Contexts and Challenges for Gender Transformative Work with Men and Boys

This discussion paper provides a fresh look at how masculinities form a common thread running through a multitude of global problems. It offers a wide-reaching analysis of the political, economic and socio-cultural forces confronting the world today.

The paper brings renewed focus to the ways the world continues to be shaped in profound ways by ideas and attitudes around being a man – in personal behavior, institutional practice, and ideologies.

It builds on a rich body of analysis advanced by feminist and LGBTIQ social movements that helps explain how systemic gender injustice works – and how to challenge it.

An online discussion series explored the topics of this discussion paper as part of the MenEngage Ubuntu Symposium (2020-21). The sessions brought together the author of the paper, plus experts across the topics that were explored. Click here for the recordings of this video series.

Who will find this discussion paper useful?

You will find this Discussion Paper useful if you want to raise questions about how to contribute to ending patriarchal power, protecting human rights and achieving gender equality and social justice for all. It will help you to gain a deeper understanding of historical and current trends impacting work with men and boys for gender justice. You will explore new, critical reflections and important areas of discussion on how global issues relate to work to transform patriarchal masculinities.

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Front cover of report. Plain background with text: 'Contexts and Challenges for Gender Transformative Work with Men and Boys: A discussion paper. Launched on the occasion of the 3rd MenEngage Global Symposium, the Ubuntu Symposium 10–12 November 2020'


  • Gender Justice: The Need for Systemic Change
  • Political Contexts: Authoritarianism, Ethnonationalism and Militarism
  • Economic Contexts: Neoliberalism, Climate Crisis and Care Economies
  • Social Contexts: Anti-Feminism, Normalized Violence and Politicized Religion
  • Operational Contexts: Rationale, Accountability and Social Change
  • Ways Forward
26 December 2020