Purush Uvach is among the men’s groups that have come up in the last decade. They take up various issues including violence against women and gender equality and question traditional attitudes. They do work with women’s groups from time to time.
Nandita Gandhi of the Forum Against Oppression of Women and founder of Akshara, a feminist resource centre, says right from the beginning, the women’s movement has had the support of men. However, the women’s movement is supposed to empower women and its first mandate is to work with women. “I would agree with the need to have the cooperation of men or work with them on a strategic basis but they cannot be part of the internal working of the women’s movement,” she says.
Geeta Seshu, an independent feminist, points out that the book 'Breaking the Moulds' is a valuable effort and though a lot of feminists are critical of it, it was important to read and debate on it. “To look at the issue in terms of men versus women is very narrow but the good thing is that the book goes beyond that. A lot of the essays are personal accounts which is very similar to what the women’s movement did initially. It moved from the personal to the political. After reading the book, I feel there is an intention to go beyond that personal aspect but it’s not clear yet. As far as men go, the political articulation of a movement is still missing and as a movement it is still in its infancy,” she says. Breaking male stereotypes is a key factor in men’s liberation and this book is a step in that direction. How that can be used to build a strong movement is something to look forward to.