IDS research on Gender and Development has sought diverse ways to understand and address inequality in gender relations since the late 1970s. It has contributed significantly to the field of knowledge on engaging men and boys in gender equality initiatives, initially mostly in the contexts of addressing HIV/AIDS and tackling gender-based violence. Examples of work include the ‘Mobilising Men to challenge sexual and gender-based violence in institutional settings’ project (supported by the United Nations Population Fund) in 2010. IDS partnered with implementing civil society organisations in India, Kenya and Uganda to identify, recruit, train and support teams of male activists to work with women in developing campaigns to challenge and change the policies and cultures of specific institutional settings that condone or even fuel sexual and gender-based violence.
Another example is the Men, Masculinities and HIV project, which is one of the work streams of the Gender, Power and Sexuality (GPS) programme, funded by Sida. This work stream aims to influence norms and institutions at global and local levels to more effectively tackle the challenge of achieving gender equality, and particularly looking at the role of men in this process. Another work stream under the same programme is BRIDGE’s Gender and Social Movements programme which aims to inspire and support social justice movements (involving both women and men) to integrate gender equality principles and practices in social justice mobilisation.
Within the Gender and Sexuality cluster, BRIDGE is a gender research and communications programme first established in 1992 which seeks to transform development practice by supporting global gender advocacy and mainstreaming efforts down to the operational level, by bridging the gaps between theory, policy and practice. BRIDGE has long called for the need to engage men and boys – and understanding of masculinities - in gender and development approaches. For example the BRIDGE report on Gender and Care explored the social, institutional and attitudinal barriers to men‘s involvement in unpaid care responsibilities, drawing on the expertise of Sonke and Promundo. BRIDGE produced a much-cited annotated literature review on ‘Engaging men in gender equality: positive strategies and approaches’ in 2006.
The most recent and active project is 'Engendering Men: Evidence on Routes to Gender Equality' (EMERGE), in collaboration with Promundo-US and Sonke Gender Justice Network.
All the outputs from the research presented are being published through OpenDocs at the Institute of Development Studies. OpenDocs is an online repository of development research from the IDS.