Online Discussion from 22 until 31 October

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Wikigender Online Discussion
Engaging Men and Boys to Transform Discriminatory Social Norms

The SUMMARY REPORT is now available!

See the synthesis of the online discussion (4 pages)

Participate in this online discussion and be heard at the seminar on “Measuring progress towards gender equality: where do we stand?” on 13 November, an event co-organised by the OECD Development Centre and the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Stockholm.

Sonke Gender Justice Network, Men for Gender Equality Sweden (Män för Jämställdhet), the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Wikigender invite you to participate in a new online discussion on the topic of “Engaging Men and Boys in Transforming Discriminatory Social Norms”. The inputs from the Wikigender community will be presented via a summary report at the event.

To participate, scroll down to the bottom of the page and enter your comment from Monday 22/10 onwards.


While policy-makers and civil society have rightly focussed on the need to empower women as a core strategy to achieve gender equality, there is now growing recognition that engaging men and boys is fundamental for reaching full equality. Indeed, the 2013 theme for the fifty-seventh session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) will be on the Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls, and the review theme will focus on the equal sharing of responsibilities between women and men, including care giving in the context of HIV/AIDS.

The OECD Development Centre’s 2012 Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) found that while there has been progress in some areas, discriminatory social norms which undermine gender equality remain persistent and pervasive. For example, while countries are increasingly introducing laws to address domestic violence, female genital mutilation or women’s land rights, this has not translated to a shift in attitudes or practice. Can these discriminatory attitudes and norms be transformed without the buy-in and support of men and boys?

This online discussion is therefore a unique opportunity to focus more specifically on how men and boys can be engaged in transforming such discriminatory social norms to achieve gender equality. Many organisations are now designing innovative projects to engage men and boys in various gender equality initiatives – social media campaigns to challenge violence against women, community mobilisation programmes to combat early marriage and awareness-raising about men’s role as fathers and carers. We would like to hear from you on your experiences and knowledge on this issue. We particularly welcome contributions from implementers at program and project level and the sharing of reports or discussions on the topic.


  • Key issues: What are the opportunities and challenges for engaging men and boys in promoting gender equality? How can men and boys be persuaded that gender equality also benefits them? What are some examples of new thinking or evidence in this area?
  • Examples, case-studies: In your area/region, what are examples of successful programmes in engaging men and boys in transforming discriminatory social norms? (e.g. socio-cultural practices, caring responsibilities, employment rights, gender- based violence; other key issues highlighted in the SIGI) Are there approaches that are more effective than others? How can we harness the power of new technologies and the media? What role does men’s leadership play?
  • Action required: What actions should governments, donors, UN bodies and civil society take to support the engagement of men and boys in achieving gender equality?

Key Resources

Articles, Report and Briefs

Tools, websites and other resources

Key Contacts




We look forward to your participation! We strongly encourage you to disseminate news about the online discussion via your networks and on Twitter using #engagingmen and the following link to this page:

Anyone with an Internet connection is invited to participate in the discussion and we encourage you to express your views on this pressing issue.
Please note however that comments will be moderated to ensure that there is no spam disrupting the discussion.

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