Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Forms of accountability 4/5

Barone (2007) distinguishes between three different kinds of accountability: symbolic accountability, practical accountability and structural accountability. Ideally, all three forms of accountability should be developed.
Symbolic accountability is where men let women know what they are doing and seek women’s feedback. Margaret (2010) talks about the importance of allies making their work transparent to those they are in alliance with.
Practical accountability is where men develop relationships with individual feminist women in their lives through ongoing conversations and alliances around particular projects. This involves making agreements with particular women about their aims and intentions and making a commitment to follow through on specific undertakings (Stoltenberg 2013).
At the international level, MenEngage (2014) have developed standards and guidelines on this practical level of accountability. For them, being accountable means:
• Being critically aware of one’s own power and privilege. 
• Being open to constructive criticism. 
• Being responsible for one’s actions. 
• Following through on what is said and done
•  Taking action to address behaviour or beliefs that go against MenEngage Principles, by individuals and groups both inside and outside the workplace. •  Openly acknowledging any harm caused, and developing and implementing solutions to make amends (page 4).
Structural accountability entails organisational relationships between the men’s programs and women’s services. One form of structural accountability would be for men‘s organisations to incorporate a women’s advisory group or a women’s caucus into the structure of their organisation. This would ensure that they are connected to the intended beneficiaries of their work (Macomber 2014).
MenEngage (2014) stress the importance of accountability as being proactive, whereby men take individual responsibility to behave in ways that are consistent with MenEngage Principles and Code of Conduct. Standards of accountability that relate specifically to relationships with women’s services require that MenEngage members:
•  Shall seek collaboration, open dialogue and constructive criticism from women’s rights organisations and other key stakeholders.
 •  Shall engage women’s rights groups and other key stakeholders to improve programs and initiatives on gender equality. 
•  Shall promote women’s leadership within the organisation, and/or include representatives from women’s rights organistaions on their boards or directors or similar governing bodies. (page 9).
When Men Against Sexual Assault (MASA) was formed in the 1990s, we developed formal accountability structures with Centres Against Sexual Assault in Melbourne. Before we organised a campaign against men’s violence, we consulted with CASAs about their views about such a campaign. When we ran workshops with men about men’s violence against women, we invited feminist women to observe our engagement with the men and give feedback and comments at the end of the workshop (Pease 1995).
It is important that profeminist organisations make their commitment to accountability to women’s services explicit on their external websites and materials. They should acknowledge the contribution and leadership of women in challenging men’s violence. They should also encourage local groups who are developing anti-violence projects to develop dialogue with women’s groups in their communities (Bojin 2012).
It is also important for organisations engaging men to develop processes within their workplaces to address male privilege and power (Macomber 2014). Work undertaken elsewhere on undoing privilege and advancing gender equality in public sector organisations (Flood and Pease 2005) is relevant here. Naming and critically interrogating men’s privilege in the context of an intersectional analysis provides a valuable framework for work towards gender equality within anti-violence organisations. Such an analysis provides a basis for designing training programs for men. These programs should include content that examines how men’s gender interests are socially constructed and psychically embedded, critique the routine accomplishment and reproduction of privilege and identify and encourage gender egalitarian orientations, identities and relations (Flood and Pease 2005: 134-135).

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