The need to engage in meaningful partnerships with men and encourage their participation in the design and delivery of women’s rights programs, has only been recently discussed in academic and activist circles. ‘Men as Partners’ is becoming an important field of study corollary – and supplementary to the discipline of women studies. It is becoming an inseparable, co-dependent element in both the study and practice of women’s activism. Whilst it is often claimed that half of the population (women) have been neglected, solutions to their neglect may have committed similar errors in neglecting the other half (men). Perhaps it is inevitable that discussions on women’s rights cannot afford to exclude men. In many contexts, men’s involvement is still essential due to their preponderant exercise of decision-making in micro and macro activities affecting women such as family planning, education of female children, attention to treatment of diseases, access to maternal healthcare during pregnancy and the control of economic assets, amongst others. At the macro level, this extends to nearly every effort in law and policy-making, programming and budget allocation; and at all levels of government. Men’s exercise of political power, access to Ministries, ability to tap into large network of resources and authority over laws and policies affect the allocation and equitable distribution of resources needed for this work.
This Recommendation Paper is designed as an introduction to a list of techniques and questions for reflection that can be used in staff and stakeholder discussions on creating meaningful partnerships with men. I hope it will inspire activists and organizations to think critically and creatively about their approaches when embarking to design and deliver programs to empower men in efforts concerning women’s (and men’s) rights.
Click here to read: Techniques for Engaging Men