Men, masculinities and COVID-19: Actions, resources, and connecting online

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This page brings together resources, tools, and advocacy activities relevant to those working to transform masculinities and engage men and boys for gender justice during times of COVID-19.

You will find here:

Recommended readings

Useful articles on the implications of COVID-19 for social and gender justice – especially thinking from an intersectional feminist perspective.

Tools and resources for preventing gender-based violence

During these times of lockdowns and social distancing, there is heightened danger for women, children and others at risk of abuse. What can we do to stem this pattern – especially by engaging with men and boys?

Collective advocacy statements

You can add your voice to these statements of colelctive advocacy, solidarity, and visions for gender just approaches to dealing with the pandemic, and how it will impact societies in the future.

Ways you can connect online

As a network, many members, partners and friends are turning to the online space more than ever to connect. On this page, we will aim to share opportunities for you to connect in spaces promoting compassion, respect, and collectively exploring the implications of the crisis at national, regional, and global levels


We will update this page as the situation continues to develop. If you have any relevant materials you think we should include, please email them to info[at]menengage.org.

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Online activism promoting positive, healthy, non-violent, and equitable ways of being men during times of COVID-19 lockdowns.

COVID-19 lockdowns are linked to a rise in men’s violence in the home, as well as concerns over other harmful and inequitable behaviours.

Campaigns and online actions are taking place around the world to try to address this urgent situation – by challenging certain harmful attitudes and beliefs around ‘being a man’ that are at the root of the issue. These online campaigns are being collated on this page for digital activism for equitable, compassionate, and non-violent ways of being men during COVID-19.


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Recommended reflections and analyses

The following reflections and analyses come from colleagues across feminist and social justice movements. They provide important perspectives on the significant implications of the ongoing impacts and developments in response to COVID-19.

Coronavirus reveals just how deep macho stereotypes run through society [LINK]

ARTICLE Masculine stereotypes are exacerbated – but also being challenged – by this pandemic. By Stephen Burrell and Sandy Ruxton. Available in Spanish here.

Unchecked corporate power paved the way for COVID-19, and globally, women are at the frontlines [LINK]

ARTICLE The COVID-19 pandemic is revealing the true urgency of the need to question, challenge and transform the current global model of capitalism. By Felogene Anumo for AWID. This article from

COVID-19 Highlights the Failure of Neoliberal Capitalism: We Need Feminist Global Solidarity [LINK]

ARTICLE The failures and inequities of global systems have been further exposed by the pandemic, and we need to look for alternatives. By APWLD.

COVID-19: “Waging War” Against a Virus is NOT What We Need to Be Doing [LINK]

ARTICLE The language and imagery of waging war and fighting is being evoked en mass throughout this pandemic. WILPF reminds us that war fuels violence, sexism, racism, homophobia, autocracy, secrecy and xenophobia, and that war-like approaches and narratives are not what is needed right now. By Cynthia Enloe. WILPF has compiled all its articles on COVID-19 here.

COVID-19 Crisis from a feminist perspective: overview of different articles published [LINK]

RESOURCE LIST A comprehensive list of articles, categorized by theme, compiled by WIDE+, a European network of feminist activists, scholars, and women’s rights organisations.

What does feminist leadership look like in a pandemic? [LINK]

ARTICLE In this article, the author explores how feminist leadership understands that we’re only as safe — or empowered — as the most vulnerable among us. Now more than ever, we must centre our work around the necessity for equity, empowerment, inclusion and justice for all. By Leila Billing.

Pandemics Are Not Gender-Neutral, Gender Analysis Can Improve Response To Disease Outbreaks [LINK]

ARTICLE Pandemics are not gender-neutral and gender-informed responses can improve how infectious disease outbreaks are tackled. By Lenka Filipová, Renata H. Dalaqua, James Revill for UNIDIR.

Gender and the COVID-19 pandemic [LINK]

RESOURCE LIST A comprehensive list of articles and academic papers on the gendered implications of COVID-19, including a section on men, domestic violence, and care work. Compiled by Michael Flood/XYonline.

COVID-19 demands that we pay attention to who does the care work – and how we support them [LINK]

ARTICLE The pandemic is exacerbating inequalities in care work, but can also be a catalyst for change. By Promundo.

Masks and Emasculation: Why Some Men Refuse to Take Safety Precautions [LINK]

ARTICLE A social scientist’s analysis of why some leader’s acute concern to preserve a macho public image and prove their manhood is putting lives at risk.


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A rise in gender-based violence during COVID-19: Evidence, stories and experiences

The following articles provide useful evidence and stories that the global crisis and associated social-distancing or ‘lockdown’ measures are causing a surge in gender-based violence in the home.

Must Reads: No Place to Hide [LINK]

RESOURCE LIST Every Woman Treaty has compiled a list of articles sharing reports of increased abuse, including this BBC World article sharing the lived experiences of people forced into lockdown with their abusers (content warning: contains descriptions of abuse).

