Syed Saghir Bukhari
In recent years most of the children's and women's wellbeing and gender equality programmes have largely focused on women and girls as beneficiaries and agents of change. However, the conceptual shift from Women in Development (WID) to Gender and Development (GAD), which has been taking place since the 1980s, was partly borne out of recognition of the inadequacies of focusing on women and girls in isolation. GAD approaches necessitate a focus on men/boys as well as women/girls. Since the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, international programmes have had a broad mandate to serve the needs of women and men of all ages and to address gender inequities. The belief that it is desirable to involve boys and men in efforts towards gender equality is now becoming institutionalised in the philosophies and programmes of the UN and other international and national organisations.