1.1 Why Involve Men in Gender and Development Work? 2
1.2 Why is it in Men’s Own Interests to Change? 4
1.3 Strategies for Change 7
1.3.1 Men as Partners against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) 7
1.3.2 Strengthening Men’s Resistance to Violence and Conflict 9
1.3.3 Fostering Constructive Male Involvement in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights 10
1.3.4 Encouraging Men’s Positive Engagement as Fathers and Carers 12
1.3.5 Promoting More Gender-Equitable Institutional Cultures and Practices within Development Organisations 14
1.4 Lessons Learned 15
1.5 Areas for Future Research 18
2 An Annotated Bibliography 20
2.1 Why Involve Men in Gender and Development? 20
2.2 Strategies for Change 24
2.2.1 Men as Partners against Gender-Based Violence 24
2.2.2 Strengthening Men’s Resistance to Violence and Conflict 28
2.2.3 Fostering Constructive Male Involvement in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights 30
2.2.4 Encouraging Men’s Positive Engagement as Fathers and Carers 37
2.2.5 Promoting More Equitable Institutional Cultures and Practices within Development Organisations 41
2.3 Practical Tools, Manuals, and Training Materials 43
3 Further Information 47
3.1 Networking and Contact Details 47
3.1.1 Global 47
3.1.2 Africa 49
3.1.3 Asia and the Pacific 51
3.1.4 Europe 54
3.1.5 Latin America and the Caribbean 54
3.1.6 North America 57
3.2 Web Resources 58
1.1Why Involve Men in Gender and Development Work?
‘Men are the gatekeepers of current gender orders and are potential resistors of change. If we do not effectively reach men and boys
, many of our efforts will be either thwarted or simply ignored.’
(Kaufman in Ruxton, 2004:20)
There has been much resistance on the part of some women to involving men in gender and development work – driven by fears about the dilution of the feminist agenda, and by anxieties over the diversion of limited resources away from women’s empowerment initiatives and back into the hands of men. Yet not engaging with men and boys may limit the effectiveness of development interventions, and may actually intensify gender inequalities.
Development interventions which aim to improve women’s employment and income generating opportunities, for example, are likely to compound women’s heavy work burdens unless efforts are made to encourage men to take greater responsibility for child care and domestic chores. Projects that focus solely on women may also reinforce existing gender stereotypes (women as carers, men as breadwinners, and so on). Involving men, by contrast, can generate a broader consensus on issues which have previously been marginalised as being of interest to women only – sexual and reproductive health, for example (Kaufman, in Ruxton, 2004).
The inherent weakness of ‘women-only’ approaches has become most devastatingly apparent in the light of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Programmes that focus on empowering women to negotiate safer sex have minimal impact in societies where it is men who decide when and with whom to have sex, and when and if to use condoms.
‘Unless men’s practices, attitudes, and relations change, efforts to promote gender equality will face an uphill struggle.’
The conceptual shift from Women in Development (WID) to Gender and Development (GAD), which has been underway since the 1980s, was partly borne out of recognition of the inadequacies of focusing on women in isolation. GAD approaches promised a new focus, beyond the narrow preoccupation with women alone. Instead, they emphasised the socially and historically constructed relations between women and men (Moser, 1993), which allowed for a more nuanced understanding of the relational nature of gendered power, and of the interdependency of women and men.
The emphasis of GAD on gender relations necessitates a focus on men as well as women – at least in theory. The extent to which this conceptual shift has been translated into practice is questionable however, and many initiatives continue to focus on women rather than trying to transform the unequal gender relations which drive and maintain women’s subordination. There has also been limited acknowledgement of the powerlessness experienced by some men – in relation to women as well as to other men (Cornwall, 2000).
This limits the possibilities for alliances between women and men, and closes off important spaces for change. Rather than perceiving gender as a ‘women’s issue’, we need to think in terms of relations of power and powerlessness, in which both women and men may experience vulnerability, rather than treating ‘maleness’ as powerful and problematic in itself (Cornwall, 2000:23).