Accountability Standards

We strive to be accountable to the communities, organisations, members, partners and groups that are impacted by and that influence our work. This includes accountability among ourselves across MenEngage Alliance networks. We commit to be answerable to ​all our stakeholders, and accept being held responsible for our decisions and actions, or inactions.

The following standards guide accountable practices at the personal, organisational, and network levels. Some are directed at MenEngage Alliance members as individuals; others are intended at leaders of MenEngage Alliance at various levels, while some guidelines apply to our member organisations and networks.

They aim to create expectations and boundaries, promote good practices and a culture of accountability, nurture better relationships, prevent and manage wrongdoings. These standards are intended to be seen in conjunction with the MenEngage Alliance Core Principles, Code of Conduct, Sexual Harassment Policy and Safeguarding Children and Young People Policy, as each of these instruments complements the others.

MenEngage Regional and country networks are encouraged to adapt and contextualise these standards.

General standards

Work as allies to feminist women’s rights, LGBTIQ rights, and youth activists organizations, networks and movements. Engage in open and meaningful dialogue with them. Seek and respond to their feedback, accepting their influence on your work. Respect their leadership, agency, voices, and spaces. Support their vision, agendas, political campaigns and actions.

Listen, consult and build meaningful partnerships with feminist women’s rights organizations, LGBTIQ, youth, child rights, anti-racist, climate, and diverse social justice organizations. Think of multiple ways this can be done, such as having advisory groups, representatives of these movements on board of directors and steering committees, as consultants, holding accountability dialogues, etc.

The experiences and voices of women, girls, and gender-nonconforming people – especially the most marginalized due to their gender, sexuality, racial, ethnic, economic, and diverse identities – should be central in our work.

Recognize the diversity within feminist movements and discern carefully when supporting the positions of some feminist actors that may conflict with other feminists’ views. Avoid taking sides to certain groups and thereby differentiating “which groups’’ we are accountable to. Support the common principles of feminist movements in all their diversity.

Listen and learn about men’s and boys’ diverse identities, experiences, needs and aspirations. Understand their complex relations with power, privilege, and harm. Address power, privilege, and men’s responsibilities in your work with men and boys.

Commit to inner-work. Ground your social activism in self-awareness, self-care, and healing. Commit to reflecting on privilege and power, both in personal and public spheres. Nurture collective spaces of mutual care, healing, inner transformation, critical self-reflection, and wellbeing.

Make your work publicly available and be open to criticism. Take actions to address personal or institutional practices that go against our principles. Acknowledge harm caused and make amends.

Foster a culture of accountability within our networks and organisations, in which information and power is shared. Show your commitment toward your colleagues. Be a good team player and answerable to others. Hold each other accountable.

Accountability at the organisational, national, and regional network level

Support member organizations, and MenEngage networks to adapt and contextualize the Core Principles, Code of Conduct, Accountability Standards, and Sexual Harassment Policy of the Alliance. Make these instruments context responsive and collectively owned.

Promote critical reflections on the work with men and boys, identifying areas for improvement and strategies to remain accountable.

Strengthen capacities on intersectional feminist principles and accountability mechanisms with leaders and members. Organise workshops and other learning opportunities.

Promote meaningful participation and leadership of women’s rights leaders and organisations, youth leaders, antiracists, LGBTQIA+, and other social justice movements within governance and decision-making structures of member organisations, the country, and regional networks. Aim to have gender parity in the leadership positions.

Hold accountability dialogues with key stakeholders (women’s and LGBTQIA+ rights organisations, indigenous and antiracist movements, youth and children’s rights groups, and any other most marginalised groups).

Accountability when responding to concerns and complaints

Nurture an enabling organisational and network culture and mechanisms for individuals and organisations to come forward with concerns and complaints.

Disseminate multiple channels by which anyone can file complaints or provide critical feedback about the work of the Alliance and that of its members. Include an anonymous complaint mechanism. Use and promote the MenEngage Global reporting page to seek and collect feedback.

Act promptly. Address all complaints and queries. Acknowledge receipt of complaints, commit to addressing them promptly and report back in due time.

Ensure objective review of complaints and that all parties are fairly treated. Respect their rights to privacy and safety. Protect whistleblowers. Consider neutral parties that can assist in these processes.

Whenever possible, adopt a restorative justice approach, if agreed by those affected. Ensure accountability not only ‘calls out’ bad behaviour, but also develops spaces whereby people who have made mistakes are able to reflect, learn, make amends, and do better.

