The unique potential of adolescent girls to contribute to reducing and ending poverty both for themselves and their communities, often referred to as the “Girl Effect,” has been increasingly recognized over the last decade. There is a broad consensus on the desirability of involving boys and men in efforts to change harmful gender norms and create more equitable environments for girls, there is less agreement as to how this is best achieved.
In October 2010, ICRW, with support from the Nike Foundation and in collaboration with Plan International and Save the Children, convened a meeting of researchers, program implementers and donors to explore the question of how to best involve boys in efforts to achieve gender equality. This paper summarizes the meeting, which highlighted progress in conceptualizing programs that involve boys and men in efforts to bring about fundamental changes in the gendered nature of relationships. It also pointed to the significant amount of work that is still to be done before these goals are achieved.