Advancing partners and communities: Family planning conference in Indonesia

Sonke Gender Justice is participating in the fourth International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) that is taking place in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, starting today (Monday, 25th January 2016) until Thursday, 28th January 2016.

Later in the week we will host a dialogue on men and family planning in Africa.


Title: An afterthought? Men’s uptake of and support for family planning in sub-Saharan Africa
Date and Time: 27 January 2016, 7-8.20 am
Location: Legian 3, Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center
Conveners: Sonke, FHI 360 JSI with support from USAID through APC


There is a significant blind spot in policy and programmatic approaches to family planning that often do not engage men in a gender equitable manner. This blind spot places the responsibility and sometimes the burden of family planning on women and adolescent girls alone. Despite the context in which family planning is usually used (relationships), FP programming efforts and policies within the Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) have insufficiently focused on ensuring national responses seek to improve men’s access to and support for family planning services and commodities. Addressing these concerns is important for men, women, and the public health system, and must be approached within a context of challenging power differentials between men and women at all levels.

The dialogue is aimed at improving awareness and skills of family planning programme managers and practitioners to promote gender equitable engagement of men in family planning/reproductive health efforts and improve programme outcomes. Participants will be exposed to thought provoking interactive activities on gender norms and values that form part of the foundation of gender integration in FP. They will also be exposed to data on family planning trends among men in SSA. The dialogue will explore some of the promising approaches in SSA that have sought to engage men as users of family planning, supporters to their partners and promoters of family planning and reproductive health, and the value add these approaches bring to meeting FP/RH outcomes of both men and women.

Expected Outcomes:

  1. Awareness of the potential value added when men are engaged as supportive partners and users of family planning.
  2. Familiarity with effective approaches to male engagement.
  3. Knowledge on current trends on men’s knowledge and use of family planning.
  4. Knowledge of where to seek additional resources and technical assistance in promoting gender equitable male involvement.