Getting to Equal: Men, Gender Equality and SRHR

Men’s limited participation in sexual and reproductive health and rights doesn’t fall
out of the sky. It is the result of gender inequalities, of historical divisions related to
who does what in the home, of patriarchal control over women’s bodies, and of our
deep discomfort in talking to our sons and daughters about sexuality. This report is
part of Promundo’s effort to change this: bringing men in as full partners in sexual
and reproductive health and rights, and starting early with daughters and sons using
comprehensive, gender-transformative sexuality education. This cause requires us
to walk the talk. You would have to ask our son and daughter if we have succeeded,
but we affirm that open discussions of sexuality, gender, and intimacy have been key
aspects of how we have raised them.

This report highlights the need to work with young people – especially boys and
young men – on sexual and reproductive health and rights. Boys’ and men’s sexuality
and reproduction are absolutely central to their entire lives, but you’d never know it
from looking at the information provided to them, the services that are offered, and
the data that are collected on their experiences. Social norms and expectations and
institutional priorities highlight the importance of sexual and reproductive health
and rights to girls and women, and including boys and men can only enhance health
and well-being for all. Boys are interested, eager, and open – we need to work with
that openness to craft a world where their caring and commitment are cultivated and
improve everyone’s well-being.

Authors: Margaret E. Greene, Blair Olivia Berger, Lilit Hakobyan, Ellen Stiefvater, and Ruti Galia Levtov

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