Engaging Men and Boys

Our focus

A common question in relation to SRHR is the role of men and boys (men and boys covers male self-identified bodies, with diverse gender identities, sexual orientations, gender expressions and sex characteristics). The SN-NL Community of Practice (CoP) “Engaging boys and men in SRHR” is committed to address this question aiming at the improvement and realisation of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all, women, men, including people with diverse gender identities, sexual orientations, gender expressions and sex characteristics. To achieve sexual and reproductive health and rights for all people we recognize that gender inequalities are key determinants of health. All people are ‘gendered’ and hence their health, rights, sexuality and wellbeing are affected in different ways by existing gender norms and values, power dynamics, including heteronormativity. In many circumstances girls and women are more vulnerable than boys and men to SRHR concerns, but it is important to recognize boys and men’s vulnerability to dominant patriarchal values and practices as well. Any effort to engaging boys and men should offer space to transform harmful masculinities into positive ones, as well as looking at boys and men’s role in ensuring girls and women’ access to resources/power to realise their SRH rights/human rights. 

What we do

We take into account intersectional aspects (i.e. age, ethnicity, socio-economic position) of gendered identities and how these different aspects affect people’s access to power, rights and resources. We advocates for an approach that goes beyond instrumentalism but addresses harmful and risky male behaviour and limited perspectives on masculinity to promote diverse and healthy images of manhood. 

The CoP aims to strengthening the knowledge and capacities of professionals on engaging boys and men in a gender transformative manner by addressing underlying root causes related to prevailing power inequalities and rigid gender norms and practices. 

The word cloud above illustrates what this community means to its members.

CoP outlook for 2021

The community of practice aims to develop a glossary paper at the beginning of the year to define common terminology (e.g. gender-transformative approaches, intersectionality etc.).  They further plan to develop two issue papers, one looking at what are the SRHR needs of men and boys themselves and another paper focusing on how to engage men and boys in SRHR programming.

Interested in learning more about the outcomes? Stay tuned as toward the end of the year, the CoP will invite all Share-Net Netherlands’ members and the wider SRHR community to a dissemination event and discuss new knowledge resulting from these three papers in an online meeting.

Who we are

  • Jan Reynders (MenEngage)
  • Paul Janssen (Individual)
  • Jet Bastiani (PLAN)
  • Karen Hammink (HIVOS)
  • Roanna van den Oever (Aidsfonds)
  • Demi van de Nes (Cordaid)
  • Lazarus Kontozopoulos (Individual)
  • Ajay Bailey (University of Utrecht)
  • Merette Ramses (Individual)
  • Odrhan McLaughlin (CoP intern)

To contact us directly please write to Hannah Kabelka at h.kabelka@kit.nl.

CoP members can access their online working space on Mighty networks via this link (Share-Net Netherlands members only).

Resources on Engaging Men and Boys

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