MenEngage Africa, in collaboration with Sonke Gender Justice, MenEngage Rwanda, and Rwanda Men’s Resource Centre-RWAMREC, are organising the third MenEngage Africa Symposium scheduled to take place in Kigali, Rwanda from the 14th to 16th of August 2023, under the theme; “Accountability and Transformation through Gender-Equitable Evidence-Based Programming”. This event will bring together MenEngage Africa members and partners, academics, activists, government officials, donors, and representatives from the United Nations agencies to share diverse perspectives and best practices on transforming toxic mindsets and patriarchal masculinities, engaging men and boys in promoting gender equality. This symposium is built on from the first MenEngage Africa symposium on Strengthening Capacity of Civil Society and Government to Work with Men and Boys, which took place in Johannesburg 2009, and the second MenEngage Africa Symposium held at Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, Mozambique, 2018.
The third Symposium seeks to elevate, showcase, and build the body of knowledge, skills, and practice in the work of transforming patriarchal masculinities and engaging boys and men in gender and social justice through accountable and evidence-based programming, encapsulating the following themes: Positive Masculinities, SRHR, HIV/AIDS, GBV, LGBTIQ/Key Population Rights, Disability Rights, Child Rights, Gender Equal and Positive Parenting, Faith-Based Approaches, Youth Leadership, Climate Justice, Strategic Cross-cutting Priorities (Accountability, Feminist approaches, Intersectionality)
MenEngage Africa members across 24 country networks, partners and the global alliance have been working together with the respective stakeholders and governments to translate their international and regional commitments to realise the agenda of women’s rights, transform masculinities, and engage men and boys in gender justice. There have been significant achievements and progress made towards realising increased gender equality and improved SRHR in Sub-Saharan Africa through engaging men and boys in a gender-equitable manner to transform gender norms, influence policies, and promote human rights and accountability.
Additionally, with one of its partners Equimundo, MenEngage Africa has been leading on the Global MenCare campaign, a campaign that seeks to advance the quest for equitable distribution of care work to ensure that this load is not just on the shoulders of women and girls. To this end, this campaign has so grown that we have extended the focus to include the 50/50 Care Work campaign mobilising key influential sectors, in government, private sector and other institutions to ensure commitment and implementation of efforts to realise this goal. The symposium will be a place where more promising data will be shared in the form of the recently released State of World Father’s report drawing attention to emerging trends and evidence in various jurisdiction on promising practices and pointing out challenges and providing useful recommendations.
“MenEngage Rwanda is excited to extend a warm welcome to all the members of MenEngage, partners, ministries, and other stakeholders who have been an integral part of our journey towards engaging men and boys for gender justice. We are eagerly looking forward to hosting you and providing a platform for us to connect, share ideas and experiences, and explore opportunities to work together towards our common goals. It is our pleasure to have you with us and we are committed to creating a memorable and impactful experience for all. Let’s come together and continue our efforts towards creating a more equitable and just world for all genders”, David Ntambiye , Chairperson of MenEngage Rwanda.
While Africa has made progress towards gender equality, increased mobilization of the opposition against progressive rights over the past 4 years, as witnessed in the rescinding of Roe vs Wade and the recent passing of the Anti-homosexuality Act in Uganda coupled with gender stereotypes and harmful social norms remain prevalent and continuously keep women in disadvantaged positions. This Increased marginalization calls for increased gender transformative approaches to avoid the regression of the gains that have been made in gender parity. The COVID 19 pandemic, conflicts, and climatic change have also revealed long-standing cracks in gender approaches, therefore this symposium creates an opportunity to reflect and build back transformatively.
Members of the media are invited to attend the symposium.
For more information or interviews, contact
Fidele Rutayisire, Executive Director, RWAMREC, Secretariat of MenEngage Rwanda firstname.lastname@example.org, +250788381183
Sariaka Nantenaina, MenEngage Africa Chairperson, email@example.com
Mabel Sengendo Nabaggala, Regional Programmes co- Unit Manager, Sonke Gender Justice, Secretariat of MenEngage Africa Alliance: firstname.lastname@example.org
Amukelani Chauke, Regional Communications Coordinator, Sonke Gender Justice, Secretariat of MenEngage Africa Alliance: email@example.com
Notes to Editors:
MenEngage Africa is part of a global alliance of organisations that engage men and boys to achieve gender equality, promote health, reduce violence, and question and address the structural barriers to achieving gender equality. The alliance consists of 24 country networks spread across East, West, Central, and Southern Africa. MEA members work collectively towards advancing gender justice, human rights, and social justice in key thematic areas, including Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), gender based violence (GBV), HIV prevention, Child rights, positive parenting, and promoting peace on the continent.