Critical Dialogue on Engaging Men and Boys in Gender Justice – Summary Report

Click here for a PDF of the full report.

The MenEngage Alliance, a global network of more than 630 organizations working with men and boys for women’s right and gender justice, has worked to enhance accountability in this field for some time, building on many years of work by women’s rights organizations. The MenEngage Alliance understands accountability as the commitment that activists and organizations working in the engaging boys and mend field must have toward women’s rights groups and other social justice movements. It also involves the responsibility to listen to, consult and partner equally with such groups, making sure that the work of engaging men and boys makes a real contribution to social justice and gender equality, rather than being a detraction from this struggle.

The MenEngage Alliance is currently in the process of developing a dialogue and a mutual understanding of accountability, while acknowledging the different meanings that is has for different people and institutions.

To this end, from 19th-21st April 2016 the MenEngage Alliance facilitated an online discussion of key constituents on a range of strategic and practical questions relating to engaging men and boys and transforming masculinities in the women’s rights and gender justice field. We invited participants working on engaging men and boys, and those working on women’s rights and empowerment from all corners of the globe to come together and share experiences, concerns, lessons learned and recommendations about partnership, accountability and transformative work in the field of engaging men and boys in gender justice. A total of 134 people from 39 countries registered for the event.

This report summarizes and shares the key discussion points, trends and recommendations that emerged from the dialogue. A number of themes are elaborated in this report, including accountability, power, privilege and patriarchy, intersectionality and men’s motivations for doing this work. It also explores how this work might become truly gender transformative by challenging structures and politicizing work with men and boys, building partnerships, addressing the question of funding, working both together and independently, working with faith leaders and with boys and young men, improving monitoring and evaluation and importantly, building networks for change.