Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant recently made headlines with his statement that proper upbringing of boys can help reduce violence against women. While some may view this statement as controversial, it is, in fact, rooted in research and backed by evidence.

Studies have shown that traditional gender roles and stereotypes play a significant role in the perpetuation of violence against women. Boys are often taught to be aggressive, dominant and in control, while girls are encouraged to be passive and submissive. These messages are reinforced by media, cultural norms, and sometimes even family and friends.

Sawant’s statement suggests a shift in thinking towards breaking down these traditional gender roles and promoting equal treatment of boys and girls. By teaching boys to respect women and encourage them to express their emotions in a healthy way, we can create a culture of zero tolerance towards violence.

The role of parents in this is crucial. Parents should encourage their children to develop healthy relationships, communicate effectively, and demonstrate empathy and respect towards others. They should also teach their children about consent, and the importance of respecting personal boundaries.

Schools also have an essential role to play in this. They can promote healthy relationships through comprehensive sex education, providing students with resources that teach them about respect and what healthy relationships look like. Schools can also incorporate mindfulness training and educational activities that teach children to manage their emotions in a healthy way.

Furthermore, young men need to be taught to advocate for women’s rights and to be allies to women in their communities. They can promote gender equality and take a stand against toxic masculinity, misogyny, and violent behavior. By promoting positive attitudes and behaviors, young men can make a significant impact on reducing violence against women.

Sawant’s statement is particularly important in India, where violence against women is a significant problem. Rape, sexual assault, and domestic violence are major issues, with many women afraid to report these crimes for fear of retaliation, social stigma, or victim-blaming.

In this context, promoting positive gender attitudes and healthy relationships is more critical than ever. Sawant’s statement encourages men to be part of the solution, rather than just emphasizing the role of women in preventing violence against themselves.

There are many organizations and initiatives aimed at preventing violence against women around the world. One project that stands out is the “Men Care” program, a global fatherhood campaign that encourages men to take an active role in promoting gender equality and reducing violence against women.

The fatherhood campaign does this by promoting proactive fatherhood and co-parenting among low-income, marginalised fathers. Men who participate in the program are taught how to develop positive relationships with their children, manage their emotions, communicate effectively, and become greater advocates for women’s rights.

The program has been successful in reducing rates of violence against women, with fathers reporting that they feel more comfortable talking about consent, gender roles, and healthy relationships with their children. It has also helped to improve family relationships and reduce the risk of child abuse.

In conclusion, Pramod Sawant’s statement is timely and has the potential to make a significant impact on reducing violence against women in India. By promoting positive attitudes towards gender equality and healthy relationships, we can create a culture of respect and zero tolerance towards violence. It is up to parents, teachers, and society as a whole to work together to make this a reality. If we want to build a safer world for women, we must start by teaching our sons to respect and value them.