Swaziland

MenEngage Swaziland Network

The Swaziland Country network is chaired by the Swaziland Action Group against Abuse (SWAGAA). SWAGAA is a leading national organisation in the fight against gender-based violence in Swaziland. Created in 1990 it has a wealth of experience and well-established mechanisms and networks to achieve the network objectives, having worked for over two decades to bring the abuse of women and children into the public eye and to the attention of decision-makers, through advocacy, education, and media work. In addition, SWAGAA also provides comprehensive counselling and case management services to survivors of abuse.

Swaziland and HIV: Redrawing What it Means to Be a Man

Al Jazeera reports on the work of Kwakha Indvodza, a member of MenEngage Swaziland, to change the harmful attitudes of men and boys in seeking health and HIV services, which research shows make men more vulnerable to illness and death due to AIDS.

Men and Boys: The Missing Link to Ending AIDS by 2030

The universal goal to end AIDS by 2030 will amount to nothing but a dream unless men and boys are meaningfully engaged as partners in the global response to AIDS. Historically, efforts to address HIV have largely focused on women and girls, but evidence suggests that men and women need to be equally targeted – as both are at risk of HIV. Over the years, women and girls have been shown to be at risk of HIV infection, with girls between the ages of 15 – 24 being most vulnerable. Who puts these women and girls at risk of infection? It’s obviously men and boys. Yet, the majority of men and boys are oblivious to their risk. Many men do not know their HIV status, they do not test for HIV, if infected they do not access treatment, when they eventually test for HIV it is often too late and they are most likely to die of AIDS-related complications compared to their female counterparts. Thus, while the face of AIDS is that of a woman, AIDS mortality has the face of a man.

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MenEngage Swaziland Call For An End to Violence- June 9th, 2016

Violence against women and children must stop now!

Purpose of the Network

To promote the engagement of men and boys in achieving gender equality, preventing HIV, promoting human rights and health and reducing violence at all levels.

Aims and Objectives

The Men Engage network seeks to promote collaboration and resource sharing, support joint advocacy initiatives and build capacity on engagement of men and boys in achieving gender equality in Swaziland. The network has prioritised the following areas of focus:

  • Men and ending Gender Based Violence and Sexual Exploitation
  • Men, Sexuality, Sexual Reproductive Health Rights and HIV and AIDS
  • Men, Maternal and Child Health
  • Men, Fatherhood and Care giving
  • Men and Health

Steering Committee

The network steering committee consist of a tripartite alliance of government, civil society as well as UN agencies which include:

The Coordinating Assembly of Non-Governmental Organisations in Swaziland (CANGO), the Gender and Family Issues Unit (National Gender Machinery under the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister), the National Emergency Response Council on HIV and Aids (NERCHA – which coordinates national HIV response in Swaziland), UNDP (which is the chair for the UN Gender theme group comprising all the UN agencies), UNFPA (which has committed to fund the network and its activities) and Population Services International (PSI).

Scope of Work

  • To share best practices and draw recommendations for promotion of men as partners, men as service users and men as agents of change.
  • Train gender, women’s and health organizations on networking and coalition-building, to promote gender and SRH/HIV policies and programmes that engage men and boys.
  • To participate in, coordinate and/or facilitate networking meetings among coalition member organizations.
  • To conduct joint campaigns and activities with other institutions to increase dialogue on the need for policies and programs that support engaging men in the promotion of gender equity, HIV prevention and SRH.
  • To provide input into information, education or communication materials developed by network members related to men’s engagement in health and social justice.
  • To establish active linkages (local, national and global) to raise men and boys’ voices and action on gender-based violence/VAW.
  • To develop a knowledge base on men and masculinity through research and study.
  • To campaign to change structural and behavioural barriers to ensure gender justice.
  • To provide technical input into policy documents or guidelines developed to improve the quality of men, women and couple-friendly HIV and AIDS and sexual and reproductive health services.