Adao Joao, part of the HOPEM Men for Change Network – Men in the Kitchen program in Mozambique. The program addresses violence against women and girls and promotes gender equality by letting men participate in household activities.

Photo: Kate Thomas

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Development Trend – Increasing engagement of men and boys for gender equality

Published: 20 October 2014 Updated: 20 October 2014

Development cooperation has an increasing focus on gender equality with the aim to improve women and girl’s disadvantaged position and status.

The focus is mostly on women and girls as target groups, while gender mainstreaming is the commonly used strategy. What is often missing is the inter-relational lens of gender analysis; attention is confined to one sex. It ignores men and boys’ situation and their influence on and relations with women and girls.

There is a clear trend for greater integration of men and boys in gender equality efforts in the development cooperation. Evidence shows that the involvement of supportive men and boys contributes to lasting socio-cultural changes in favour of gender equality. Supporting this trend is an accumulation of research and evidence-based interventions, as well as the growth of gender justice organisations that focus on men and boys.

This Development Trend gives a background to Sida supported work with men and boys and examples of interventions in strategic areas. It discusses the need for targeted interventions with men and boys and presents an overview on current research and the international agendas. In conclusion, the trend is discussed in relation to future scenarios and its strengths and weaknesses in present approaches to gender equality with men and boys.


Page owner: The Communication Department

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