Example How To Addres Gaps

Take work with men and boys from the programme and project level into policies and institutions.
The personal is political, and vice-versa. Accelerating change, moving from the personal to the structural, requires reaching larger numbers of men and boys. We have to put into place systems to ensure institutions and individuals are held accountable for gender equality. We must change systems and institutions, including government, schools, families, the health sector, and the workplace, because they play a critical role in creating and maintaining gender norms, and have the potential to reach large numbers of individuals.

We call for reexamining systems and institutions, including education and training, workplace behaviours and policies, legislations, management of public spaces, operation of faith-based institutions,and prevailing social norms.

Policies and legal reform can institutionalise more gender-equitable relations in homes and offices, factories and fields, in government and on the street. Therefore we must:

  • Develop, implement and monitor policies to engage men and boys in gender equality and in building state capacity to implement those policies.
  • Actively advance institutional and governmental policies that address the social and structural determinants of gender inequalities, including through advocacy work.
  • Train staff to implement these policies.
  • Create public awareness campaigns to transform men’s and boys’ perceptions of gender roles.

Promote gender equitable socialisation

We are deeply concerned about the gender socialisation of girls and boys that begins at a very early age and hinders their full potential and inhibits their realising their full rights. We strongly believe that all parents—especially fathers—must demonstrate sensitivity, equitable and just behaviour, especially to boys, starting at home and school.

Reaching out to boys during their critically important formative stage, will contribute to realising a new generation of men with more positive behaviours toward women, children, men and trans-people. It is vital to sensitize and involve boys and girls from early childhood and continue involving adolescents, preparing them to become gender sensitive, equitable and caring adults.
Examples of specific policy areas and actions for engaging boys and men in gender justice include:

  • Empower children and young people to develop and foster gender transformative behavior to break the cycle of violence and mobilise them as agents of change.
  • Develop comprehensive sexuality education and primary prevention of GBVas an integral part of school curricula, including human rights, gender equality, and sexual and reproductive health and rights.
  • Create curricula that challenges gender stereotypes and encourages critical thinking.
  • Train teachers and administrators to provide gender-sensitive learning environments.
  • Utilise lifecycle and socio-ecological based strategies beginning in early childhood and continuing with adolescents and preparing them to be gender sensitive, equal and caring adults.
  • Engage boys and men in the prevention of gender-based violence (GBV)

Men and boys perpetuate the majority of GBV, even as they themselves are harmed by it. Rigid gender norms socialise boys and men to respond to conflicts with violence and to dominate their partners. Men and boys are simultaneously victims of violence and perpetrators. A relevant factor contributing to men’s perpetration of GBV is experiencing or witnessing violence while growing up. It is essential to work with men and boys to transform social norms perpetuating GBV, to redress the effects of violence that boys experience and witness, including understanding and addressing root causes of gender inequality, such as unequal power relations, practices and stereotypes that perpetuate discrimination against women and girls, sexual minorities and non-gender conforming people, and promoting alternative role models for boys.

Examples of specific policy areas and actions for engaging men and boys in gender justice include:

  • Engaging men and boys to be more equitable in their own individual lives and to reject all forms of violence including domestic violence, and harmful practices such as child marriage and forced marriages, gender biased sex selection, and female genital mutilation.
  • Encouraging men and boys to question more pervasive and structural inequalities.
  • Promoting polices that integrate primary prevention of GBV targeting men and boys.
  • Develop policies to engage men and boys in making public spaces free of violence for women and girls.
  • Design progammes for male perpetrators that are integrated with the judicial sector and victim advocacy; implement gun control; and provide legal, financial and psycho-social supports for survivors and witnesses of violence.

Engage men as fathers and caregivers and in taking equal responsibility for unpaid care work
Evidence shows that when fathers are involved with their children at an early stage, including in the prenatal period, there is a higher likelihood that they will remain connected to their children throughout their lives. Given that women and girls and carry out two to ten times more care work than men and boys, there is a need to achieve full equality for men’s and boys’ participation in care work and women’s participation in the paid work force with equal pay. This can only be done by fully sharing care work.

Examples of specific policy areas and actions for engaging men in gender justice include:

  • Provide public services, infrastructure and social protection policies, and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and families.
  • Reduce and redistribute unpaid care work, to allow women in particular more time for other pursuits such as self-care, education, political participation and paid work; and redistribute care-workfrom poorer households to the state by financing, regulating and providing care services.
  • Promote the equal sharing of unpaid care work between men and women to reduce the disproportionate share of unpaid care work for women and girls and to change the attitudes that reinforce the gendered division of labour.
  • Promote more progressive paternity leave policies.
  • Implement public awareness campaigns and education to transform perceptions of caregiving roles among men.
  • Publicly support fatherhood preparation courses and campaigns focusing on men’s roles in the lives of children can address fathers’ reported feelings of being unprepared for caregiving, and help men perceive benefits from greater participation.

Engage men as supportive partners, clients and positive agents of change in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)

Throughout the world SRHR is largely considered the sole responsibility of women while many men continue to neglect the SRHR needs and responsibilities of themselves, their partners, and their families. Men’s lower utilisation of SRH services, like HIV testing and treatment, is a result of both rigid gender norms as well as structural barriers such as clinics that are ill-prepared to address male-specific health issues. As a result, not only are women and girls left to bear much of the burden of their own and their families’ SRHR, but men’s lack of involvement also places expensive and unnecessary burdens on health systems. Interventions with men and boys on SRHR have been shown to effectively increase men’s utilisation of services, as well as support and respect for their partner’s SRHR, which in turn improves the health of women, children and men themselves.
Examples of specific policy areas and actions for engaging men in gender justice include:

  • Promote accessible sexual and reproductive health services and rights for women.
  • Engage men and boys in transforming the rigid norms that shape sexual and reproductive health outcomes and enable them to seek information and services for addressing their sexual and reproductive health needs.
  • Provide comprehensive sexuality education that promotes a critical reflection about gender norms, healthy relations, power inequalities.
  • Promote men’s and boys’ shared responsibilities in sexual and reproductive behaviour and rights.
  • Expand the availability and use of male contraceptive methods and/or prevention of STIs.
  • Create and utilise spaces for men to take responsibility in prenatal and child health services.

This article was part of Delhi Declaration and Call to Action

About Redaksi ALB

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