Key resources: Working with men on gender equality

Men and gender equality
Men and masculinities
Gender-based violence
Organisations and websites

Men and gender equality

The Role of Men for Gender Equality. World Development Report 2012 Background Paper (2011), Lidia Farre,, 47 pp.

This interesting paper argues for the necessity of including men and boys in gender equality work in order for full gender equality to be realised. The paper discusses where and why men have, in the past, ceded power and accepted changes in the traditional gender order. In its discussion of the family and decision-making within it, and men’s impact on the socioeconomic and health status of women, the paper incorporates a wide-ranging and valuable literature survey.

Perspectives of Men Working for Gender Equality / Part of the BRIDGE Gender and Social Movements Cutting Edge Programme (2012),

In this set of video interviews, five men who work with other men on gender equality issues reflect on, amongst other aspects of their work, their relationship, and that of their organisation, to the women’s rights movement and feminism. The interviewees are as follows: Philip Otieno, Men for Gender Equality Now, Kenya; Jerker Edstro¨m, Institute of Development Studies, UK; Dean Peacock, Sonke Gender Justice Network, South Africa; Abhijit Das, Centre for Health and Social Justice, India; and Simon Cazal, LGBT activist from Paraguay.

Evolving Men: Initial Results from the International Men and Gender Equality Survey(IMAGES) (2011), Washington, DC and Rio de Janeiro: International Center for Research on Women and Instituto Promundo,, 120 pp.

This paper reports on the results of a survey on men’s attitudes and practices on a variety of topics relating to gender equality. The survey was conducted in Brazil, Chile, Croatia, India,  Mexico, and Rwanda, and the paper is an initial, comparative analysis of results across the six countries. Part I of the paper introduces the IMAGES project itself, and sets out the methodology and limitations of the research, with Part II reporting the results of the survey, and Part III outlining the key findings.

Engaging Men in Gender Equality: Positive Strategies and Approaches  – Overview and Annotated Bibliography (2006), Emily Esplen, BRIDGE Bibliography No. 15, .pdf, 51 pp.

This extremely useful and accessibly written document is divided into three parts / the first providing an overview of the topic, laying out the arguments for involving men in gender and development work; the second an annotated bibliography, which includes many items downloadable for free from the internet, and the third, further information, consisting of contact details for organisations working in the area, plus a list of Web resources.

Gender Equality and Men: Learning from Practice (2004), Sandy Ruxton (ed.), Oxford:Oxfam GB, ISBN: 9-780855-9851141,

With contributions from both the global South and North, this book critically assesses programmes run by Oxfam GB and other organisations that sought to actively engage men in gender equality work. The programmes discussed fall within five different areas: reproductive and sexual health; fatherhood; gender-based violence; livelihoods; and working with young men. The concluding chapter to the book is particularly recommended. The whole book can be downloaded, at no cost, from the link above.

What Men Have to Do With It: Public Policies to Promote Gender Equality (n.d.),Washington, DC and Rio de Janeiro: International Center for Research on Women and Instituto Promundo,, 64 pp.

This paper argues that while programme experience with men and boys in many countries around the world indicates that programmes can positively influence men’s attitudes and behaviours in relation to gender equality, public policy has not yet addressed the engagement of men and boys in eradicating gender inequality. The paper first looks at the issue of gender and public policy, and then, in a series of country case studies, surveys men and boys in existing gender equality policies. Part III provides examples of what gender and social policies that pay attention to men and masculinities would look like, and an annex sets out paternity and maternity leave in a list of selected countries.

Mainstreaming Men into Gender and Development: Debates, Reflections, and Experiences (2000), Sylvia Chant and Matthew Gutmann, Oxfam Working Papers, Oxford: Oxfam GB,, 66 pp.

Based on research conducted for the World Bank, this paper from 2000 contends that while women bear a disproportionate share of social and economic disadvantage, gender, race, and poverty also disadvantage certain categories of men as well, and that a consideration of the place of men in gender and development is therefore crucial. The paper stresses the need for men to be recognised as a heterogeneous group in the same way as women are in gender and development, and points to the fact that calls for the involvement of men into increasing numbers of gender and development projects often come from grassroots women themselves.

Men and masculinities

Men Who Care: A Multi-country Qualitative Study of Men in Non-traditional Caregiving Roles(2012), Rio de Janeiro and Washington, DC: Instituto Promundo and International Center for Research on Women,, 76 pp.

