Date: September 19, 2018
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The project is aimed at mobilising men as agents of change in promoting gender equity. HIV/AIDS prevention and sexual behaviour change. It is a good practice because it provides opportunities and platforms where men come together to share ideas, experience, information and knowledge which enhances positive attitudes to gender equality, HIV/AIDS prevention and women participation in social and economic development. It is innovative because it contributes to the reduction of gender based violence among men and women, high levels of HIV/AIDS infection which is a threat to good health and development.

The key objective of this project  is to provide knowledge and skills that will empower men to realise and utilise their potential in promoting gender equality and also reduce risk behaviours.

The main activities are:

  • Community awareness and education.
  • Focus group discussions, and capacity building.
  • Community forums.
  • Drama Performances, and recreation games.
  • Inter-group information exchange visits.
  • Establishment of in and out of school Anti-Gender based Clubs.
  • Radio Programmes, and Evaluation.

The project has benefited about 500 direct beneficiaries. The project reaches 2 000 indirect beneficiaries.

key tools for monitoring and evaluation  is conducted through quarterly meetings, focus group discussions, statistical reports, guided and closed questionnaires.

The main challenges faced by this project is that some men do not attend meetings. Self-stigma for men who are victims of GBV. High rate of wife battering cases. Inadequate funding, and low access to condoms. Many unreported GBV cases. Withdrawal of GBV cases by victims Child labour such as cattle rearing. High rate of alcohol abuse leading to violence in homes. Low economic status among women leading to violence. Polygamy and drunkenness. These were overcome through continued awareness, counselling, incorporation of Chiefs and village headmen who are the custodian of the culture and the linkage with other non-governmental organisations and the church has helped overcome some of the challenges.

Women are empowered through capacity building. Entrepreneurship skills development. Support groups linkage to co-operatives. Village banking. Information exchange. Training in Conservation farming.

During the 2016,the Men’s Network helped in the campaigns and supported the candidature of Mrs Martha Sakala as a councillor for Mkaika ward in Mkaika Constituency. The candidate won with a landslide victory.

Equal participation of men and women at household level. Participation of women in leadership roles. Reduced cases of GBV at household levels. Victims of GBV are now able to report to relevant authorities for treatment and justice.

Positive attitudes to gender equality. Traditional leaders are advocating for elimination of GBV ,child labour and early marriages. Improved women economic status through village banking and gardening. Withdrawal of children from child labour. For example, cattle rearing to schools.

The involvement of men as agents of change is key to social behaviour change. Stakeholder participation is a pre-requisite to eliminating GBV, child abuse and early marriages. Volunteer services works well as it commands no financial gain. These are applied through community networks and social behavioural change massages.

What makes the project easy to replicate  is because of linkages with organisation with similar programmes. Community ownership and networking. Collaboration. Entrepreneurship, and capacity building.


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