Based in New Delhi and working throughout and beyond India, the Asia Regional Office (ARO) of the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) works to reduce the HIV vulnerabilities of women through research, capacity building and evidence-based advocacy. The ARO implements and studies interventions that address:
- masculinities and gender-based violence,
- women’s economic empowerment, and
- women’s property rights.
ICRW-ARO works with governments across Asia to implement structural interventions to change gender norms and constructions.
Parivartan programme uses sport as a forum for male coaches and adolescent players to discuss masculinity and respect for women and girls.
Gender Equity Movement in Schools (GEMS), a school-based program, introduces boys and girls to gender and encourages equality.
RISHTA – Research and Intervention into Sexual Health: Theory to Action – strengthens communities and health systems to prevent HIV transmission among married men and women in slum settlements in Mumbai.
Impact on policy, programmes and research
ICRW’s Asia Regional Office was established in 1998 to monitor and support a five-year research and advocacy initiative on domestic violence (Promoting Women in Development or PROWID). Study data have been used extensively throughout South Asia to demonstrate the extent of partner violence to the government, police, medical professionals and NGOs, and to lobby for legislation to prevent domestic violence.
Among many initiatives related to STRIVE, ICRW has:
- evaluated the results of livelihoods training for adolescent girls, demonstrating improved education, economic empowerment and sexual/reproductive health
- developed a manual for evaluating empowerment through women’s self-help groups;
- implemented projects on the costs of violence and the links between gender-based violence and HIV infection;
- investigated the connections between women’s property rights and their experience of violence;
- studied gender in conflict and post-conflict settings;
- worked with UN agencies on a Partners for Prevention initiative to engage men in preventing violence against women;
- published on the likely links between alcohol use and HIV risk among migrant men;
- collected evidence on masculinity, gender, and alcohol use; and
- held an international conference on alcohol, HIV and gender (September 2010 in New Delhi).
Established to empower women, advance gender equality and fight poverty, ICRW works with partner organisations worldwide. The Asia Regional Office has gained regional and international recognition for work on the structural determinants of HIV. ICRW staff members implement projects in 11 states of India and in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Nepal and Thailand. Beginning with two people, the staff now numbers thirty-three.
ICRW–ARO is known particularly for work on masculinities. ICRW-related interventions demonstrate that incorporating men and boys – in education, service delivery, communication campaigns and social mobilization – can change inequitable gender-related attitudes and behaviours.
Ravi Verma, Regional Director