Men and Women for Gender Equality
The Regional Programme “Men and Women for Gender Equality” aims to encourage men and women in Arab societies to exercise their rights and opportunities, equally. Implemented in Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Palestine in its first phase (2015–2018), the programme was expanded to include Tunisia and Jordan for its second phase (2019–2021). The programme is made possible through the generous support of Sida.
In Egypt, phase one of the programme supported legislation and public policies addressing the root causes of gender inequality, through evidence-based advocacy, strengthening civil society (including new and emerging movements), promoting gender equality at national and regional levels, and engaging communities to develop solutions based on innovative approaches and best practices.
Achievements of the first phase include:
- The completion and launch of the International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES), a MENA report on ‘Understanding Masculinities and the IMAGES Egypt Key Findings Report.
- Findings and recommendations from the survey fueled advocacy to change perceptions on masculinity and the role of men and boys in achieving gender equality. The “Because I am a Man” social media campaign launched in 2017 in partnership with the National Council for Women has reached more than 7 million followers and been endorsed by several male celebrities. The campaign challenges negative stereotypes of masculinity and emphasizes positive male role models.
- The execution of various pilot projects at the community level, through community sub-grants (30 initiatives) and a national grant (11 initiatives and the launch of a national campaign in Egypt’s 27 governorates).
- The creation of a vast number of knowledge products, including: a Youth and Advocacy toolkit; Media Monitoring toolkit; policy briefs on fatherhood, engaging young men, ending violence against women, gender socialization; a Masculinity Toolkit; a publication entitled “Women’s stories, Women’s Lives: Male Authority in Muslim Contexts”, and several audiovisual materials.
- Cultural and artistic activities were also organized to promote the programme’s messages, including a visual arts exhibition entitled “
Phase two of the programme, which began in March 2019, seeks to achieve three main outcomes:
- Communities have more gender-equitable perceptions and behaviours
- Key institutions (academia, faith-based institutions, media, governments) and networks integrate and promote gender-responsive practices
- Laws, policies and strategies promote gender equality.
Phase two aims to accelerate transformative change for gender equality and women’s rights through broader community outreach as well as institutional and legal change. To this end, the UN Women Egypt Country Office is replicating and scaling up the most innovative, effective, and evidence-based community practices for engaging men and boys in gender equality.
Furthermore, building on the “Because I am a Man” campaign, the programme is promoting men’s contribution to gender equality in both public and private spheres. It will also produce knowledge products, advocacy materials and tools to promote gender equality, for the use of key institutions – including faith-based organizations, media, academia, and governments. The programme addresses gender transformative parenting and fatherhood and will work on policy advocacy and legislation for paternity leave and will tackle its relation with unpaid care work, and its implications on a more equitable home and work opportunities.
The programme has also utilized sports a main channel for changing social norms, especially those related to gender equality and the role of men in the public and private spheres. In February 2020, “Because I am A Man Football League” was launched in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the National Council for Women with the aim to change young and adult men’s behaviours and attitudes towards women through sports and awareness raising events. The league witnessed the participation of 108 football teams from all the Egyptian governorates and reached more than 2000 young and adult men.
This programme is being implemented in partnership with the National Council for Women private sector and several civil society organizations. The programme is funded through the generous support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.
Wellspring camp: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nE7YYo1hino&t=5s
Key Knowledge Products produced through the programme: