The Malawi Government has disclosed plans to launch a three-year Male Engagement Strategy to champion male involvement gender issues.
The launch will take place next and is expected to be spearheaded by the Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare.
The ministry’s Principal Gender Officer, Joseph Kalelo, told Nyasa Times that the strategy, which is now at a completion stage, will act as a blue print to guide the implementation of programmes designed to reduce gender based violence, sexual reproductive health and HIV and Aids, among others.
“It has been observed that large number of men and boys are left behind on those issues hence the formulation of this strategy to involve them,” he said.
He said currently, the interventions tend to favour women and girls while sidelining boys and men.
Kalelo further said men and boys are not just perpetrators, but also victims of various abuses therefore need to engage them.
The strategy will help change myths and beliefs that when men and boys experience attacks or injustices, they should remain silent because if they talk then they are not men enough, he said.
It will also enhance coordination of male involvement on a large scale as they are operating on a small scale.
Gender activist Marcel Chisi said once finalized, the strategy will help to guide all institutions that engage men for gender transformation to design and execute programs in line with the strategy for greater national impact.
Currently, Chisi said, there are a number of organizations that are implementing gender programs with a small male involvement component.
“The challenge has been there is no standardized framework for engaging men in their own way and in some cases not clear why men have to be engaged,” he said.
Also Coordinator for Men for Gender Equality Now (MEGEN) and Men Engage Alliance (MEA), Chisi said the strategy is one of the approach of bridging the gap and creating gender equal societies.
However, some of the areas to form part of the strategy include Men and Health, Men and Adoption of positive social norms, Men and Masculinities, Men and Responsible Fatherhood, Men and HIV and AIDS as well as Men and Promotion of Women in Politics.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :