A call to center feminist systems change, accountability, decolonisation, youth leadership, and intersectionality in work to transform masculinities and engage men and boys in gender equality and social justice.
The Ubuntu Declaration and Call to Action sets out a collective vision for change against the backdrop of a world facing urgent challenges. It is an important collective commitment for those working to engage men and boys and transforming masculinities.
The Ubuntu Declaration and Call to Action is one of the key outcome documents from the 3rd MenEngage Global Symposium. It builds upon the 2014 Delhi Declaration and Call to Action and 2009 Rio Declaration and Call to Action.
Who will find this resource useful?
This text invites you to join a vision for transformative change for social justice. It is particularly relevant for any actors working to transform masculinities and engage men and boys for gender equality.
Whether you work in policy, research, campaigning, communications, institutional change, or directly with men and boys, the Ubuntu Declaration and Call to Action is an invitation to work together towards a shared political agenda to dismantle oppressive systems and structures of all kinds.
Watch the live reading of the Ubuntu Declaration and Call to Action from the Closing Event on 22 June 2021:
7 commitments of the Ubuntu Declaration and Call to Action
See below for an overview of the commitments in the Ubuntu Declaration and Call to Action. These are expanded upon further in the full text, which you can download above.
Intersectional feminist approaches
We commit to firmly rooting our work with men and boys to transform patriarchal masculinities in intersectional feminist principles and analysis. We commit to following the leadership of feminist women’s rights and intersectional social justice movements. Critical to this task is centering and elevating the agency, voices, analysis and demands of women; LGBTIQ individuals; people of color; Black, indigenous and youth communities – centering those living at these intersections and who are on the margins of the margins.
Feminist systems change
We commit to working to dismantle unequal power structures and patriarchal systems to advance the feminist systems change agenda towards social, economic and environmental justice. We commit to critical reflection about patriarchal masculinities in our work with men and boys…and to bring men and boys onboard as advocates for systemic transformation.
We commit to accountability and taking responsibility as the only way forward. We commit to holding ourselves accountable to the principles and standards that we have developed for the work on transforming masculinities and engaging men and boys in gender equality.
We, including young leaders, commit to valuing the agency, perspectives and leadership of youth movements and young people in all our diversities. We commit to centering young voices in our decision-making and agenda-setting, and mutually sharing knowledge, resources and opportunities to support and advance meaningful youth participation. We commit to working intergenerationally, building on the histories and expertise across the movements.
We commit to questioning and unpacking how colonial, eurocentric, Global-North centered and hegemonic structures of power and dominance continue to produce inequalities around the world. We commit to work towards decolonizing our minds, practices and organizing, including how knowledge is produced and shared.
Inner Work for Social Change
We acknowledge that all our commitments made here may not be possible unless we do the inner work required to propel social change. We believe that personal transformation is deeply interwoven to social change, and we call for reflecting on power and privilege, as well as where we are positioned within the systems of oppression.We commit to an ongoing reflective practice that increases transformative awareness of self and others, as well as of the systems from which complex social problems arise.
Power-with, Allyship and Movement-building
We commit to supporting and acting in solidarity, as meaningful allies, to intersectional feminist and social justice movements and organizing, both on the streets and in the halls of power. We seek to do so by radically listening and learning from these movements and from the lessons they have learned over time, from their leadership, and to reach out, build bridges and work in allyship.
Find out more
The MenEngage Ubuntu Symposium took place from November 2020 to June 2021. It involved more than 600 speakers and 300 hours of discussions over 7 months. Explore the session recordings of the Ubuntu Symposium on the MenEngage Alliance YouTube channel.
About the Authors
The Ubuntu Declaration and Call to Action was co-developed by 72 people from 54 countries over the course of the Ubuntu Symposium from November 2020 to June 2021.