudhry and Dr. Rumee Ahmad, have written the paper on a Islamic perspective on gender equality and violence against women and girls. The goal of this paper is to examine the textual sources that form the foundation of Islam’s egalitarian spirit, consider the challenges posed by historical interpretations of these sources, and think about ways to move forward in promoting gender equity, especially with respect to condemning domestic violence in all its forms. This publication can be downloaded in both English and French.

Dr. Ayesha S. Chaudhry is Associate Professor of Islamic Studies and Gender Studies at the University of British Columbia. She is a 2016-17 Wall Scholar at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Study at the UBC and she was the 2015-2016 Rita E. Hauser fellow at Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. She is the author of Domestic Violence and the Islamic Tradition: Ethics, Law and the Muslim Discourse on Gender (Oxford University Press, 2014). Dr. Chaudhry’s research focuses on Islamic legal and theological reform, with eye towards promoting human rights by focusing on women’s rights. She has consulted on high-level national and international cases concerning human rights and religious pluralism and freedom. She is working on two major projects right now, one entitled “Feminist Shari’a” and the other “The Colour of God”.

Dr. Rumee Ahmed is Associate Professor of Islamic Studies and Associate Dean in the Faculty of Arts at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of Narratives of Islamic Legal Theory (Oxford University Press, 2012) and the co-editor of the Oxford Handbook on Islamic Law. Dr. Ahmed’s research focuses on Islamic Law and legal reforms in the medieval and contemporary periods, and he is widely published on a range of issues including scriptural exegesis, human rights, interfaith relations, law, pluralism, public policy, and theology.

“You Can Make a Difference” video

Under the direction of Shazia Javed, the media consultant on this project a video titled “You Can Make a Difference” was developed that shows how Muslim men can serve as positive role models for their children. This video has been developed to start discussions around healthy relationships.

Some things to think about when watching the video are:

  • What did you notice when you watched the video?
  • Have you seen examples of children mimicking their parents’ behaviour in your own life?
  • Have you ever done something in front of your child and then regretted it?

The video can be found on CCMW’s website here or on CCMW’s YouTube channel.

Shazia Javed is a writer and filmmaker. Her film NAMRATA, produced by the National Film Board of Canada, was a finalist for three AMPIA (Alberta Media Production Industries Association) Awards. Her work has screened at Hot Docs International documentary film festival, Global Visions, Doxa, and Durban international film-festival among many others. Javed’s writings have been published in various newspapers, online magazines and academic journals. In 2010, Edmonton Arts Council hosted an exhibition of her photo-essay on Edmonton’s Muslim Women. Her research interests include Muslim women’s social movements, transnational feminism and documentary films.

Muslim Men Say No 2 VAW

VAW poster (English)We have developed posters in English and French to encourage mosques, Islamic centres, community centres, Muslims schools, and social service agencies to put his up to show support for the cause.

Project Brochure

engaging-men-boys-to-end-violence-in-familyThis brochure was created to provide a snapshot about the project and the stakeholder group who support the project and consist of Imams, mosques, Islamic centres, Muslim schools and community leaders. Project brochures can be downloaded in English and French.


Training Webinars

CCMW has developed two training webinars for facilitators who want to learn how to use the toolkit to engage men and boys from Muslim communities. You can access the webinars here, in both English and French. Should there be any questions that remain answered, please email info@ccmw.com.

Please click to move on to the next slide.

French Webinar

french-webinar-engaging-men-boys-to-end-violence-in-familyTraining webinar in French can be downloaded here.


Immigrants and Newcomers

Rights-Muslim-Women-CanadaPresentation can be downloaded here.

Workshop Presentation

Workshop PresentationPresentation can be downloaded here.