Skip to main content

SAMYAK resources and communication materials are developed with participation of community groups using principles of development communication and are widely disseminated for awareness and mobilisation of people.


I. Poster set on men, masculinity and violence

Poster 1: A well-liked Marathi film actor, Makarand Anaspur posed for two posters and other visual materials like stickers and handbills. The theme of this poster is 'Masculinity and Violence'. Poster 1 appeals men to understand the link between hegemonic masculinity and its inter-linkage with general violence in the community.
Poster 2: Another poster with Makarand Anaspure that appeals men to take the position against violence against women in private and public spheres.

We have pre-tested these materials (visuals and text) with wide range of rural audience from western Maharashtra, Marathwada and Vidarbha region. We could observe remarkable influence of these messages on rural men in Maharashtra. Makarand Anaspure has agreed to be ‘SAMYAK ambassador’ on the issues of masculinities and VAW.

II. Poster on men, masculinity and risk taking

This poster is developed in partnership with the college youth in Pune city under a project titled ‘Young Men, Masculinities and HIV/AIDS: Working with young men in the colleges of Pune City’ in 2008. Key words for the poster were listed in a collective group work with college youth during one of the workshops. Young men listed various risks that they take. Speeding the bike, teasing/proposing girls and making a bet for that, spending money for friends, do or die for your love, drinking beer at one run, bullying college professors are some of the risks that young men listed in this workshop. The most common risks were ranked and decided to be included in poster in the form of messages. Text and visual messages were planned during a group work session with the young men and a rough draft sketch of poster was prepared. Two of the young men volunteers worked on this rough draft in Corel Draw and designed it. Poster was pretested randomly with young men in 4 colleges. Poster design was finalised by a professional designer and changes were made on the basis of results of pretesting.
Poster is widely disseminated in city colleges. Places for dissemination were plotted with the youth. Youth gathering and hangout places were identified along with the formal spaces like notice boards and student’s boards and boy’s common rooms. It is also used in group settings to generate discussion on issues of men, masculinities and risk taking.

III. Booklet: Redefining Positive Living with HIV/AIDS: Life Free of Violence is Women’s Right

Evidences across the world shows that HIV infected women report physical harm since being diagnosed HIV positive. Indian studies also shows increased vulnerability of women to infection of HIV if they are living in abusive relations. The risk for HIV infection among married women who experienced both physical and sexual violence from their husbands was increased by a magnitude of 3.9 over the infection risk for women who were not abused. In this scenario SAMYAK initiated a workshop series with couples living with HIV/AIDS to address issues of gender-based violence faced by women and its impact on both men and women.
These workshops explored understanding of PLWHA about the concept of positive living and how do they see issues of gender-based discrimination and violence against women living with HIV/AIDS
This booklet in Marathi narrates experiences and inferences drawn from these workshops and emphasises need for paradigm expansion of the concept of positive living with HIV/AIDS to include life free of violence as a right of women living with HIV/AIDS. Booklet also narrates experiences of women survivors of violence after detection of the infection.
Dunkle, et. al. 2004; Mamman, et. al 2000 and 2001 UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNIFEM, Women and HIV/AIDS: Confronting the Crisis. Geneva, New York. 2004. 47-48 WHO, violence against women and HIV/AIDS: setting the research agenda, meeting report; 2001 "Intimate Partner Violence and HIV Infection Among Married Indian Women," Jay G. Silverman, Michele R. Decker, Niranjan Saggurti, Donta Balaiah, Anita Raj, JAMA, August 13, 2008, Vol. 300, No. 6

IV. Newsletters: 'U-We – Our dialogue' (Marathi)

Three newsletters "U-We" were developed in partnership with the college youth in Pune city under a project titled 'Young Men, Masculinities and HIV/AIDS: Working with young men in the colleges of Pune City' in 2008. Newsletters were used as a medium to reinforce some of the key messages of the workshops on men, masculinities and risk taking in the context of HIV /AIDS. It also provided space for young men to write about their experiences of workshops and learning. We could reach out to wider youth audiences across the colleges in Pune city through these newsletters. It was disseminated (500 copies of each newsletter) by circulation of copies through peer groups and libraries. Youth volunteers also distributed copies in college campuses.
  • Risk perception of young men and its linkage with risk of HIV infection
  • What is gender? What is masculinity?
  • Why work with young boys on issues of masculinities and HIV/AIDS, and gender-based violence?
  • Why men should join processes for gender equality, what we can do?
  • Issues of sexual health: questions and answers.
  • Poster addressing notion of masculinities and risk taking.
  • Pictures of film festival and other events.
  • Experiences of workshops.
Involvement of youth at all stages of development of newsletters helped increase the effectiveness of materials and acceptance of messages by youth.

