Growing a moustache during the month of November has become common in many countries to raise awareness of men's health issues. Along with ‘Movember’, World Vasectomy Day (17 November) and International Men’s Day (19 November) are other awareness days in November linked to promoting men’s health, including sexual and reproductive health.
Existing gender inequalities, due in large part to rigid gender norms and harmful perceptions of what it means to be a man, have far reaching consequences on health and wellbeing. Better meeting the specific and diverse needs of men and adolescent boys, as well as improving men’s own sexual and reproductive health, also improves the sexual and reproductive health of their partners, and is an effective way to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.
Now, for the first time ever, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) have released a comprehensive service package focused on men’s sexual and reproductive health. The Global Sexual and Reproductive Health Service Package for Men and Adolescent Boys has been developed to support providers of sexual and reproductive health services.
Men have substantial sexual and reproductive health needs, including the need for contraception, prevention and treatment of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, sexual dysfunction, infertility and male cancers. Yet these needs are often unfulfilled due to a combination of factors, including a lack of service availability, poor health-seeking behaviour among men, health facilities often not considered ‘male-friendly’, and a lack of agreed standards for delivering clinical and preventative services to men and adolescent boys in all their diversity.
IPPF is committed to working with men and adolescent boys in all their diversity as clients, partners and agents of change. This commitment is framed within a human rights framework and outlined in IPPF policies on Men and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Gender Equality. These reflect the importance IPPF attaches to addressing men’s sexual and reproductive health and rights and promoting an approach that is truly gender transformative. Working together as a global Federation, IPPF is committed to:
- Continuing to provide technical support on mobilizing men and adolescent boys to transform harmful gender norms;
- Advocating for an enabling policy environment that ensures men’s and adolescent boys’ access to services and reduces sexual and gender based violence;
- Contributing to the evidence base about what works in gender transformative programming; and • Meeting the diverse sexual and reproductive health needs, including HIV, of tens of millions of men and adolescent boys in over 150 countries.