MenEngage & Accountability

On this page you will find MenEngage Alliance resources, tools, and promising practices to help you think about accountability, and to take action to implement and improve accountability measures in your work with men and boys.

It also includes information on activities that MenEngage Alliance has done to advance accountable practice within our own work.


Work to engage men and boys around gender equality and women’s rights has gained momentum and interest in recent years.

But this interest comes with a risk that such work is done in ways that are counterproductive to the needs and wishes of women and girls and other historically oppressed groups.

Even well-meaning interventions can inadvertently support the inequalities that feminist and women’s movements have been working so hard to dismantle for generations.

So how can we make sure projects targeting men and boys make real contributions to gender justice, women’s rights, and anti-oppression work? How can we make sure our work adds value to and supports the most marginalised groups who experience multiple forms of oppression? Those are some of the questions at the heart of accountability.

Lena Wallquist quote: Accountability to me is really responsibility, it is to take responsibility for the work we do.

Preston Mitchum quote: Our accountability must be to the most marginalized communities and those on the margins of the margins. That means women of color, people of trans experience, gender non-conforming people and other LGBTQIA groups


Accountability to the women’s movement and to other historically oppressed social groups is a necessary practice for building collaborative and equitable partnerships.

For MenEngage Alliance, being accountable means to:

Be critically aware of one’s own power and privilege, and be open to criticism.
Take action to address personal and institutional practices that go against our principles of gender equality and human rights, acknowledging any harm caused and making amends.
Respect and promote women’s leadership in the gender equality movement.
Create structures of consultation and partnerships with women’s rights organizations.

Accountability requires the development of a receptive capacity in men and others who have been placed in positions of power and privilege so that they can listen to the perspectives of the oppressed groups in order to become authentic allies.


Accountability is a process, not an end point. It takes continual work and is never ‘finished’.

To help you take meaningful action on accountability, MenEngage Alliance and partners have developed key resources for individuals and organizations working with men and boys:

Accountability Standards & Guidelines

This guide provides practical ways to implement and improve accountable practices. It has ideas for preventing breaches to our Code of Conduct, how to respond to issues, and how to collaborate meaningfully with women’s rights organizations.

Front cover of the MenEngage Accountability Standards & Guidelines

Download the Accountability Standards and Guidelines in:

Accountability Training Toolkit

This training toolkit guides you through a process to reflect on your work in terms of accountability. It can help you and your team to improve, develop, and implement your own promising practices around accountability.

Download the Accountability Standards and Guidelines in:

MenEngage Alliance Global Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct helps members remain consistent with the values and principles of the Alliance, both in their personal lives and in our professional and public work. It ensures a standard of accountability of all member organizations to others with whom we work, as well as an adherence of individual employees and volunteers of member organizations to the Core Principles of MenEngage Alliance.

Download the Global Code of Conduct in:




We strive to be accountable in all the work we do.

That means regularly asking ourselves difficult questions, and creating spaces where we can invite and listen to critical feedback. The following resources are one part of the ongoing process of being accountable as an Alliance working to engage men and boys in gender justice and women’s rights.

Putting MenEngage Alliance On The Spot

What does MenEngage Alliance need to do better?

Read what feminists, women’s rights, LGBTIQA+ rights, and gender justice activists had to say about MenEngage Alliance at an Accountability Dialogue session in New York in March 2018. The ‘On The Spot’ report includes 17 recommendations for MenEngage Alliance, our members, and anyone working in the field of men and masculinities.

A Critical Dialogue on Engaging Men and Boys

How can work with men and boys become truly transformative?

The Critical Dialogue on Engaging Men and Boys in Gender Justice Summary Report captures global experiences, concerns, lessons learned and recommendations from individuals working on women’s rights and empowerment, and those working to engage men and boys.

Change Begins Within

What does accountability mean to people working with men and boys?

Read what accountability means for individuals, organizations and states in the Change Begins Within: Practices and Processes of Accountability report. The report provides an insight into discussions held during the 2nd MenEngage Global Symposium in November 2014.


The following articles represent some of the views, discussions and challenges around accountability in the field of engaging men and boys in gender justice and women’s rights.

Key experiences in the contextualization of the MenEngage Code of Conduct in Nicaragua

Douglas Mendoza Urrutia and Ana María Bermudez, Nicaragua. 25 January 2017



“I can do it all by myself:” Why increased male caregiving may find resistance from women

Oswaldo Montoya, Global Accountability Associate, MenEngage Alliance. 1 September 2016

Men seeing themselves as full partners in care work

Bayano Valy. 11 August 2016.

The promotion of positive masculinities in public policies: the experience of Instituto WEM and the Costa Rican MenEngage Network

Alvaro Campos Guadamuz. 18 May 2016.

Transforming masculinities: the twists and turns of feminist men’s history in the Caribbean

Gabrielle Hosein. April 14, 2016.

Challenging Male Supremacy: Accountability and the experiences of a New York collective

Alan Greig. March 17, 2016.

Open the window: Achieving gender justice in sexual and reproductive health

Jon Hopkins and Seri Wendoh. March 3, 2016.

My journey to the MenEngage Alliance Board

Sonali Khan. February 25, 2016.

Engendering accountability

Jacqui Stevenson. February 11, 2016.

‘She will say yes eventually, that’s what happens in films’

Bilquis Tahira. February 4, 2016.

My gender-based privilege workshop

Terry Howard. January 28, 2016.

Accountability of boys, men and fathers in the gender equality process: a progressive framework

Markus Theunert. January 14, 2016.

Conceptualizing and implementing accountability in men’s gender equity efforts

NAMEN webinar. January 8, 2016.

On the power of norms and the norms of power

Riki Wilchins. December 17, 2015.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea?: A Feminist Argument for Engaging Men in Gender Equality

Nikki van der Gaag. December 10, 2015.

The gender politics of men’s anti-violence work

Michael Flood December 3, 2015.

Men and boys: allies or shareholders in the women’s rights movement? Finding the nexus

Catherine Nyambura. November 24, 2015.

The risks of men talking about gender

Sebastian Molano. November 19, 2015.

An Open Invitation to Further Dialogue Between the Global Network of Women’s Shelters and MenEngage Alliance

November 11, 2015.

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