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Positioning GAGE evidence on masculinities

This brief summarises research undertaken to determine the range of key players and policy opportunities in engaging men and boys in promoting gender equality.

The mapping of associated stakeholders and policies provides guidance to researchers, policy-makers and practitioners seeking to engage on subject matter relating to the inclusion of men and boys in interventions aimed at gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. The research findings show that there are gradual but noticeable shifts in global and national conversations on how best to engage men and boys over the past few decades. These shifts have been supported by the development of normative standards (particularly over the past 15 years) such as the Human Rights Council Resolution 35/10 (2017), and also the various standards mapped in this study, but also by a handful of influential actors who have driven the agenda at global and national levels.

This expansion in the prominence of discourse on the engagement of men and boys in the gender equality and women’s empowerment space has nonetheless garnered concerns over competition for resources in an already constrained operating environment. As this brief explains, these shifts are largely occurring in four dominant policy or thematic areas: violence and bodily integrity; sexual and reproductive health (SRH); shared reproductive roles; and peace and security. In terms of action, the findings demonstrate the need to:

•  better disseminate and promote global normative frameworks and policy documents relating to men and boys at the national level to encourage North-South and South-South partnerships;

• address the significant demand for evidence on the part of practitioners that robustly measures behaviour change among men and boys;

• understand that the sharing of knowledge in the ‘masculinities space’ takes place primarily through formal, large-scale and infrequent events such as global symposia, as well as through informal (intra-agency) networking;

• define and expand ways to ensure accountability to the principles of feminism in male-oriented organisations.