Meaningful engagement with men and boys is increasingly recognized as critical to gender equality and equity, necessary not only for women’s empowerment, but also for transforming the social and gender norms that reinforce patriarchy and inequality and harm both women and men. The primary challenge embedded in this work is how to engage men and boys effectively without instrumentalizing them as a pathway to women’s empowerment on the one hand, or marginalizing women and girls in gender equity work on the other. Doing so requires a solid understanding of the conceptual underpinning of male engagement work, how that has been brought to bear in practice, and to what effect.
In this brief, ICRW provides an overview of the field and guidance for stakeholders to support the funding, design, and implementation of programming that effectively engages men and boys in creating sustainable gender norm transformation.
With thanks to Cartier Philanthropy for supporting these efforts and spurring dialogue.