Men for Change, Health for All

A Policy Discussion Paper on Men, Health and Gender Equity

Sonke Gender Justice (2008). Men for Change, Health for All: A Policy Discussion Paper on Men, Health and Gender Equity. Sonke Gender Justice: Cape Town, South Africa.

Men for Change, Health for All is guided by a commitment to develop policy for gender equity in health that both engages men and works for women and men. In doing so, the paper seeks also to reflect the range of lives of men. While all men may enjoy male privilege, this privilege is deeply shaped by other factors and forces, such as class, race, age, nationality and sexuality. “Men” are not a homogenous group and nor is “masculinity” a monolithic concept, and men’s diverse experiences of health reflect this. Engaging men in work for gender equity in health must also necessarily be work that is guided by a broader agenda for social justice in health.

This is a discussion paper that forms part of the commitment by the Department of Health to develop national policy guidelines on men, health and gender equality, with a specific emphasis on sexual and reproductive health and rights. Integral are recommendations for policy action that can engage men in efforts to improve the health of both women and men. The recommendations are primarily, but not exclusively, located in the health sector and have clear implications for action by government and civil society within health and other sectors.