Power is the ability to influence your own or others’ experiences. It is important for us to be aware of how we use the power we possess. The power we exert over others is a negative use of power. When men use power to control women it is a negative use of power, and the driving force behind violence against women. Our Network seeks to transform negative uses of power into positive uses of power, which promote equality and solidarity.
There are many varieties of positive power such as: the fundamental power we discover within when we learn to accept and love ourselves, the power we share with others when we support and respect each other, and the power we use to take action and positively influence our lives and the lives of others. While negative power is at the root of VAW, positive power holds the solution.
In the GBV Prevention Network, we believe the clearest path to VAW prevention is built upon balancing the power between women and men. Some people are afraid that balancing power means men will lose power and women gain power. Power is not in limited quantity; if one person gains power, it doesn’t have to be at another person’s loss. We all have power within ourselves, we can join our power with others and we have power to create positive change. Positive use of power—by women and men—means we all become stronger, safer, and more respected within our relationships.