Engaging Men and Boys for Gender Equality Series: Stories of Engagement Brief 1

This brief draws from experiences reported across 20 offices – with representation across Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East/North Africa and Europe, Asia and the Pacific, and the US to highlight CARE’s approach, change stories and new frontiers in this area of programming. Since the late 1990s and early 2000s, CARE has worked with men and boys as allies for gender equality. This work has often been integrated into women’s empowerment programming, particularly in relation to women’s economic empowerment, HIV and AIDS, violence against women and girls (including child marriage and female genital mutilation) and family planning initiatives. Work has often focused on engaging key community gatekeepers in order to get their support for programming goals. Over the past two decades, within CARE as well as across the world, attention and support has grown for involving men as allies for a broader gender justice agenda. Where men were initially brought into conversations to enable women’s participation in programming, activities with men and boys began to encourage them to examine how patriarchy affects their own lives and opportunities, alongside deeper questions on what it means to stand as an ally for gender equality.