Engaging men as allies for gender equality

Engaging men as allies for gender equality

Our Men’s Engagement Programme encourages men to become allies of women’s rights and empowerment.

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Men's Engagement Programme

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Patriarchal systems disempower and discriminate against women. Too many men still believe that they are superior to women, and treat their wives, sisters and daughters as objects - to be owned and disposed of. In many societies, especially those affected by conflict, this behaviour is considered the norm. Husbands beat their wives, marry off their young daughters and disregard the opinions of women in their community.

With your support, we can change that.

Why do we work with men?

There are 3 main reasons for engaging with men for women's equality

Our mens engagement programme teaches male community members about the harmful impacts of violence against women. Photo: Rada Akbar


Men hold important positions of power in societies. Engaging with them can promote normative change via their influence.
DRC_Photo: Ryan Carter


Men can become allies who understand the benefits of promoting gender equality and work in partnership with women.
Photo: Charles Lomodong


Patriarchal attitudes reinforce cultural norms that dictate how men should behave and limit the role a man can play in his family and community.

Our graduates take action to support women's equality

We see promising behavioural changes in Men's Engagement Programme graduates:


Graduates in Afghanistan reported taking action to share information with their community about the effects of violence against women, compared to 15% at enrolment.


Increase in men's knowledge scores between enrolment and graduation in Afghanistan, DRC and Nigeria. This test includes questions on women's inheritance, age of consent, violence against women and family planning.


Graduates in Afghanistan reported having taken action to support a female victim of violence, compared to 15% at enrolment. 


"I had to beg my wife for forgiveness for all the things I have done in the past.” Monday, a participant of the Men's Engagement Programme in Nigeria with his wife and daugther. Photo: Monilekan

How do we work with men?


Changing men’s behaviours is crucial to achieving women’s equality. This means both stopping negative actions as well as becoming effective agents of change in promoting women’s equality for the women in their lives and in the wider community. 

In their own words

Obadia Lowiya Steven copy

Obadia Lowiya Steven

subtitle: South Sudan

Since attending this training my behaviour has changed for the better. We can now manage our family problems better. I am learning about the importance of allowing girls to finish school, and am against early marriage.

Veronica Ayuba


subtitle: Nigeria

When my husband got money, he would spend it on drink. When our children were sick, I had to look for traditional medicine as I didn’t have the money to go to the hospital. Now he has changed.

Male Graduate copy


subtitle: Afghanistan

One thing we struggled with as a community, when we married or engaged our daughters, is that we would not ask them… We didn’t know any different, and we thought it was part of our religion.

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Women's equality is everyone's business. Be inspired by the men promoting gender equality around the world.

In order to help women to break through the stereotypes that limit their opportunities, we work with men to challenge discrimination and help them become allies in the fight for gender equality. Since 2002, we have worked with over 50,894 men through our Men's Engagement Programme.