This paper reports on the findings of qualitative research conducted in five countries – Brazil, Chile, India, Mexico, and South Africa / that set out to answer the following questions: what hinders men’s involvement in care work and what encourages it? Who are the men who are doing more than the average in terms of care work? How do men understand and describe their participation in activities that have traditionally been described as female roles, both in the home and in the workplace? Based on the findings of the study, the paper offers a set of recommendations for action, and in an annex, sets out the interview protocol used during the research.

Masculinities, Social Change, and Development. World Development Report 2012 Background Paper (2011), Margaret E. Greene, Omar Robles, and Piotr Pawlak,, 32pp.

An impressive and up-to-date literature survey, this clearly written paper looks at the impact of social norms, gender roles, and stereotypes, and the expectations placed on men and boys. Importantly, it discusses the processes of change / how change occurs in gender norms and behaviours, and lists policy changes likely to bring about positive results in attempts to achieve gender equality.
Men and Development: Politicizing Masculinities (2011), Andrea Cornwall, Jerker Edstro¨m, and Alan Greig, London and New York: Zed Books, ISBN: 9781848139787,website:

This book aims to challenge the neglect of the structural dimensions of gendered power relations in current development policy and practice, placing it at the centre of its analysis, with colonialism, globalisation, poverty, heteronormativity, poverty, class, and racism all included in its examination of men and masculinities. The book provides a wide range of case studies from across the global South, and contributors are both academics and activists, who draw on theory and practice in their analyses. The book was developed from a symposium held at the Institute of Development Studies in the UK, the report of which / ‘Politicising Masculinities: Beyond the Personal’ (2007) / can be downloaded from

Marriage, Motherhood and Masculinity in the Global Economy: Reconfigurations of Personal and Economic Life, IDS Working Paper 290 (2007), Naila Kabeer, Brighton: Institute of Development Studies,, 69 pp.

Globalisation has seen rising rates of paid work undertaken by women, often in contexts where male employment is stagnant or declining. This 69-page paper examines how women and men are dealing with this feminisation of labour markets, amidst a general prevalence of male breadwinner ideologies, and the apparent threat to male authority represented by women’s earnings, coupled with an almost unvaried resistance to changes in the domestic division of unpaid work within the home, and a continuing failure by policymakers to provide support for women’s care responsibilities, despite the growing importance of their breadwinning roles, which results in many women effectively working a ‘double shift’. The ommodification of love and sex in the global economy is explored, as are changing notions of marriage, motherhood, and masculinity, within the context of what the author frames as a crisis in social reproduction. As well as being extremely well-written and argued, the paper serves as an invaluable literature review, with an extensive list of references.

Making Sense of Fatherhood: Gender, Caring and Work (2010), Tina Miller, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN: 9780521743013, website:

In this book, the author examines, in a global Northern context, the experiences of fatherhood of a group of men as they anticipate and then experience becoming fathers for the first time. Their experiences are considered in the light of economic and social changes and employment patterns, and the way in which these affect family relationships. The book also reveals how historically determined ideas about gender and policy continue to shape the expectations and experiences of fatherhood. (The author has also written Making Sense of Motherhood, Cambridge University Press, 2005.)

Men of the Global South: A Reader (2006), Adam Jones (ed.), London and New York:Zed Books, ISBN: 9781842775134, website:

Providing a wide-ranging survey of men and masculinities and the lives of men and boys in the developing world, this book is organised into six sections: Family and Sexuality; Ritual and Belief; Work; Governance and Conflict; Migrations; and Masculinities in Motion. The Introduction gives an overview of the literature on men and masculinities in the developing world, within the broader context of the study of gender and development.div>

Baba: Men and Fatherhood in South Africa (2006), Linda Richter and Robert Morrell (eds.), Cape Town: HSRC Press, ISBN: 978-07969-2096-6, website:

With contributions from authors from a range of disciplines and backgrounds, this extremely informative collection is divided into five sections. Conceptual and theoretical issues are examined in section one; the historical perspective / how race and class shaped fatherhood in the last half of the twentieth century / explored in section two; the depiction of fathers in the media discussed in section three; the realities of being a father in South Africa today, including the obstacles preventing men from developing their engagement with children are considered in section four; and local and international policies and programmes are reviewed in the final section.