Violence against women and girls: the shadow pandemic [LINK]

STATEMENT This statement by UN Women draws attention to the rising levels of domestic violence globally and how governments, NGOs and the private sector can act to address it.

Gender-based violence and COVID-19 – UNDP [LINK]

BRIEFING NOTE UNDP summarises clear strategies and dedicated actions that can be taken at national and local levels to prevent gender-based violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Domestic Violence Is on the Rise With Coronavirus Lockdown. The Responses Are Missing the Point [LINK]

ARTICLE We must go way beyond simply returning to the levels of domestic violence before the pandemic. To eliminate domestic violence altogether, we need to transform patriarchal household structures – and this takes long-term strategic approaches. By Natasha Lennard for The Intercept.

Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Violence against Women and Girls [LINK]

REPORT This research report explores the evidence of increased violence against women and girls based on the current pandemic and previous health crises. By Dr Erika Fraser/DFID.

Pandemics and Violence Against Women and Children [LINK]

REPORT A new report to understand the underlying mechanisms that cause violence and abuse to increase in times of pandemics. By the Centre for Global Development.


Engaging men and boys during COVID-19

The need to engage men and boys to prevent violence and promote equal and caring masculinities is more pressing than ever during the coronavirus pandemic. Many organizations are continuing to mobilize men virtually and have developed tools and resources to engage men and boys during this challenging time.

Grassroots solutions and global solidarity – MADRE [LINK]

RESOURCE LIST Keep en eye on this resource area from MADRE for resources based on the expertise of community-based partners with expertise on addressing gender-based violence in times of crisis.

COVID-19 and ending violence against women and girls [LINK]

REPORT This UN report recommends NGOs to “proactively challenge gender stereotypes and harmful masculinities, accentuated under COVID-19 circumstances (e.g. increased household care work for women, financial insecurity/unemployment), with targeted messages for men in order to encourage healthy ways of coping with stressful situations.”

The Invisible Pandemic of Violence Against Women and Children: How You Can Help [LINK]

ARTICLE An article including 8 concrete steps for preventing GBV during COVID-19. By Clara Alemann/Promundo.

Taking care of others and yourself: Guidance during COVID-19 and beyond [LINK]

ARTICLE This blog by the MenCare Campaign explores how caregivers are being impacted by the crisis and provides guidance on how as allies we can care for them during this pandemic.

An equity-based approach to dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic [LINK]

INFOGRAPHIC MenEngage Africa has compiled this resource outlining some of the potential risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of gender based violence, caregiving and employment and what men as well as governments and the global community can do to mitigate these risks.

Six steps for men to prevent domestic violence (Infographic) [LINK]

INFOGRAPHIC A brief guide to help men better manage their behaviours and feelings during times of COVID-19. By See Other Sides, USA.

Corona Crisis: Survival Kit for Men under pressure [LINK]

TOOLKIT Swiss organization männer.ch has developed this survival kit to help men stay calm during this crisis. Since the start of COVID-19, the toolkit has been translated into more than 20 languages. Find it in your language, and feel free to adapt it as needed for your context. Please share any contextualized versions with Männer, who will make it accessible to others on their website.

Six things all men can do to show solidarity and support during the corona crisis [LINK]

INFOGRAPHIC Useful social media content for sharing. By MÄN.


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From analysis to action: Tools, resources, and briefs related to gender-justice work in the context of COVID-19

Feminist collective response to COVID-19 [LINK]

Text saying "Feminist Response to Covid-19" within a circular design.

Feminist organizations and activists have come together in this moment of collective organizing and created this searchable hub of online resources. You will also find a set of guiding principles on a feminist response to COVID-19, in multiple languages. Read more in this blog post.


COVID-19 Resources for VAWG Mitigation and Prevention, Self and Collective Care, Assistance and more, compiled by COFEM [LINK]

RESOURCE LIST A collated list of tools and resources for the prevention of violence against women during COVID-19. By the Coalition of Feminists for Social Change (COFEM)

Advocating for a gender-lens on responses to COVID-19, by Women Deliver [LINK]

RESOURCE LIST A host of tools, campaign materials, and resources supporting the emerging advocacy agenda for a gender lens on COVID19. From Women Deliver. Add your support to a letter to global decision-makers on this here.

Briefing Paper “From Global Coordination to Local Strategies: A Practical Approach to Prevent, Address and Document Domestic Violence under COVID-19″ [LINK]

BRIEFING PAPER This briefing paper aims to raise awareness of increasing domestic violence and share best practices that our partners and feminist allies use to prevent, address, and document violence. This paper was developed by the coalition led by MADRE, with Media Matters for Women, MenEngage Alliance, Nobel Women’s Initiative, OutRight Action International, Women Enabled International, and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF).

