Men as Partners

Project Archive

Through the Men as Partners network, Sonke aims to involve men in communities in preventing gender violence and HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support.

Sonke Implemented MAP Initiatives

Sonke Gender Justice is currently funded by UNICEF, the International Organization on Migration and a number of government departments including the Western Cape Department of Health, the Western Cape Office of the Premier and the National Department of Health to implement MAP initiatives in 5 provinces – Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape.

Why work with men?

Sonke Gender Justice believes that working with men is a critical strategy for achieving gender equality. Over the last 10 years there has been growing international consensus on the need to further include boys and men in promoting gender equality. This includes recognition by UNAIDS that the behaviour of men and boys puts themselves and their partners at risk of HIV infection.

South African government and many civil society organisations are committed to actively involving men gender programme. The Men as Partners programme, established in South Africa in 1998, provides a platform around which organisations working with men can co-oridnate their activities. Members of the informal network include the South African National Defence Force, Western Cape Tertiary Institutions, Hope Worldwide, COSATU, FEDUSA, NACTU and the AIDS Consortium and its CBO affiliates.


Sonke Gender Justice’s Men as Partners Initiative aims to:

  • Decrease levels of violence against women and children
  • Involve men in the lives of their partners, children, families and communities.
  • Get men to us HIV services, such as condoms, circumcision, VCT, ART, and support groups.
  • Increase men’s involvement in treatment advocacy and home based care activities.
  • Increase men’s support and advocacy for PMTCT programmes and PEP.
  • Reduce alcohol abuse and alcohol related violence and HIV risk.
  • Increase public sector and civil society roll out of effective male involvement initiatives.

Project Activities

The work that Sonke Gender Justice is involved in includes:

  • Intensive training and ongoing technical assistance to carefully selected partner organisations to build government and civil society capacity to implement male involvement projects.
  • Support for men to take action in communities to prevent violence against women and to promote greater male involvement in HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support.
  • Bringing together key stakeholders to identify and develop strategies for increasing men’s use of HIV services.
  • Training communities groups to use the media to develop messages that encourage men to pursue health seeking behaviours and challenge the attitudes and values contributing to gender based violence.

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