It is 25 years since the Fourth World Conference on Women and its adoption of the landmark Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. For all of those who are committed to the visions of gender equality, human rights and social justice expressed in the Beijing Platform for Action and subsequent international declarations and agreements, 2020 was to have been a year of taking stock of progress made and debating priorities and strategies to advance towards these visions.
It doesn’t happen all at once.
There may be a time or two when you have some trouble getting an erection. After a while you notice that it isn’t as hard as it once was. Then you actually lose your erection while having sex.
The more bad experiences you have, the more you worry. And the more you worry, the worse the problems get. Before you know it, erectile dysfunction has become a part of your life.
I have been working on issues of men, masculinities, and gender for 32 years, and it looks to me like men’s roles in building gender equality are now part of the public agenda to an unprecedented extent. Almost every day, there are new stories and initiatives on how men can support women’s participation in medicine and science, end domestic and sexual violence, share the load of fathering and housework, and more. This focus has a compelling rationale.
Any assessment of the evidence for gender transformative work with men and boys should consider the conditions that have shaped the emergence of this work. Male-focused gender transformative work has a history, or rather histories. Reviewing its evidence base in light of the forces and factors which have informed its emergence over time enriches our understanding of both the findings from, and the silences within, this body of work.
Achieving gender equality must, and has, involved efforts to understand the vulnerabilities and risks that adolescent girls and young women face every day – but how much do we know about the realities of adolescent boys and young men? This report takes a deeper look at the daily lives of adolescent boys and young men around the world and at how they can join the movement towards improved health and gender equality.
Patterns and inequalities of gender make a difference to pandemics. Gender relations and gender inequalities can shape the progression of pandemics, patterns of men’s and women’s responses to them, and pandemics’ impact. In the following, we have collected commentaries on the COVID-19 pandemic and gender. Additions are welcome.
Men are taught from an early age to be tough. It’s time we let men feel. It's time we change the culture. It's time we redefine what it means to "be a man". @artwithimpact is accepting proposals for Voices With Impact short film grants to support the creation of films on the topic of mental health issues related to the culture of masculinity. YOU have an important story to tell. Share it and change the world! Deadline is October 15: http://bit.ly/VWI-2020
The notion of the ‘Man Box’ names influential and restrictive norms of manhood. The ‘Act Like a Man’ box or ‘Man Box’ has been a common teaching tool in efforts over the past three decades to engage men and boys in critical reflections on men and gender (Kivel, 2007). The ‘box’ names the qualities men are expected to show, the rewards they earn for doing so, and the punishments they are dealt if they step ‘outside’ the box. It emphasises that these dominant standards are restrictive and limiting for men, as well as harmful for women. Individual qualities in the Man Box are not necessarily bad, and indeed some may be useful or desirable in some contexts. On the other hand, some of the qualities are negative in themselves, the range of qualities available to men is narrow, and men are expected not to deviate from them. The Man Box norms also sustain forms of privilege or unfair advantage for men, and men’s attitudes and behaviours that underpin inequality between men and women. The reference to ‘acting like a man’ makes the point that masculinity is a ‘performance’, a set of qualities and behaviours practised in particular contexts.
In 2013, with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH) at Georgetown University conducted an initial review of recent literature and programs on male engagement in sexual and reproductive health. The review showed that the practice of engaging men in sexual and reproductive health programs is not yet clearly defined, and evidence of its effectiveness is still accumulating.
Unmet sexual and reproductive health (SRH) needs are a critical threat to the health of individuals worldwide, and gender inequalities remain a significant barrier to addressing such health issues. Harmful gender norms and attitudes influence men’s and women’s health and well-being, shaping men’s behaviors in ways that have a direct impact on the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of their partners, their families, and themselves. At the same time, SRH and family planning issues are often treated as women’s responsibility.