The Swaziland Country network is chaired by the Swaziland Action Group against Abuse (SWAGAA). SWAGAA is a leading national organisation in the fight against gender-based violence in Swaziland. Created in 1990 it has a wealth of experience and well-established mechanisms and networks to achieve the network objectives, having worked for over two decades to bring the abuse of women and children into the public eye and to the attention of decision-makers, through advocacy, education, and media work. In addition, SWAGAA also provides comprehensive counselling and case management services to survivors of abuse.
Purpose of the Network
To promote the engagement of men and boys in achieving gender equality, preventing HIV, promoting human rights and health and reducing violence at all levels.
Aims and objectives
The Men Engage network seeks to promote collaboration and resource sharing, support joint advocacy initiatives and build capacity on engagement of men and boys in achieving gender equality in Swaziland. The network has prioritised the following areas of focus:
- Men and ending Gender Based Violence and Sexual Exploitation
- Men, Sexuality, Sexual Reproductive Health Rights and HIV and AIDS
- Men, Maternal and Child Health
- Men, Fatherhood and Care giving
- Men and Health
The network steering committee consist of a tripartite alliance of government, civil society as well as UN agencies which include:
The Coordinating Assembly of Non-Governmental Organisations in Swaziland (CANGO), the Gender and Family Issues Unit (National Gender Machinery under the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister), the National Emergency Response Council on HIV and Aids (NERCHA – which coordinates national HIV response in Swaziland), UNDP (which is the chair for the UN Gender theme group comprising all the UN agencies), UNFPA (which has committed to fund the network and its activities) and Population Services International (PSI).
Scope of work
- To share best practices and draw recommendations for promotion of men as partners, men as service users and men as agents of change.
- Train gender, women’s and health organizations on networking and coalition-building, to promote gender and SRH/HIV policies and programmes that engage men and boys.
- To participate in, coordinate and/or facilitate networking meetings among coalition member organizations.
- To conduct joint campaigns and activities with other institutions to increase dialogue on the need for policies and programs that support engaging men in the promotion of gender equity, HIV prevention and SRH.
- To provide input into information, education or communication materials developed by network members related to men’s engagement in health and social justice.
- To establish active linkages (local, national and global) to raise men and boys’ voices and action on gender-based violence/VAW.
- To develop a knowledge base on men and masculinity through research and study.
- To campaign to change structural and behavioural barriers to ensure gender justice.
- To provide technical input into policy documents or guidelines developed to improve the quality of men, women and couple-friendly HIV and AIDS and sexual and reproductive health services.