Strengthen local accountability mechanisms led by MenEngage networks and members at the country and regional levels. When concerns and complaints come from issues that happened at the local level, agree on what roles in the response MenEngage national, regional, and global must take, and seek collaboration.

Accountable programming

Partner meaningfully with women’s rights, LGBTIQA rights and youth-led (as relevant) organisations in the design, delivery, and evaluation of projects and initiatives. Consult with leaders from these movements when planning new projects or initiatives. Whenever possible and appropriate, offer compensation or other incentives when requesting support from local women’s organisations and leaders.

Ensure that women, girls, and gender-nonconforming individuals provide feedback about interventions with men and boys in their communities. Ensure that your work is informed by their needs and aspirations. Make them part of your decision-making processes.

Ensure gender-transformative and intersectional approaches when designing interventions and programs to work with men, boys, and male-identified people; avoid reinforcing male domination, white supremacy, homo and transphobia, in messages and processes.

Recognize that male power and privilege will show up in activities with men and boys, either from participants and/or from program leaders. Therefore, be prepared to address harmful statements or actions and provide intensive training and ongoing support to group leaders.

Ensure that programs and initiatives are properly informed by the “Do No Harm” principle. This means, stay vigilant for any unintended consequences that could cause harm or reinforce injustice and inequality. Prioritise the safety and wellbeing of all individuals impacted by our activities, programs and projects.

Consider that gender transformative works with men and boys address the personal, the relational, the institutional, and the structural levels. If your work only focuses on one of these levels, seek partnerships with those working on the others.

Build the evidence on the impact of the work we do with men and boys and on transforming masculinities. Integrate into your programs monitoring, evaluation and learning components to collect lessons learned and document promising practices.

Accountable advocacy

Work in alignment with the feminist advocacy agendas, thereby amplifying their work. Learn about what kinds of solidarity actions feminist, antiracist, youth, and other social justice advocates demand. Disseminate their calls to action, activist statements, join their demonstrations, and support requests for input on their proposals.

Add value to the broader feminist and social justice agenda through the mens and masculinities lens.

Build advocacy partnerships with feminist, women’s rights, SOGIESC, anti-racist, climate, youth, and social justice activists, organisations, networks and movements. Integrate advocacy interests of feminist women’s rights and gender justice movements into your advocacy objectives.

Foster meaningful advocacy partnerships in the policy spaces in which you work–international, regional, national, or local. Prevent from competing or working in silos, operating on your own.

Challenge discourses that overtly centre a masculinities agenda or that solely focus men as victims of patriarchy. Do not enter in competition to efforts that centre recognition and resources for the needs of women and girls.

Commit to advancing an intersectional feminist political analysis on all policy work on men and masculinities. Resist attempts to keep the agenda apolitical and unanchored in feminist struggles and realities.

When policies include a men and masculinities lens, advocate to follow a feminist process and analysis from policy design, content, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation.

Accountable fundraising

Be mindful of the impact that your fundraising for the work with men and boys may have on those of women’s rights organisations, particularly on small organisations that struggle with funding. Prevent competition and rather seek to share resources by:

  • advocating before donors for more resources to gender transformative work in general and to women’s rights civil society organisations in particular
  • partnering with women’s rights organisations in the design, fundraising, and delivery of projects
  • advocating for the direct share of funds to local women’s led groups and initiatives
  • sharing information or inviting women’s rights organisations to spaces in which new fundraising opportunities are discussed
  • raise donors’ awareness about reducing competition and power-hierarchies among those working for gender justice

Before embarking on fundraising, assess how services offered by women’s rights organisations are funded, and advocate for resources for them.

Accountable to children, youth, and young people

Strengthen youth leadership and meaningful engagement, including in decision-making structures, within the member organisations and networks. Challenge adultism as a systemic form of discrimination of children and youths.

Ensure that young people’s leadership, expertise, and perspectives in all their diversity become central for MenEngage Alliance’s work and organising.

Build and strengthen community among young people locally, nationally, and across regions. In addition, promote intergenerational exchange and dialogue.

Recognize that young people have the skills and knowledge to lead and participate in the work of MenEngage Alliance. Adult leaders have a responsibility to create opportunities for youth leadership, including passing the torch on to new generations of leaders.

Adopt policies and procedures to ensure that your organisation and network provide a safe and secure environment for all children and young people who participate in our activities. Our commitment to safeguarding of children and young people is a priority.