Handbook of Studies on Men and Masculinities(2004), Michael S. Kimmel, Jeff Hearn, and R.W. Connell (eds.), Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, ISBN: 9780761923695, website:

This book provides a wealth of perspectives on men and masculinities from contributors from a range of disciplines, though largely the social sciences, with a focus on both the global North and South. Organised into five sections, the book looks first at theory, and then at masculinities in global and regional contexts; the effects of structures, institutions and processes on masculinities, with class, crime, families, fatherhood, organisations, and media representation examined;embodiment and masculinities; and politics, in which masculinities are discussed in relation to the nation; terrorism; war and militarism; Islam, and anti-violence activism.

Gender & Development, Vol. 5, No. 2 (June 1997), Men and Masculinity, Although published some 16 years ago, this issue of Gender & Development still serves as a clear and accessible introduction to the subject of men and masculinity in the context of gender and development policy and practice. The editorial article, in particular, is ideal for those completely new to the subject, being free of much of the somewhat esoteric and academic language often encountered in literature on gender.


Synchronizing Gender Strategies: A Cooperative Model for Improving Reproductive Health and Transforming Gender Relations (2010), New York: EngenderHealth,, 34 pp.

The authors of this paper argue the case for working with men and women, and boys and girls together, to challenge gender norms in the pursuit of improved health and gender equality. In addition to providing a definition for the new concept of ‘gender synchronization’, the paper gives examples of synchronised approaches that have worked first with women and girls, or first with men and boys, and describes interventions that have worked with both sexes from the start. It also provides examples of new and emerging programmes, the results of which should help to inform future strategies.

Engaging Boys and Men in Gender Transformation: The Group Education Manual (2008), New York: The ACQUIRE Project/EngenderHealth and Promundo, www.
tools/Group_Education_Manual_final.pdf (also available in French), 357 pp.

This manual, designed for trainers, provides a range of participatory exercises aimed at men (and their partners), exploring ideas about gender, and their impact on HIV prevention and care. The manual was piloted in Ethiopia, Namibia, South Africa, and Tanzania, in order to assist trainers in developing curricula to work with men and boys on gender, HIV and AIDS issues. After a short background discussing the scientific rationale, chapter topics include: Gender and Power, Sexuality, Men and Health, Substance Use, Healthy Relationships, STI and HIV Prevention, Living with HIV, Fatherhood, Violence, and Making Change-taking Action.

Engaging Men and Boys in Changing Gender-based Inequity in Health: Evidence from Programme Interventions (2007), Gary Barker, Christine Ricardo, and Marcos Nascimento, Geneva: World Health Organization,, 70 pp.

This paper reviews the effectiveness of 58 programmes in countries in both the global South and North engaging men and boys in achieving gender equity in health in the following areas: sexual and reproductive health; HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support; fatherhood; genderbased violence; and maternal, newborn, and child health. The aim was to assess the extent to which the programmes moved beyond addressing knowledge and attitudes in the specific health-related area, to changing the social construction of masculinity, and were, therefore, gender transformative. Among the findings of the survey was that those programmes assessed as being gender transformative had more effective outcomes. The paper concludes with a discussion on proposed steps forward and annexes summarise the interventions looked at in the study.

Gender-based violence

Engaging Men to Prevent Gender-based violence: A Multi-country Intervention and Impact Evaluation Study (2012), Rio de Janeiro: Instituto Promundo,, 47 pp.

This paper discusses a United Nations (UN)-backed project which sought to evaluate a variety of programmes working with men to prevent gender-based violence. The programmes were:  a community-based programme in India; a sports-based programme in Brazil, a health-based programme in Chile, and a work-place programme in Rwanda. All included workshops on gender equity and gender-based violence prevention training. The evaluation found a significant change in attitudes related to the use of violence against women, a self-reported decrease in the use of violence against female partners, along with a decrease in support for attitudes encouraging men’s use of violence against women.

Mobilising Men in Practice: Challenging Sexual and Gender-based Violence in Instititutional Settings: Tools, Stories, Lessons (2012), Alan Greig with Jerker Edström, Brighton: Institute of Development Studies,, 107 pp.

