Working for an equal future

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Working with Men & Boys

Promotion of mutually empowering relationships between girls and boys is a key dimension of UNICEF’s work, providing for cumulative strengthening of gender equality over time, in both the public and private spheres.

Men and boys can be powerful allies in the achievement of gender equality. UNICEF informs and raises the awareness of men and boys on the benefits of more gender-equal social structure and relationships.

Men are the dominant decision makers in most situations, and yet are often overlooked in activities to promote gender equality. UNICEF understands their engagement in gender equality programming to be important to the achievement of positive outcomes.

Goals such as joint parenting, prevention of HIV and AIDS, reduction of risk-taking behaviour and women’s and girls’ empowerment, pre-suppose transformation of male attitudes, roles and behaviour, so the direct involvement of boys and men to advance their own processes of change and transformation is a necessity. Here UNICEF seeks to ensure that its programmes with boys’ groups are complementary with girls groups in the same neighbourhoods, so that relationships among them can be addressed.

UNICEF also works with boys to address the specific discriminations that they experience, for example in some education systems, or when forced into combat or sexual exploitation.

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