Engaging men and boys in changing gender-based inequity in health: Evidence from programme interventions

The social expectations of what men and boys should and should not do and be directly affect attitudes and behaviour related to a range of health issues. Research with men and boys has shown how inequitable gender norms influence how men interact with their partners, families and children on a wide range of issues, including preventing the transmission of HIV and sexually transmitted infections, contraceptive use, physical violence (both against women and between men), domestic chores, parenting and their health-seeking behaviour.

This review assessed the effectiveness of programmes seeking to engage men and boys in achieving gender equality and equity in health and was driven by the following questions.

  • What is the evidence on the effectiveness of programmes engaging men and boys in sexual and reproductive health; HIV prevention, treatment, care and support; fatherhood; gender-based violence; maternal, newborn and child health; and gender socialization?
  • How effective are these programmes?
  • What types of programmes with men and boys show more evidence of effectiveness?
  • What gender perspective should be applied to men and boys in health programmes?
  • Does applying a gender perspective to work with men and boys lead to greater effectiveness in terms of health outcomes?
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