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Zero Tolerance Men

Why should men get involved in challenging violence against women?

Violence against women is caused by gender inequality.

• In the UK men earn on average 16.4% more than women for full-time work1
• Retired men on average have between £50 to £100 per week more private pension income than women of the same age2
• Men on average do half as much housework as women3
• Globally, 76% of news subjects are male4
• 96% of executive directors of the UK's top 100 companies are men5
• Over 75% of MPs and 65% of MSPs are male, and 8 in 10 councillors in Scotland are male6

This power imbalance makes it possible for some men to abuse their privileged status by inflicting violence and abuse on women.

Social expectations of men and women encourage this. Men are pressured to be strong, active, unemotional, and sexually aggressive. Women are socialised to be more passive and caring, and to focus on how to be attractive to men. Women in this culture are seen as objects for men’s sexual use, and are made vulnerable to violence from them.

Despite this, most men want their wives, girlfriends, mothers, sisters, daughters and female friends and colleagues to be free to fulfil their potential, without violence and the fear of violence. If violence against women is to end, both women and men need to work to break down stereotypes and inequalities. Currently, most work done to end violence against women, and most individual financial support for this work, comes from women. We want to see this change. With a movement supported by men as well as women, we have a much stronger chance of ending the violence.


On our Support Us pages you can join Zero Tolerance, donate to our work, and find out what else you can do to create a world in which relations between women and men are just, equal and free of violence.

Your support is essential.

Find out more about men’s work to end violence against women from White Ribbon Scotland.

What about violence against men?

Violence against anyone is wrong. Most violence against men is inflicted by other men7 and, like violence against women, is connected to cultural stereotypes. Because of gender inequality, violence against men happens in different ways to violence against women, and is experienced differently. Men, for example, are much less likely to experience, and to fear, sexual assault than women8. On the other hand, they may be less likely to seek support when experiencing violence because of pressure to appear strong and self-sufficient.

Work to end men’s violence against men requires different resources and methods than work to end men’s violence against women, but it is important that all of this work makes the links to gender inequality and cultural expectations of male and female behaviour.




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