V. Posters for workshops and film screenings

SAMYAK has been involved conducting wokshops on gender, masculinities, sexuality and HIV/AIDS with different youth audiences in college as well as community settings. We invest in generating demand for these workshops through making announcements and disseminating posters. These posters are disseminated widely on college notice boards, public places, canteens and hangout places of youth in colleges, community boards etc.
This strategy has been very effective in reaching out to young audiences, as it invites informed participation of youth for the workshops, film screenings and discussions. Colourful, youthfriendly poster designs of these posters helped attract the audiences for film festivals.


VI. Year Planners

SAMYAK published year planners with dual purpose of advocating issues of men and masculinities and to inform larger audiences about SAMYAK’s initiatives on engaging with boys and men for gender equality. Year planners have been primarily sent to NGOs, INGOs, and government functionaries in India. Copies of planner have been disseminated internationally. Many groups in Maharashtra have shown their interests to us to initiate work with men and boys after receiving these planners.
A. Year Planner 2008: Year planner 2008 carried feminist quotes on men and masculinities. All the quotes have been drawn from Estelle B. Freedman (ed.) The Essential Feminist Reader (The Modern Library, New York, 2007). These quotes show that the need to work with men had been widely expressed by various feminist scholars at different points of time in the movement. One of the quote used in the planners says – "Men have become enslaved by their dependency as well as their dominance. They pay a heavy price in shortened lives, military casualties, broken homes and the heartbreak of parents whose children are alienated from them. Many men find themselves unable to live up to the expectations of masculinity which men have defined for themselves, and many are now chagrined to find that women are no longer willing to accept the role of femininity which men have defined for women."
Planner 2008 also carries information about Forum to Engage Men (FEM), India, a process initiated in India to bring together individuals, organisations and all those engaging men and boys for gender equality.
B. Year Planner 2009: Year planner 2009 advocates need to redefine positive living with HIV/AIDS and life free of violence as a human right of women. It gives a brief description of SAMYAK workshops with couples living with HIV/AIDS. These workshops addressed issues of violence against women living with HIV/AIDS. Planner also carries pictures of SAMYAK’s initiatives with men and boys. Following is the key quote used for the planner 2009 – The planner was widely disseminated to local, national and international groups. It also was displayed in ‘The Global Symposium on Engaging Men and Boys in Gender Equality’ held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in April 2009.

VII. FEM (Forum to Engage Men), India banner

SAMYAK deigned a banner of FEM to disseminate in the global symposium held in Brazil. The banner is also disseminated in various FEM meetings and public functions to advocate issues of engaging with men and boys for gender equality.

VIII. Poster against ‘Moral Policing: Fascist Tendencies’

The banner gives description of FEM coverage in India and names of organisations involved in FEM process across different provincial states in the country. A right wing religious political group in the state of Karnataka attacked women folks in the city of Mangalore because they were partying in a city pub. These girls were held ‘guilty’, as the act, according to this right wing religious activist, was against the Indian culture. Women were ill-treated and beaten up
physically by these goons and they were threatened to life. The state response to the incidence was almost nil and it generated lots of heat around issues of ‘Indian Culture’, women’s responsibility and behaviours in personal and public spheres, control over women under the name of ‘protection’ of cultural values etc. Similar incidences keep happening in different corners of the country and media report these cases without taking stand against patriarchal control over women and other systemic issues linked with it. SAMYAK tried generating discussions on these issues with college youth using this poster. The picture titled ‘Faith’ by Chandrashekhar Purandare is used for this poster.

