Masculinities and Public Policy in South Africa

Changing masculinities and working toward gender equality

This report identifies a number of focus areas in which notions of masculinity are key in South Africa, either because they are causally implicated in the twin epidemics of violence and HIV/AIDS, or because they contribute to gender inequality by reinforcing patriarchal privilege in the family and schools, or because men show up unequally as victims in gender statistics relating to homicide, occupational injury and disease and incarceration rates. For each focus area, the gendered nature of the issue or problem is identified and its manifestation in South Africa described. Policies designed to address the problem are then identified and discussed. Not all policies will be explicitly gendered in content, but all will have some implications for gender or masculinity and consequently for men and boys in society and are thus included in this report. The key focus areas are: men and violence; men and HIV/AIDS; men and the family; boys, men and schools; men at work; men and risk: alcohol and substance abuse; men, crime and punishment.