Mapping men’s practices and attitudes to gender equality in DRC and Malawi



Sonke Gender Justice and MenEngage Africa are conducting an International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES) in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and in Malawi – in close cooperation with national partners such as Congo Men’s Network (COMEN) and the Parent and Child Initiative (PACHI).

IMAGES is a quantitative and anonymous household survey, targeting men and women separately, and has previously been conducted in seven countries on different continents. It aims to build an understanding of men’s practices and attitudes related to gender equality in order to inform, drive and monitor both policy development and interventions to promote gender equality. The study includes questions regarding key areas for gender equality such as men’s attitudes and practices related to; health, division of labour in the family, caregiving and gender-based violence. Results from previous surveys reveal that men who report more gender-equitable attitudes are more likely to be happy and to talk to their partners and that factors associated with men’s use of violence include rigid gender attitudes, experiences of violence in childhood and alcohol use.

The new IMAGES study was launched in the Eastern DRC in March this year, bringing together the research team, an advisory group and government officials. The questionnaire and other research instruments for the study have been developed for Eastern DRC, translated into French and Swahili and distributed. Data collectors have been recruited and trained and preparations have also included visiting stakeholders such as community representatives in Goma and its surrounding areas, where the study is to take place. Next steps include adapting and rolling out the study in Malawi.

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By Tim Shand & Maja Herstad