Engaging Men and Boys – Time to Scale Up!

Speech at the seminar:
Engaging Men and Boys – Time to Scale Up!

Tomas Agnemo, Secretary General, Men for Gender Equality Sweden, board member MenEngage Alliance.


”Fellow humans, ministers, colleagues – friends.

My name is Tomas Agnemo and I am the Secretary General of Men for Gender Equality Sweden, a member of the MenEngage board and co-chair of MenEngage Europe.

Today I will present MenEngage – our work, the role of men in and how to scale up.

MenEngage is a global alliance of 680 organizations of women, men and transgender persons – people of all genders – that work with men and boys for gender equality. We work with advocacy, policy and networking.


MenEngage has 6 regional and 34 country networks, and works for gender justice. We are pro-feminist and feminist organizations. We are allies with the women’s movement and realize and emphasize that trust is earned!
Men – men are a part of the problem – so we shall need to be part of the solution. Men will loose some – and win some – on gender equality. Men are experts on their own lives – but we shall not reinforce the binary but work with an intersectional perspective.


Men need to be aware of the privilege and power that comes with patriarchy – always know your privilege and power! Be aware of your status – recognize your positions and practices and the glass escalator you are travelling in!


So – what do we do? We are a diverse network of 680 organizations who wants to scale up the work with men and boys for gender equality – our field is working with men and boys. We think that interventions should start early, with kids and youth – early universal programmes for gender equitable socialization.

MenEngage works with three key themes – SRHR, GBV and Fatherhood/caregiving. We emphasize the importance of SDG 5 – women and gender.

SRHR – Men step up for womens rights to – safe and legal abortions – the right to contraceptives. Men – ask for male contraceptives – influence your goverments to develop them! Create a space for mens health – and how it relates to sexuality!

GBV – men perpetrators of 95% of the violence. Men – step out of the masculinity box. We need to transform masculinities as primary prevention!

Fatherhood and caregiving – MenCare campaign, parental leave campaign, fathers groups.


So what are the challenges for scaling up?

  • Get a critical mass of men! I am the only man in this panel J
    • To lead the work with men!
  • Men as leaders for change – the personal is political!
  • Men as agents for change!
  • Get a movement of feminist men!


Scale up:
Scale Up post 2015:
– monitor governments
– move from policies, programmes and activities to institutionalisation! Do not work in silos – integrate! Work in schools, workplaces, sports etc etc.
– from lipservice to institutionalisation!

  • We need to get men and boys more and engaged beyond likes on Facebook!

Gender transformation for men and women


SDGs – welcomes and fully support stand alone goal “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”.

  • ADD: Women´s and girls human rights!
  • Scale up/integrate!
  • Let CSW monitor Gender Equality in the SDGs.
  • ADD: Indicators on men and gender equality.


Let us be allies for change! Allies for structural change!

  • MenEngage
  • UN-agencies
  • Countries
    • Invite Civil Society as delegates to CSW and to SDG sessions!


We as Civil Society working on Men and Gender Equality are the experts – we have the experience and evidence – involve us! Cooperate with us! We are 680 organisations globally. Become members of MenEngage!

I want to finish with one of my favourite quotes:

”Men who want to be feminists do not need to be given a space in feminism. They need to take the space they have and make it feminist.”

Thank you!”
Tomas Agnemo_CSW




Tomas Agnemo

Secretary General,
Men for Gender Equality Sweden



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