OHCHR Review of promising practices to engage men and boys in violence prevention

A Review by OHCHR of promising practices for engaging men and boys in preventing violence against women.

This Review was conducted by the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). OHCHR is the main UN entity on human rights.

It highlights the opportunities of engaging men and boys, as well as the risks. It summarizes some existing efforts on this approach. And it gives an overview of how to avoid harmful practices in gender equality work that includes a focus on men and boys. It goes on to explore promising practices for education and awareness-raising.

Together with the UN Human Rights Council Resolution 35/10, this Review helps form a high-level framework for engaging men and boys for gender justice.

The Review covers a range of gender justice topics including:

  • Fostering an equal share of responsibility in domestic life
  • Promoting gender equality in health
  • Breaking the cycle of violence
  • Establishing a legal and policy framework
  • Building institutional capacity
  • Social and community mobilization
  • Methodologies for a gender-transformative approach

The Review emphasized the need to ensure that frameworks to engage men and boys are carried out in gender-transformative ways. It also highlighted the need to center intersectional feminist approaches that are human rights based.

The OHCHR report raises the importance of being accountable in this work and notes the contributions of MenEngage Alliance towards this.

The full title of the OHCHR Review is: Review of promising practices and lessons learned, existing strategies and United Nations and other initiatives to engage men and boys in promoting and achieving gender equality, in the context of eliminating violence against women.

It was mandated in a 2017 Human Rights Council Resolution about engaging men and boys to prevent violence against women and girls.

In addition, MenEngage Alliance has prepared a shorter Briefing document. The aim of the Brief is to help summarize the key points for members and partners of MenEngage Alliance.

OHCHR Review engaging men and boys Front Cover displaying title (mentioned above on this webpage))

Download the report by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

PDF 463.3 KB

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MenEngage Alliance OHCHR Brief Front Cover including title (which is mentioned above on this webpage))

Download the highlights report Brief by MenEngage Alliance

PDF 387.3 KB

Establishing a framework for the engagement of men and boys


Who will find this resource useful?

The OHCHR report is a valuable resource for activists, advocates, policy makers, researchers, and civil society interested in how to engage men and boys for gender justice. It provides insights into the

The MenEngage Alliance Brief highlights parts of the OHCHR Review that are useful for activists and advocates working for progressive policies on engaging men and boys for gender justice.

Find out more

Click here for the Resolution 35/10 of the Human Rights Council (the Resolution that led to this OHCHR Review).

Click here to find out more about our work on advocacy.

About the authors

In creating the Review, OHCHR received contributions from 19 governments, 10 human rights institutions, 3 United Nations entities, 1 public-private partnership and 21 civil society organizations (including MenEngage Alliance)

The contributions from MenEngage Alliance included coordinating inputs from 20 of our members and partners.

The Brief, which shares highlights from the OHCHR Review, was prepared by the MenEngage Alliance Global Secretariat.

28 June 2022
First published
19 April 2018