What we believe

We believe that questioning men’s and women’s attitudes and expectations about gender roles is crucial to achieving gender equality.

We believe that manhood is NOT defined:

  • by how many sexual partners you have,
  • by using violence against women or men,
  • by how much pain you can endure,
  • by how much power you can exert over others,
  • or by whether you are gay or straight.

We believe that manhood IS defined:

  • by building relationships based on respect and equality,
  • by speaking out against violence in your society,
  • by having the strength to ask for help,
  • by shared-decision making and shared power,
  • and by how much you are able to respect the diversity
  • and rights of those around you.


Our Core Principles


Gender as relational: The Alliance believes that men, ALONG WITH WOMEN, should be engaged in achieving gender equality and in advancing the rights, health and well-being of women and girls. Questioning men’s violence against women: The Alliance is dedicated to engaging men and boys to end violence against women and in questioning or challenging violent versions of manhood.

Promoting existing UN mandates: We are dedicated to engaging men and boys to fulfill the mandates, statements of action, and principles of ICPD, CEDAW and CSW statements (48th session), and CRC and working collectively to encourage governments to do the same.

Engaging men as caregivers: We are dedicated to promoting more equitable participation by men and boys in caregiving, the care of children and domestic tasks.

Working as allies with existing women’s rights processes: We are committed to working as allies with women and women’s rights organizations to achieve equality for women and girls.

Sexual diversity and sexual rights: We are dedicated to promoting cultures of masculinities that respect sexual diversity and sexual and reproductive rights of all, and that engage men so that reproductive health and contraception are more evenly shared between men and women.

The vulnerabilities of men: The Alliance believes that the specific needs and experiences of men and boys have often not been well understood nor taken into account in the development of public policy or professional practice across a wide range of areas. We believe that some men and boys are made vulnerable by non-equitable and violent versions of manhood.


Engaging men from a positive perspective: The Alliance believes that women and girls and boys and men and the wider society would benefit from recognition of these issues and appropriate action to transform non-equitable and violent versions of manhood and redress power inequalities related to gender. We seek to build examples of men already acting in more gender-equitable and non-violent ways.

Participation: The Alliance will strive to include and take into account the voices of men and women, boys and girls, at the community level, and the voices of community-level NGOs.

Non-discrimination: The Alliance will actively advocate against, question and seek to overcome, sexism, social exclusion, homophobia, racism or any form of discriminatory behavior against women or gay/bisexual/transgender men and women, or on any other basis.

Transparency: The Alliance will be transparent, honest, fair and ethical in all of its actions, including making public its sources of funding and annual budget.

Collaboration: The MenEngage partners seek to work in collaboration, dialoguing openly about institutional differences and achieving consensus whenever possible.

Evidence base: The MenEngage partners seek to build on evidence-based approaches to engaging men and boys.

Human rights perspective and life cycle approach: The partners recognize the need to apply a human rights perspective in all their activities and to take into account a lifecycle and ecological approach that incorporates both the individual as well as the broader social and structural contexts that shape gender inequalities.



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