On the 10th of August 2018, MenEngage Madagascar held its inaugural General Assembly. This follows a year of sensitisation and advocacy efforts done by the Secretariat, Capacity Building for Communities (C-for-C) with, and amongst, civil society organisations, government departments and individuals to gain support for, and to recruit for membership of the network. The network comprises of nine networks, so far. The General Assembly identified the following themes for intervention and collaboration:
- Sexual and Reproductive Rights and Health;
- Gender-based violence;
- Positive involvement of men in maternal and child health, including care-giving;
- Interventions at policy level to lobby and advocate for laws against gender-based inequalities; and
- The protection of activists.
Madagascar is heading to the polls in November 2018 and human rights during election campaigns could be delicate. However, we believe that the election period presents us with a good time to do advocacy work – particularly with election candidates – to influence their thinking and attitudes.
MenEngage Madagascar will soon be approaching donors to promote the network and to begin concrete actions towards strengthening our work.
The General Assembly was also an opportunity to appoint MenEngage Madagascar’s Steering Committee, which will run the network for a period of one year.
The Steering Committee members are:
- Razafindrainibe Vololona from SIMIRALENTA Gender Observation and Promotion Centre was elected President;
- Randriamanantena Vololona from Madagascar Save was elected Vice-President; and
- Raveloarimisa Mbolatiana from Nifin’Akanga was elected second Vice-President.
SIMIRALENTA Gender Observation and Promotion Centre is, therefore, the inaugural president of MenEngage Madagascar. The organisation will serve as a pillar for the network to champion our advocacy for gender equality.