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.
The purpose of this paper is to provide practical guidance to policymakers and program managers on how to engage men and address harmful male norms in seven key areas of intervention in relation to HIV/AIDS: 1 Social and Behaviour Change in Men; 2 Violence against women; 3 Men, Sex Work and Transactional Sex; 4 Men, Substance abuse and HIV/AIDS; 5 Male Circumcision; 6 Men, VCT and Treatment; 7 Male Norms and the Caregiving for People Living with and Affected by HIV/AIDS.
This review assesses the effectiveness of programme interventions seeking to engage men and boys in achieving gender equality and equity in health. Research with men and boys has shown how inequitable gender norms - social expectations of what men and boys should and should not do - influence how men interact with their partners, families and children on a wide range of issues. These include preventing the transmission of HIV and sexually transmitted infections, contraceptive use, physical violence, household tasks, parenting and their health-seeking behaviour.
The following provides a handy, one-page introduction to gender. It notes that gender is socially constructed, gender is both personal and collective, gender involves power and inequality, and there is diversity and hierarchy
Work with men has demonstrated significant potential in contributing to building gender equality and improving the health of women and men. However, most work with men has tended to be local in scale and limited in scope. To be more widely effective, that is to transform the pervasive gender inequalities which characterize many societies globally – efforts to transform men’s behaviour require to be significantly scaled up. Policy processes and mechanisms are key elements in any effort to engage men and boys in achieving gender equality.
This Policy Brief:
Boys in the Picture (2000) is an advocacy document that stresses the importance of including boys in programming for adolescent sexual and reproductive health. This 32-page overview is in four languages. As it concludes, "Making a case for increasing attention to the health, development and wellbeing of adolescent boys and young men is necessary and timely. Increasing the attention to boys is a matter of gender equity and benefits accrue not only to adolescent boys and young men, but also to adolescent girls, women, children, men and communities."
ISSUE: Four Latin American NGOs have collaborated with PROMUNDO Institute (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) since 1998 to call greater attention to the needs and realities of young men ages 15-24 in sexual and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS and gender violence prevention, and to engage them in HIV/AIDS prevention.
Emerging programme approaches hold promise in changing gender norms and behaviours among boys and young men, according to this four-page piece from YouthNet, published in 2005.
Assumptions are often made about the health and development of adolescent boys: that they are faring well, and supposedly have fewer health needs and developmental risks compared to adolescent girls; and that adolescent boys are disruptive, aggressive and ìhard to work withi. This last statement focuses on specific aspects of boysí behaviour and development - such as violence and delinquency - criticizing and sometimes criminalizing their behaviour without adequately understanding the reasons behind it.