MenEngage Africa Newsletter 2015/1
Women’s health, masculinities & empowerment training – What is it about?
In September, MenEngage Africa, Sonke Gender Justice and the University of California’s Centre of Expertise on Women’s Health Empowerment partnered together to offer the 2015 Women’s Health, Masculinities and Empowerment: Advocacy and Leadership Training course. The short course took place over two weeks from 1 – 16 September at Kenyatta University, in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, and it attracted 30 professionals, trainers and activists from the health, legal, research and human rights disciplines. All participants had a specific focus on advocating for improvements in women’s health, advancement and gender transformation.
They came from diverse nations in the Africa region, including Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania in eastern Africa; Rwanda in east-central Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo in central Africa; and Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa in southern Africa. Each participant detailed their expectations of the course.
“I am keen to gain a more comprehensive appreciation of integrating women’s empowerment and masculinities in HIV programming”, said Masimba Nyamucheta, who enrolled because of his work as Project Officer for the Zimbabwe National Network of People Living with HIV (ZNNP+).
Sonke joins Civil Society at UNGA70 for Sustainable Development Goals summit
Bafana Khumalo, MenEngage Africa Alliance co-ordinator and Senior Programmes Specialist at Sonke Gender Justice, attended the United Nations special Summit on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September in New York, where world leaders adopted a new blueprint for international development under the slogan, “Leave no one behind”.
Khumalo attended the summit as part of various civil society groupings from all over the world which are lobbying for change and development on various issues, including poverty alleviation, economic development, fighting injustice and climate change.
Commenting on his experiences of the meeting, he said, “I found a mood that was upbeat with the excitement of the first visit of the popular Catholic Pope Frances. The Pope did not disappoint. He gave a powerful speech at the US Congress in Washington, DC, in support of efforts to manage the threat of climate change. That was one of the key discussion points in the last UNGA70, as leaders finalised negotiations on the SDGs”.
“It is appropriate that the Pope fore-grounded the discourse on climate change in the belly of North American power where there are still sceptics on this subject and this laid a good foundation for the discourse on the SDGs”, he added.
Interrogating Religion To Address Gender And Sexuality Discrimination
Last winter, MenEngage Africa, Sonke Gender Justice, the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and the Wits Centre for Diversity Studies (WICDS), brought together 25 faith leaders, activists and members of the MenEngage Africa network to participate in a five-day long skills building and co-learning workshop under the theme “Religion, Gender and Sexuality”. Participants came from many parts of Africa, including Burundi, Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, Malawi, Mozambique, Botswana, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Listen to an audio report relating to this story here.
MenEngage Africa: Building on Solid Foundations
Sonke’s International Programmes and Networks Unit, which manages the work of MenEngage Africa, has just released a report entitled MenEngage Africa: Building on Solid Foundations. This report provides an overview of all the work done by the MenEngage Africa network to strengthen and deepen the work done with boys and men to promote gender equality in sub-Saharan Africa between July 2014 and June 2015. The work reported herein is supported by a grant from SIDA Zambia.
State of the World’s Fathers: Being a Father
A video, “Being A Father: State of the World’s Film”, was produced to coincide with the release of the ‘State of the World’s Fathers’ report.
18th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa
MenEngage Africa, together with Sonke Gender Justice, will attend the 18th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA), which will be held in Harare, Zimbabwe, from 29 – 4 November. Together with Sonke, we will be hosting a side event on Men and HIV, in partnership with SAfAIDS, on the first day of the ICASA meeting, on 29th November. Members of our team will be moderating and speaking at a number of sessions.
State of Africa’s Fathers 2015
This past winter, MenEngage Africa partnered with MenCare, a global fatherhood campaign to promote men and boys’ involvement as equitable and non-violent caregivers, released the first ever State of Africa’s Fathers Report – an adaptation of the State of the World’s Fathers Report, which researched the role of men in parenting in Africa and around the globe.
They Call Me Warrior
Given the extent to which Sierra Leone’s decade-long war and people’s experiences of sexual and gender-based violence remain present in everyday life, it follows that work to foster social transformation will also need to be conducted through careful long-term engagement. This requires requires long-term transnational collective action that is sustained and sensitive, linking international development actors with local organisations to collectively ‘sow the seeds of change’ to empower women and girls in Sierra Leone, recommends this report by our partners, Men’s Association for Gender Equality-Sierra Leone (MAGE-SL).
MenEngage Annual Meeting
The MenEngage Africa network will hold its annual meeting over three days in Harare, Zimbabwe, from the 26 – 28 November. All 16 country networks will convene to discuss issues of strategy and mobilisation to increase the impact of our work in engaging men and boys for gender equality.