Positive masculinity (PM) interventions provide a critical opportunity for challenging gender norms and masculine ideals obstructing sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and perpetuating gender inequality in poor urban sub-Saharan African (SSA) communities. While PM program implementers in Africa claim that their work relies on evidence on what works to promote male engagement for gender equality and improved SRHR, little systematic research exists on whether participation in PM interventions is associated with positive gender and health attitudes and practices. The current study sought to generate evidence regarding the relationship between progressive gender- and health-related attitudes, norms, and practices among men and boys, and participation in PM efforts in poor urban SSA communities.
The findings highlight the importance of strengthening the capacity of PM program implementation organizations. PM-implementing organizations require support to increase their capacity for robust long-term programming engagement, to monitor and evaluate their work and appropriately course-correct when necessary. Work with men and boys in Africa currently takes place within very challenging socio-economic and cultural contexts. In these circumstances, unlearning unfair gender stereotypes would be very difficult unless programs are deeply responsive to the socio-cultural, economic, and contextual realities of men and boys. Engagement and support from other groups, such as governments and schools, in PM work, will be critical in realizing the vision of a continent of opportunities, health, and well-being for all, regardless of gender.
Publication Year: 2023
Publication Author: Chimaraoke Izugbara, Jacques Emina, Chidi Ugwu, Ilaria Busgacalia, Fidèle Rutayisire, Chiemezie Atama, Aloysius Odii, Kelechi Okpara, Christian Ngomenzey, and Ike Onyishi
Chimaraoke Izugbara, Jacques Emina, Chidi Ugwu, Ilaria Busgacalia, Fidèle Rutayisire, Chiemezie Atama, Aloysius Odii, Kelechi Okpara, Christian Ngomenzey, and Ike Onyishi (2022) Positive masculinity programs, gender attitudes and practices, and health behaviors among men and boys in poor urban settlements in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, and Rwanda. International Center for Research on Women, Washington DC, USA; Population and Health Research Institute, Kinshasa, DRC; Gender & Development Studies Research Group, Department of Sociology/ Anthropology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria; and The Rwanda Men’s Resource Centre, Kigali, Rwanda.