Primer on the gendered impacts of COVID-19 [LINK]

PRIMER This primer, compiled by Gender and the Economy, provides a summary of how gender impacts the ways the COVID-19 crisis is experienced, including key resources for further reading, and the implications for policy and action during and after the pandemic. 

The COVID-19 impact on family planning [LINK]

RESOURCE LIST A number of guides, resources and briefs on the critical need for maintaining and promoting family planning services and agendas during COVID-19. Compiled by Family Planning 2020.

The COVID-19 LGBTIQ Emergency Response Fund [LINK]

EMERGENCY FUNDS An emergency fund for organizations working directly with and for LGBTIQ people and based anywhere outside the USA, Canada, the European Economic Area, the UK, Switzerland, Australia or New Zealand. Compiled by Outright International.

Beyond sex and gender analysis: an intersectional view of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak and response [LINK]

POLICY BRIEF This policy brief deconstructs the popular media and political narrative that ‘we are all in this together’. The authors explain that the risks, experiences and outcomes are not the same for everyone – and how analyses, policies, and responses need to take an intersectional approach, taking a wide range of factors into consideration.

Online Event: Approaching COVID-19 Risk and Response through a Gender Lens [LINK]

VIDEO Panel discussion, 1.5 hours – Center for Global Development 

State action must be human rights compliant and protect human rights defenders [LINK]

STATEMENT It is important to understand the COVID-19 pandemic as a human rights crisis, as well as a global health crisis. The International Service for Human Rights is compiling and updating recommendations for those working to defend and uphold human rights during COVID-19. By the International Service for Human Rights.

Series on Preventing Violence against Women During the COVID-19 Pandemic [LINK]

GUIDANCE NOTES Practical suggestions for activist organizations working to prevent violence against women during the COVID pandemic. By Raising Voices.


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Collective advocacy statements that you can sign onto

Several feminist coalitions and networks have developed advocacy statements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of which that Alliance has signed onto.

Below are several statement you or your organization can sign on to:

Deliver for Good Letter to Global Decision-Makers: Gender Lens for Covid-19 [LINK]

OPEN LETTER Add your support to a letter calling for a gender lens in responses to COVID-19. Coordinated by Women Deliver.

Open letter calling on all UN Member States to adopt a feminist policy to address the COVID-19 outbreak [LINK]

OPEN LETTER This open letter by the Feminist Alliance for Rights has been endorsed by nearly 1,300 individuals and women’s networks and organizations globally, to demand governments to adopt a feminist policy to address the COVID-19 pandemic in a manner that is consistent with human rights standards and principles. It is also available in Spanish and French

LBTI Caucus Statement in Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic [LINK]

STATEMENT

Statement on Rights at the Intersection of Gender and Disability during COVID-19 [LINK]

STATEMENT

#SeeUsSupportUs: Recognise The Needs Of Trans And Gender Diverse Communities During COVID-19 Pandemic [LINK]

STATEMENT

Principles for Global Healthcare Access, Innovation and Cooperation [LINK]

STATEMENT Sign on to show your support for global solidarity in healthcare development, supply, and provision, ahead of the G20 Meeting of Health Ministers on 19-20 April. This sign-on is to advocate for policies to prevent corporations and powerful states from monopolizing health supplies and medications that are needed to face the pandemic.

(SPANISH) Solidarity statement and call to action for transformative change and the elimination of GBV – MenEngage Latin America [LINK]


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Ways you can connect online

One outcome of the pandemic is the need for new and innovative ways to connect virtually. Below are some ideas and opportunities (including online meetings and recordings) for staying connected with the latest discussions:

Online workshop: Exacerbation of patriarchy during COVID-19, and opportunities for transformation [LINK]

19 May
WEBINAR This online dialogue explored the links between masculinities and various forms of gender-based violence that have been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Online Workshop: Practical approaches to engaging men and boys in preventing the shadow pandemic of violence against women-and girls [LINK]

7 May
WORKSHOP
A workshop to explore the urgent need to address the exacerbation of men’s violence against women and girls (VAWG) in the context of COVID-19.

Men’s emotional well-being during Covid19: Webinar & discussion [LINK]

20 April, 27 April, and 4 May

This online meetup hosted by Men’s Story Project explored “emotional wellness and connection for men and masculine-identifying folks in these challenging times.”

Facebook Group: Working with Boys & Men for Gender Equality and Transforming Masculinities [LINK]

FACEBOOK GROUP This Facebook Group is a space for people working to transform masculinities and engage men and boys in gender justice . If relevant to you, please request to join the group (making sure to respond to the questions). Use this space to share articles relating to COVID-19 pandemic, especially if they are relevant to engaging with men and boys.

If you are a member of a regional MenEngage network, contact your regional coordinator to find out how people and organizations are connecting, convening, and mobilizing in your region during the COVID pandemic. Find your regional coordinator on the relevant regional network page.




Image (top) courtesy of Anna Shvets and pexels.com. Icons courtesy of flaticon.com.

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