Reposting this message as it is relevant to the current discussion:
From Julien Pellaux, Gender Specialist, Eastern Europe and Central Asia Regional Office, UNFPA
Engaging men and boys in addressing gender-based inequality and discrimination con|tributes to better health outcomes for everyone, including sexual and reproductive health, family planning, safe motherhood and HIV prevention. Men can be valuable allies in improving reproductive health and empowering women. UNFPA believes that engaging men is integral to any and all attempts to realise gender equality.
Traditionally, engaging men and boys has aimed at improving maternal health and responsible fatherhood and promoting shared responsibilities. In recent years, the approach has evolved to engage men and boys to end violence against women, prevent HIV and develop programmes that support gender transformative approaches. Engaging men and boys initiatives should be implemented in tandem with women and girls’ empowerment programmes. UNFPA is targeting its efforts around broader engagement of men and boys on the gender equality agenda. To that end, it works with key stakeholders at the regional and global levels to appreciate the range of male actors, document practices and programmatic models that specifically target involvement of men and boys in the ICPD agenda, and develop networks of organizations and experts. Within the UN system, UNFPA is among the leaders in the work of engaging men on gender equality.
UNFPA supports innovative and pioneering programmes aimed to apply the male involvement/engagement approach in addressing violence against women, and demonstrating UNFPA’s commitment to engaging youth in thinking critically about harmful stereotypes while working towards transforming gender norms in a culturally sensitive manner. For example, UNFPA with partners produced an electronic game as a vehicle for reaching boys, especially those 10 to 14 years of age, and young men as an advocacy tool to end violence against women. ‘Breakaway’ (www.breakawaygame.com) profoundly shifts beliefs, stereotypes, and attitudes on gender issues with games moving from a curative to a preventive approach. The games encourage change from within by presenting opportunities for the player to think critically about actions and reasons.
Related Publications: unfpa.org
Related Video: video.unfpa.org