Virtual Dialogue: Roles and responsibilities of men and boys in response to #MeToo

The global movement surrounding the viral hashtag #MeToo, in which many women, and some men, bravely share their experiences of sexual harassment and abuse, has sparked a surge in interest and concern about the persistence of gender-based violence and inequalities around the world, which many are considering a potential watershed moment for feminisms.

After the 2017 #MeToo movement emerged1, MenEngage Alliance Global Secretariat released a statement, expressing solidarity with survivors of abuse and highlighting men’s critical roles and responsibilities in putting an end to these persistent cultures of violence. The statement provoked a lively debate among Alliance members, and ultimately led to the realization that, in order to appropriately address this complex issue, it is necessary to engage the membership in further debate and collectively ‘crowdsource’ ideas and solutions. MenEngage Alliance is a global network of activists, experts, practitioners, researchers and NGOs, made up of women’s rights, SRHR, gender justice and engaging men and boys-focused organizations, working towards achieving women’s rights and gender justice for all through a collective platform.

To this end, MenEngage Alliance Global Secretariat organized a virtual discussion “Roles and responsibilities of men and boys in response to #MeToo”, as a safe-space for critical reflection and collective exploration on the engagement of men and boys in addressing the issues surfaced by #MeToo. The following report outlines the main discussion points and ways forward suggested by participants to address cultures of violence, from changing the individual attitudes and behaviours of men and boys, to transforming broader systems to eliminate violence and injustices.