How can community development initiatives contribute to changing men’s perceptions, beliefs, attitudes and behaviour in regard to promoting gender equality? In Nicaragua, a number of development NGOs started to engage in challenging hegemonic masculinity in the 1990s, because women within those organisations began to emphasise the connections between social justice and gender justice. This article highlights, among others, how the Association of Men Against Violence (AMAV) has engaged in supporting the political agenda and advocacy initiatives of the women’s movement and organisations aimed at ending men’s violence against women.
Part of this has been the participation in protests condemning the harassment of feminist leaders and women’s organisations by state institutions. Even though there have been significant changes in attitudes and behaviour of individual men, which are necessary for broader social change, many feminists have lamented that these changes often do not transfer to structural and institutionalised change. For broader change to take place it is hence fundamental to scale up interventions in order to influence public and political institutions.