“I decided to be responsible for gender equity and to combat gender-based violence. Men have to raise their voices.” Momen, 23, Palestine
Men are husbands, partners, fathers, brothers and sons, and their lives are intertwined with that of women, children and other men. Across the world, rigid gender norms, and harmful perceptions of what it means to be a man have far reaching consequences on health and wellbeing.
However, growing evidence shows that where men and boys are engaged in tackling gender inequality and promoting women’s choices, the resulting outcomes are positive and men and women are able to enjoy equitable, healthy and happy relationships.A new collection of case studies – The Men and Boys Collection: Stories of gender justice and sexual and reproductive health and rights – highlight some of the ways that IPPF Member Associations are supporting gender equality and the sexual and reproductive health needs of men and boys. From Bolivia to Indonesia and Palestine to Zambia – 12 personal stories from 12 countries across the globe provide personal accounts of the journeys that men and boys are making in their sexual and reproductive lives and as champions for gender justice.
IPPF has long been committed to working with men and boys as clients, partners and agents of change, regardless of age, social or health status, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. This commitment is framed within a human rights framework and outlined in the IPPF Men and Sexual and Reproductive Health Policy. The policy reflects the importance IPPF attaches to addressing men’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and creating conditions for equitable relationships for individual health and the development of communities.
As part of the Federation’s broader gender work, the focus on men and boys covers three main areas:
1. Men as clients – men have specific sexual and reproductive health needs. IPPF encourages health- seeking behaviour by providing client-friendly services and comprehensive sexuality education.
2. Men as partners – men have an important role to play as partners: they have a shared responsibility for decisions around contraception, preventing HIV or other sexually transmitted infections; they have a responsibility as parents and caregivers; and they have a supportive and enabling role to play during pregnancy and childbirth and if their partner needs to access a safe abortion service.
3. Men as agents of change – men and boys are key agents of change. This includes: the promotion of gender equitable fatherhood; advocacy against discriminatory laws and policies; changing attitudes and behaviours that are a cause and consequence of sexual and gender-based violence and women’s inequality.
Download the document here.
As part of IPPFs commitment, the Federation will have a strong presence at the forthcoming 2nd MenEngage Global Symposium in Delhi from 10-13 November including:
- A satellite session at 9am on 10th November entitled Men and Boys Engaged: Visions and Actions to eliminate Sexual and Gender Based Violence.This satellite willstimulate discussion and share examples of best practice in engaging men and boys in preventing and stopping gender based violence, promoting women’s and girls’ voice and agency, and improving men’s own well-being and health.
- Co-organising a panel session on men’s sexual and reproductive health and rights where an IPPF’s youth volunteer will be speaking.
- A conference booth where copies of the Men and Boys Collection and other IPPF resources will be available.
“… I realised that society sets stereotypical roles for men and women. But, we as individuals can change these views. And to begin with, I can change mine.” Zahee, 15, Maldives