Activism & Politics
When Men Change tells the story of four men who changed the way they think about gender equality, sexual and reproductive health, and violence. In recent years, there has been increased interest in exploring how men can contribute to promoting gender equality and preventing violence against women and girls. As the evidence base grows, now is the time to answer the question: “What works to engage men in achieving gender equality?”
Our world is a deeply unequal one. Systemic inequalities which disadvantage women and advantage men are visible around the globe. Whether one looks at political power and authority, economic resources and decision-making, sexual and family relations, or media and culture, one finds gender inequalities. These are sustained in part by constructions of masculinity–by the cultural meanings associated with being a man, the practices which men adopt, and the collective and institutional organisation of men’s lives and relations.
How can we effectively engage men in preventing men’s violence against women? How can we mobilise their commitment and activism? The following guides and manuals provide useful guidance on the practicalities of this work. See below for PDF copies of most of these. Also see further below for other resources.
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.
In this 10-minute speech at the Melbourne Town Hall, Dr Michael Flood had four messages: (1) We know a fair amount about the problem – about men’s violence against women. (2) Men are now part of the solution. (3) We face real challenges. (4) It’s time for a fresh approach.
Violence perpetrated by and against men and boys is a major public health problem. Although individual men’s use of violence differs, engagement of all men and boys in action to prevent violence against women and girls is essential. We discuss why this engagement approach is theoretically important and how prevention interventions have developed from treating men simply as perpetrators of violence against women and girls or as allies of women in its prevention, to approaches that seek to transform the relations, social norms, and systems that sustain gender inequality and violence. We review evidence of intervention effectiveness in the reduction of violence or its risk factors, features commonly seen in more effective interventions, and how strong evidence-based interventions can be developed with more robust use of theory. Future interventions should emphasise work with both men and boys and women and girls to change social norms on gender relations, and need to appropriately accommodate the differences between men and women in the design of programmes.
White Ribbon conducted a review of research and evaluation approaches for gender-based violence programming for men and boys. The concept of “engagement” is defined and deconstructed and includes a call to broaden the definition of engagement to include male responsibility and commitment when measuring program effectiveness. Additionally, with the increasing utilization of social media in prevention programming, it is important to consider physical and virtual spaces when evaluating engagement.
Feminism has changed the world; it is radically reshaping women's lives. But what about men? They still hold most of the power in the economy, in government, in religions, in the media and often in the family too. At the same time, many men are questioning traditional views about what it means to be a man. Others resent the gains women have made and want to turn back the clock.
Feminism and Men asks: how might feminism improve the lives of men as well as women? And is there a place for men in the feminist story?