MEGEN – Malawi Chapter, is a network of over 50,000 progressive men in Malawi which has sister networks across Africa.
MEGEN, the oldest men’s organization for gender equality in the country, began in 1997. MEGEN is actively involved in mobilizing groups of men throughout Malawi. For MEGEN, it’s work focuses on efforts to the prevention and response to gender-based violence and the spread of HIV and AIDS that arises from unequal power relations. In addition to enhancing women’s participation in the public and political spheres, MEGEN also seeks to rectify “men’s negative use of power” and the detrimental impact it can have on relationships.
MEGEN works in 18 of the 28 districts of Malawi, with chapter sizes reaching upwards of 150 active members. MEGEN conducts tailor-made courses that provide men with basic training on gender issues, as well as capacity-building workshops in which men are supported to deeply reflect on “what it means to be a man” and “what a real man should be.”
MEGEN’s two key strategies for accomplishing its goals consist of their rapid-response teams and the Men Travelling Conference (MTC). Each local MEGEN chapter organizes a rapid-response team, which responds to cases of abuse through ‘social dialogue’. Meanwhile, the MTC aims to end gender-based violence by hiring coaches, including police officers and municipal officials, to reach out to the community and engage others in conversation on eliminating power dynamics that create inequalities between men and women.