MenCare+ engages men as partners in maternal and child health and in sexual and reproductive health and rights.
MenCare+ was developed from the tenets of the MenCare campaign, which was inspired by results from the International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES). MenCare+ curriculums and campaigns have been locally adapted in four countries, based on local, formative research findings.
MenCare+ engages young men and women, as well as expectant parents, in group education sessions on gender equality, nonviolent relationships, sexual and reproductive health and rights, maternal and child health, and fatherhood and caregiving. An additional component includes counseling sessions and reflection groups held with men who have used violence against their partners.
Community- and national-level campaigns, as part of the broader MenCare fatherhood campaign, increase awareness about men’s roles in fatherhood and caregiving, about sexual and reproductive health and rights, and about maternal and child health.
MenCare+ partners build alliances and conduct targeted advocacy with organizations and governments to promote policies that encourage the role of men in fatherhood and caregiving, along with their full participation in maternal and child health and in sexual and reproductive health and rights.
The MenCare+ program, developed from the tenets of the MenCare Campaign, is a three-year, four-country collaboration between Promundo and Rutgers WPF, created to engage men ages 15-35 as partners in maternal and child health and in sexual and reproductive health and rights. The program is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and is being implemented by Promundo, Rutgers WPF, and partner organizations in Brazil, Indonesia, Rwanda, and South Africa.
The ‘plus’ in MenCare+ represents the targeted effort to bring men into the health care system as active and positive participants in their own health, as well as in the health of their partners and children. Working within the public health systems across the four countries of implementation, MenCare+ country partners conduct group education sessions with youth, couples, and fathers on sexual and reproductive health and rights, maternal and child health, gender equality, and caregiving. Fathers’ group facilitators can utilize concrete strategies and activities from MenCare’s Program P (named for pai and padre, the words for father in Portuguese and Spanish) to engage men in active fatherhood from their partner’s pregnancies through their children’s early years. Country partners also organize counseling and therapy for men who have used violence, as well as workshops with health sector professionals on the importance of engaging men. In Brazil, for example, partners hold group education and reflection sessions for men who have used violence and have been charged under the country’s Maria de Penha law. To ensure the sustainability of MenCare+, partners are actively targeting public health systems to incorporate the initiative and its tenets and programming into their services moving forward.
Rutgers WPF, Promundo, and their partners are currently developing and testing evidence-based approaches to enhance the program’s activities and outcomes, including plans for a randomized controlled trial conducted to evaluate the program in Rwanda.
Learn more country-specific MenCare+ programs and implementing partners at: www.men-care.org/plus
- MenCare: The MenCare campaign promotes men’s equal involvement in caregiving and equitable, nonviolent fatherhood practices around the world.
- Program P: Program P provides concrete strategies and activities to engage men globally in active fatherhood from their partner’s pregnancies through their children’s early years.
- IMAGES: IMAGES measures men’s attitudes and practices – along with women’s opinions and reports of men’s practices – on a wide variety of topics related to gender equality.