IX. Poster on 'Peace' after 26/11 attacks on Mumbai

The terrorist attack on Mumbai on 26/11/2008 created many reactionary responses of anger and hatred towards Pakistan, specifically against Muslims as community, amongst many sections of society in India. It created a sense of hopelessness amongst even the volunteers involved in peace-building processes with SAMYAK. After the first emotional trauma and responses to the incidence SAMYAK decided to discuss with the college youths about the whole issue of terrorism and violence linked to it. We also tried to explore how notions of nationalism are reconstructed and reinforced by certain sections of political parties and media in response to these kinds of incidences creating a culture of hatred amongst the masses in the name of national pride and security. Analysing the reasons and impact of the incidence, SAMYAK with youth volunteers designed a poster using Chandrashekhar Purandare’s picture ‘A Moon in the Gutter’.

The picture shows that the attacks were not made against a particular religion and victims include people from all religions. This was an effort to condemn violence by terrorist groups and at the same time creating discussion towards peace-building and saying ‘No’ to culture of hatred against a particular religion or a country in the name of terrorism.

X. Campaign materials on Violence against Women - 16-Days activism in Maharashtra in 2008

A campaign to reach out to men against VAW was carried in 11 districts of Maharashtra during 16- days global activism against violence against women (November 25 to December 10, 2008). Swissaid India supported campaign activities and FEM (Forum to Engage Men), India was instrumental in initiating this campaign in Maharashtra.
Campaign materials developed by SAMYAK were used to reach out to men to address issues linked with PWDVA (Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act – 2005, India) in more than 500 villages and towns of Maharashtra by over 20 participating organisations. Campaign materials included posters, stickers and handbills. Milind Chavan of MASUM and Sadahana Dadhich and Kranti Agnihotri of NSM, Pune contributed in reviewing the content of the communication materials.
A. Posters: Poster 1 addresses issue of VAW through a message that says ‘Life free of violence is women’s human right’ and Poster 2 describes PWDVA (Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act – 2005, India) silent features in brief. Poster 2 design was inspired by the one developed by MASVAW (Men’s Action to Stop Violence Against Women), Uttar Pradesh.
B. Stickers: Two stickers emphasised on positive aspects of PWDVA addressing men that this act is not against 'men' as a group but it is against 'domestic violence'. It is used by organisations participated in the campaign. SAMYAK used these stickers in auto rickshaws and public transport buses. Sticker design was inspired by those developed by MASVAW (Men’s Action to Stop Violence Against Women), Uttar Pradesh.


C. Handbills: Handbill content was developed by Milind Chavan of MASUM, Pune. It gives background of 16-days activism and appeals men to join women’s struggle for gender justice and rights. Handbills were widely distributed in Maharashtra through public meetings and rallies.

XI. Video clippings from popular Bollywood film 'Astitva'- A training tool on gender and gender-based violence

A trainer manual 'Working with Men on Gender, Sexuality, Violence and Health' published by SAHAYOG, SAHAJ and Tathapi (2005) suggests use of video clippings from a Hindi film 'Astitva' to discuss issues related to violence against women. SAMYAK has freshly edited the clippings from this film to compile a new training tool with a guideline for discussion in workshop settings to generate discussion on various issues related to gender and gender-based violence with groups of men, women and youth.
This discussion tool with film clippings helps raise discussions on issues related to gender and gender-based violence focussing on women’s right to work and recreation, control over women’s work and mobility, attitude towards career women, patriarchal control over women’s sexuality through reinforcing concepts of vaginal purity and pollution, hypocrisy and double standards in gender norms controlling lives of men and women, and principle of gender justice and rights. The tool is also available in regional language Marathi.

XII. Video clippings on friendship

SAMYAK has designed a tool of video clippings to generate discussion about various aspects of friendship including relationship of men with each other and men’s friendship with other men and women. These 10 clippings are edited from the work of renowned film directors Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukhtankar. A discussion guideline developed in collaboration with Milind Chavan helps to generate discussion on friendship and relationships from perspectives of men, masculinities and gender equality. It is ideal to use this tool with the group of young men and women together and separately in different settings like schools and colleges, community and work places.

XIII. Redefining Pictures : A Photo album series for gender training. (soft copy)

'Reading Pictures' is a series of photo albums, a unique communication tools, conceptualised and designed by SAMYAK to generate discussion on issues of gender, masculinities, violence against women, women and work etc. These different photo albums are designed by using visual images primarily from SAMYAK’s photo documentation. It also includes pictures downloaded from the Internet and photographs published in different popular print magazines and bulletins. Easy to operate using a laptop computer with or without a LCD projector, our experiences show that these albums of real life pictures and photographs are very effective tools to engage in dialogue with group of women, men and youth.