As the work with men and boys for gender equality matures, MenEngage, a global alliance of organisations working with men and boys for gender equality is holding the 2nd MenEngage Global Symposium in New Delhi from 10-13 November, 2014. The overall theme of the Symposium is, ‘Men and Boys for Gender Justice.’ Its purpose is to find ways to engage men and boys for gender equality so that society becomes more caring and non-violent and gender relations become more harmonious. The symposium encompasses a holistic approach to understanding the implications of masculinities in different domains and disciplines.
Building on the First Symposium in Rio
There is deepening realization that while men and boys are implicated in violence and discrimination against women and girls, many men and boys are themselves victims of violence and risks associated with narrow views of masculinity. ‘Masculinities’ is emerging as an important lens to understand the influences and compulsions men face.
The 1st Global Symposium on Engaging Men and Boys for Gender Equality, held in Rio de Janeiro in March 2009 with the theme ‘Going to Scale’, marked a major advance by MenEngage partners in articulating, operationalising and scaling up work to involve men in gender equality. The momentum created by the first conference led to the articulation that while it is men who wield power in the world and men who set standards for each other, it is their standards that have brought about the current state in which opportunities for peace, justice, physical, mental and emotional well-being and mutually respectful co-existence are rapidly becoming compromised. If there is to be a social order which allows everyone equal opportunity and space, it is necessary to interrogate and reform dominant masculinities.
Five years after the Rio symposium, the four-day symposium in New Delhi will bring together researchers and practitioners, advocates and activists, government representatives and the donor community to share experiences and evidence, reflections and insights, and promote dialogue with those engaged in women’s rights work in order to seek directions on how men and boys can creatively contribute to gender equality. The aim is to create a new development paradigm beyond the MDG framework, towards a broader vision of social justice.
JOINING IN THE SYMPOSIUM
All those around the world concerned with gender, masculinities, social justice and development issues, whether
The presentations can draw upon four dimensions
The Rio Declaration from the first Global Symposium on Engaging Men and Boys for Gender Equality, in March 2009 called on “governments, the UN, NGOs, individuals and the private sector to devote increased commitment and resources to engaging men and boys in questioning and overcoming inequitable and violent versions of masculinities and to recognize the positive role of men and boys – and their own personal stake – in overcoming gender injustices.”
The 2nd MenEngage Global Symposium 2014 is expected to take forward the work of integrating interventions with men and boys in a wide range of development programme activities, including maternal health, child care and protection of child rights and family planning, not to mention in societies recovering from the violence of war.