Getting to Equal: 10 Ways to Engage Men and Boys in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Promundo and Family Planning 2020 launch guiding principles, priority areas, and recommendations to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights and gender equality.

Sexual and reproductive health issues have made up 14% of the global burden of disease for more than two decades. The inability to meet individuals’ basic sexual and reproductive health needs – such as access to contraception and to sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and treatment – poses a critical threat to the well-being of people worldwide.

Around the world, cis women, nonbinary individuals, and transgender individuals continue to face gendered restrictions and rollbacks to their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), and globally, cis men are not acting as full partners in family planning or maternal, newborn, and child health.

Health frameworks to date have failed to adequately address the ways in which inequitable gender dynamics and masculinities play a role in perpetuating poor health outcomes, as well as negatively impacting the health and rights of all individuals. There is growing support to change this, as indicated by the 2018 Guttmacher-Lancet Commission report’s call for increased attention to relational approaches and masculine norms in efforts to advance SRHR.

Promundo and Family Planning 2020 – with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – recently convened a technical consultation with representatives from over 30 organizations to finalize guiding principles and recommendations for advancing the involvement of men and boys as clients, partners, and SRHR advocates.

The 10 priority areas for action are:

  1. Implement comprehensive sexuality education with specific gender-transformative content on masculine norms and relationships.
  2. Increase men’s uptake of existing male contraceptive methods.
  3. Expand the range of contraceptive options available to men and their partners.
  4. Increase men’s support for their partners’ SRHR and method use.
  5. Promote men’s role as supportive partners and advocates for women’s access to safe abortion services, always respecting a woman’s right to choose.
  6. Increase men’s access to and use of HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support.
  7. Improve men’s uptake of STI diagnosis and treatment.
  8. Engage men in maternal, newborn, and child health.
  9. Better address men’s specific sexual and reproductive concerns, including dysfunction and infertility, by improving the structure of health services.
  10. Develop men’s capacity as advocates and change agents for SRHR.

It’s time to take action in shifting masculine norms to improve sexual and reproductive health around the world.

Learn more by reading Getting to Equal: Engaging Men and Boys in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and Gender Equality.

Learn more about the Getting to Equal initiative here.

back to news index