Engaging Men & Boys

Engaging Men and Boys

The Issue: Engaging Men and Boys

Men and boys worldwide continue to hold more power than women – in parliaments and on playgrounds; in the household, the classroom and the workplace. Men in many countries also often decide whether women can take steps to improve their own well-being and that of their families.

Such unequal power dynamics in relationships, coupled with cultural expectations that reinforce gender inequity, make men and boys more vulnerable to harm. For instance, societal messages that encourage men to have multiple sexual partners increase their risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections, such as HIV. But like women, men have the ability to be agents of change in their own lives – as well as in those of their wives, sisters, girlfriends and daughters.

It is imperative to involve men in efforts to better women’s health, economic and social status. Society must acknowledge how some men’s behavior and attitudes limit women’s lives. But it’s also critical to address underlying traditional expectations and structures that lead to their actions – as well as help men understand how they can benefit from changing their behavior. Ultimately, to achieve more equitable relationships, we have to question men’s and women’s beliefs about their roles in society.

Our Role

ICRW is at the forefront of efforts to transform unequal and harmful social norms that undermine the well-being of women and girls, as well as men and boys. We collaborate with partners to conduct research and policy analysis on the role men and boys play in empowering women and achieving gender equality. Through our findings, we identify opportunities for redefining certain notions about what it means to be a man, and changing men's behaviors related to violence, sexual and reproductive health and maternal and child health. We also are building evidence on how to expand effective programs that engage men and boys so they may have a greater impact on more people.

Related News

Madhumita Das, Senior Technical Specialist, Men and Masculinity at ICRW’s Asia Regional Office spoke to the Thomson Reuters Foundation about ICRW’s work engaging men and boys in efforts to end gender...
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Experiencing, witnessing and perpetrating violence is an all too common reality for boys growing up in   the post-conflict environment of Western Balkans. It’s against this challenging backdrop that ICRW and partners are trying to make a difference by engaging youth in an innovative program to reshape harmful gender norms and essentially change the rules about what it means to be a man.

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In this final segment of his interview with Good Morning Delhi, ICRW's Ravi Verma talks to a caller about her recent encounter with verbal abuse in Delhi. Verma touches on the problem of men viewing...
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ICRW's Ravi Verma joins Good Morning Delhi to talk about why and how masculinity needs to be redefined.  To listen to the final interview segment, click here. 
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