Men’s Health Information and Resource Centre

World Health Organisation: Engaging Males In Changing Gender Based Inequity In Health

WHO Health Inequity A review of programs undertaken by the World Health Organisation in engaging males in gender-based health.

This review assessed the effectiveness of programmes seeking to engage men and boys in achieving gender equality and equity in health and was driven by the following questions.

  • What is the evidence on the effectiveness of programmes engaging men and boys in sexual and
    reproductive health; HIV prevention, treatment, care and support; fatherhood; gender-based violence;
    maternal, newborn and child health; and gender socialization?
  • How effective are these programmes?
  • What types of programmes with men and boys show more evidence of effectiveness?
  • What gender perspective should be applied to men and boys in health programmes?
  • Does applying a gender perspective to work with men and boys lead to greater effectiveness in
    terms of health outcomes?

The review analysed data from 58 evaluation studies (identified via an Internet search, key informants
and colleague organizations) of interventions with men and boys in:

  • sexual and reproductive health, including HIVprevention, treatment, care and support
  • fatherhood, including programmes to support or encourage them to participate more actively in
    the care and support of their children;
  • gender-based violence, including both prevention campaigns and activities that seek to prevent
    men’s use of violence against women as well as programmes with men who have previously used physical violence against women (sometimes known as batterer intervention programmes);
  • maternal, newborn and child health: programmes engaging men in reducing maternal morbidity and mortality and to improve birth outcomes and child health and well-being; and
  • gender socialization: programmes that work across these four issues (or at least most of them)
    and critically discuss the socialization of boys and men or the social construction of gender relations.


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