There has been much resistance on the part of some women and women’s rights organisations to involving men in gender transformation and development work – driven by fears about the dilution of the feminist agenda, and by anxieties over the diversion of limited resources away from women’s empowerment initiatives and back into the hands of men. Yet not engaging with men and boys may limit the effectiveness of development interventions, and may intensify gender inequalities. The Men Engage Africa Training Initiative thus provides an opportunity to train gender justice advocates to implement programmes that engage men and inspire gender justice activists to become active agents for the advancement of gender equality.
Through MATI, we seek to strengthen institutional and individual capacity for gender mainstreaming while providing the learning resources to ensure a critical mass of colleagues from the MenEngage Africa network and partners across the continent have adequate gender knowledge.
As an initiative of the MenEngage Africa network, and reflecting a commitment made by the global MenEngage Alliance to create a training/leadership initiative within several geographical regions, the MenEngage Africa Training Initiative was established to expand the skills and knowledge among female and male advocates, civil society practitioners, policy-makers and other stakeholders within Sub-Saharan Africa on engaging men and boys, and to build a regional network of future leaders and gender justice advocates.
MATI is a short, intensive, residential course which seeks to expand the skills and knowledge of women and men in the Sub-Saharan Africa region to scale up work on engaging men and boys in gender equality and build a network of leaders and gender justice advocates. In doing so, it strengthens existing work on the greater involvement of men and boys in the prevention and response to sexual and gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive health and rights, HIV and AIDS, fatherhood, child sexual exploitation and abuse, LGBTIQ+ rights and other issues on gender equality.
MATI has historically been organised in partnership with leading universities in Africa and globally. In the past, we have collaborated with the University of Cape Town, University of California, Wits University, University of Pretoria, Kenyatta University, University of Botswana and the University of Pretoria. MATI has been organised with university partners to provide an opportunity for community leaders to engage with academia and to acquire new skills and competencies to support the work they do in their respective communities.
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