News / Gender Equality in the Home

MenEngage DRC encourages healthy relations among couples

On the 3rd of March 2016 MenEngage DRC and Congo Men’s Network (COMEN‬) hosted a session to reconcile estranged couples and couples grappling with getting along with each other, including men and boys who wanted to learn different and improved forms of masculinities. During the session, which was held in Kinshasa, the capital of the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo), men and boys discussed their opinions on: What is a real man?

Their responses were varied. They responded that a real man is a man of positive values, is monogamous, respects his wife and others, he knows his HIV status and is caring enough to voluntarily donate blood to save the lives of others.

The session ended with husbands who wanted to reconcile with their wives preparing them a sumptuous meal as a symbol of showing that men are able to forgive, cook, and initiate gestures of reconciliation.

In Kinshasa, men are virtually untouchable, regardless of the legal framework and all policy-level intents made to improve the status of women for their economic empowerment and political participation. Therefore, household chores are normally assigned to women, and there is a pervasive culture that portrays women as inferior within relationships. The reconciliation session was to serve as an example of equitable gender relations for families and the community.

The session also worked with couples and young volunteers who are against gender-based violence to further encourage gender transformative norms.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is a post-conflict country and has experienced nearly a decade of various kinds of conflicts, which has resulted in increased occurrences of rape, forced marriages of minors, killings, lootings, expulsions, human rights abuses, unwanted pregnancies, and so forth. The practice of arranged, forced and early marriage of children, has affected the health and development of children, and even today many children are still victims. Many of the DRC’s problems are caused by poor socialisation influenced by hegemonic masculinities.

View a gallery of photos from the event here.

24 March 2016
You may also like
Sonke scoops two awards in 2017 for work to advance human rights
7 Dec 17 – Sonke recognised for prison reform work and work to further human rights in South Africa, the …
NO to XeNOphobia – holding our leaders accountable
1 Dec 17 – On 14 July 2017, the Deputy Minister of Police, Bongani Mkongi, made xenophobic statements while visiting …
Sonke Gender Justice welcomes UNAIDS World AIDS Day report on the urgent need to reach men and boys with HIV services
1 Dec 17 – Sonke calls on governments around the world and especially in Southern and Eastern Africa, to act …
Residents of Gugulethu demand safety in our community
28 Nov 17 – A memorandum from Gugulethu residents, Sonke Gender Justice and partners.
Why FGM is not just a women’s issue
13 Oct 17 – Helping attendees at the 10th Annual Conference on Women’s Rights understand the role of men and …
Pan African Parliament Women’s Conference questions role of parliamentarians in ending Female Genital Mutilation
12 Oct 17 – Conference co-organised by Pan African Parliament, MenEngage Africa, Sonke and the UNFPA aims to accelerate the fight against …
Five Days of Violence Prevention Conference, 2-6 October 2017
28 Sep 17 – Sonke and partners will be hosting the second “Five Days of Violence Prevention” conference this October …
Invitation to a community dialogue on gender-based violence prevention
7 Jul 17 – Community dialogue addressing the rising levels of GBV in Diepsloot.
Strategising against FGM in Zanzibar
5 Jul 17 – MenEngage Africa and partners host regional meeting to investigate the evolving structural drivers behind female genital …

Send this to a friend