Recognising that‘gender inequalities and the violence that maintains them are not
simply a matter of individuals and their behaviours; they are maintained by the social, economic and political institutions that structure all our lives’, this excellent guide brings together stories and lessons, plus some of the tools used, from the Institute of Development Studies and UN Population Fund Mobilising Men programme, begun in 2010. This programme has seen partner organisations in India, Kenya, and Uganda identifying, recruiting, training, and supporting teams of male activists to work with women in developing campaigns to challenge and change the policies and cultures of specific institutional settings that enable and perpetrate violence against women.

Engaging Boys and Men in GBV Prevention and Reproductive Health in Conflict andEmergency-response Settings: A Workshop Module (2008), New York: The Acquire Project,, 53 pp.

Aimed at practitioners, this two-day participatory module is designed to build the skills of participants working to engage boys and men in the prevention of gender-based violence and in the promotion of reproductive health in conflict, and other emergency-response settings. It provides a framework for discussing strategies for male engagement, based on the phases of prevention and response in the contexts of conflict and displacement.

Organisations and websites

EngenderHealth, 440 Ninth Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA, tel: 1 212 561 8000,email:, website:

With offices and programmes in many countries around the world (including the USA), non-government organisation (NGO) EngenderHealth works on the issues of: family planning; maternal health; HIV and AIDS and STIs; and improving clinical quality; all with a gender equity focus. Of particular interest is their work on ‘Engaging Men as Partners in Reproductive Health’ and its ‘Men As Partners’ programme, which began in 1996, the components of which are: challenging traditional gender roles and attitudes about masculinity; enhancing men’s awareness of and support for their partners’ reproductive health; increasing men’s access to  and use of reproductive health services; and mobilising men to promote gender equity and end violence against women. EngenderHealth produces many useful publications, some of which are summarised in the resources sections above, and which are downloadable from their website.

The Fatherhood Institute, Unit 1, Warren Courtyard, Savernake, Marlborough, Wiltshire SN8 3UU, UK, tel: (from the UK) 0845 634 1328, email:, website:

The Fatherhood Institute is a UK-focused research, advocacy, and training organisation. It concentrates its activities on three areas: work, education, and supports to family life. In the field of work, the Fatherhood Institute wants changes, such as more flexible and part-time working for fathers, so that they can be more available to care for their children. In terms of education, the organisation lobbies for boys being prepared for future caring roles, and the discussion by children and young people of gender inequalities and the pressure to conform to gender stereotypical roles. In terms of supports to family life, the organisation is calling for laws, policies, and public services to encourage and enable fathers to invest more of their time and energy in the direct care of their children, calling for‘all health, education, family and children’s services to be ‘‘father-inclusive’’ / that is, to support fathers in their caring roles as seriously as they currently support mothers’, although the Institute makes clear that it is not a ‘fathers’rights’ organisation.

Instituto Promundo, Rua México, 31/1502 - Centro, Cep. 20031-904, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, tel: 55 (21) 2215-5216, email:, website:

Instituto Promundo is a Brazilian NGO that seeks to promote ‘caring, non-violent, equitable masculinities and gender relations in Brazil, and internationally’. Founded in 1997, and something of a pioneer in the field, Promundo’s work falls into three categories: research (some of the findings of which are included in the resources section above), programme, and advocacy. Programme work includes ‘Program H’, in which young men are encouraged to reflect on inflexible gender norms and their effects on sexuality and reproductive health, intimate and family relationships, fatherhood and caregiving, violence prevention, and emotional health; and ‘Program M’, which aims to raise young women’s awareness of gender inequality and their rights, and seeks to develop skills to enable them to act in more empowered ways. The publications section of the website contains many valuable resources / educational materials, reports, and articles. Founded in 2011, Promundo-US, based in Washington, DC, and a separate organisation, collaborates with Instituto Promundo on international advocacy, international programme development and communications work, and coordinates the work of the MenEngage Alliance.

Men Can Stop Rape, 1003 K Street NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 2000, USA, tel: 1202 265 6530, email:, website: www.mencanstoprape.org184 Gender & Development Vol. 21, No. 1, 2013

Founded in 1997, Men Can Stop Rape works in the USA to prevent men’s violence against women and other men by encouraging young men to create their own, positive definitions of masculinity. The organisation’s work falls into three categories - development programmes with young men in schools and universities; public awareness campaigns; and training and workshops for agencies and NGOs. The description on the website of what motivated the founders of Men Can Stop Rape states their ambitious goal: ‘Though the majority of violent acts against women are committed by men, the vast majority of prevention efforts are risk-reduction and self-defense tactics directed at women. The founders wanted to shift the responsibility of deterring harm away from women by promoting healthy, nonviolent masculinity.’

MenCare, email:,,

MenCare is a global fatherhood campaign that aims to promote men’s involvement as equal and non-violent fathers and caregivers, and to advance a vision in which one of the elements of ‘being a man’ is taking care of others. The campaign is co-ordinated by Promundo and Sonke Gender Justice (see above and below for more information on these organisations). The MenCare website provides access to advocacy and campaigning materials; relevant resources in the form of reports and research findings; and technical assistance and training, all aimed at supporting local NGOs, women’s rights organisations, and government departments in their efforts to engage men and boys in care work.

MenEngage Global Alliance, email: via the website, website:

A global alliance of international and national NGOs and UN agencies, MenEngage seeks to involve boys and men in achieving gender equality, promoting health, and reducing violence, and fulfilling the Millennium Development Goals, particularly those focusing on gender equality. At a national level, more than 400 NGOs from Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, North America, Asia, and Europe are members of the Alliance, which began in 2004. MenEngage carries out advocacy and campaigning work, and aims to act as a collective voice in the promotion of a global movement of men and boys working towards the achievement of gender equality. The publications page of the MenEngage website provides many useful resources.

Partners for Prevention, 3rd Floor UN Service Building, Rajdemnern Nok Avenue, Bangkok, Thailand 10200, tel: 66 (0) 2304 9100 ext 2743, email: via website,

Partners for Prevention (P4P) is a UN Development Programme, UN Population Fund, UN Women and UN Volunteers regional joint programme in Asia and the Pacific, working to generate and disseminate knowledge, and provide technical support to national partners in order to prevent gender-based violence in the region. P4P is currently co-ordinating The Change Project, which is a multi-country regional research project that will provide cross-country comparable data on gender-based violence from the perspective of men. The P4P website provides research, capacity development, and communications resources derived from P4P programme work.

Sonke Gender Justice Network, 4th Floor Westminster House, 122 Longmarket Street, 8001, Cape Town, South Africa, tel:27 (0) 21 423 7088, email:, website:

Based in South Africa, but working across the continent, Sonke Gender Justice Network supports men and boys in taking action to promote gender equality, prevent domestic and sexual violence, and reduce the spread and impact of HIV and AIDS, seeking to strengthen government, civil society, and individual capacity in order to do this. Current areas of work include: policy advocacy; opposing, together with other South African human rights organisations, the Traditional Courts bill, being considered (at the time of writing) by the South African parliament; and the Brothers for Life Campaign, aimed at addressing the risks involved with having multiple sexual partners, men’s limited involvement in fatherhood, and issues around HIV status.

UN Population Fund (UNFPA), 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158, USA, tel: 1 (212) 297 5000, email:, website:

UNFPA’s goals are to achieve universal access to sexual and reproductive health (including family planning), to promote reproductive rights, to reduce maternal mortality, and speed up progress on the International Conference on Population and Development (1994) agenda, and Millennium Development Goal 5 (improving maternal health). UNFPA also focuses on improving the lives of young people and women by advocating for human rights and gender equality, and by promoting the understanding of population dynamics. As part of this work, UNFPA seeks to engage men and boys, supporting many projects that emphasise men’s role in reproductive health, for example, in HIV prevention, and greater male involvement in family life. The website provides more information on UNFPA programme work in this area, plus links to related UNFPA publications.

White Ribbon Campaign, websites:,,,, www.

Starting in Canada in 1991, the White Ribbon Campaign is a men’s movement working to end violence against women and girls, and to promote gender equality, and a new vision of masculinity. Now active in other countries, the Campaign’s White Ribbon Day takes place every year on 25 November, which is UN Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

XY Online – Men, Masculinities, Gender Politics, email: via the website,

As its name suggests, this website is an online resource focusing on men and gender issues. It is also pro-feminist, stating that ‘XY is intended to advance feminist goals of gender equality and gender justice’. The website serves as a space for debate and discussion, a resource library, and ‘a toolkit for activism, personal transformation, and social change’, and welcomes submissions from users.