Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR)
Promundo’s research, programs, and advocacy advance a gender-transformative approach to engaging men, in partnership with women, in challenging inequitable norms and in improving sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.
Research shows gender-transformative approaches with men and women can support better health outcomes for women, children, and men themselves. Promundo has contributed to the global evidence-base on the role of gendered norms and attitudes in understanding SRHR outcomes.
Promundo’s gender-transformative programming uses evidence-based group education activities such as role-playing, critical reflection, and discussion, alongside community mobilization, to change inequitable attitudes and encourage healthier behaviors.
Promundo’s work informs advocacy goals and policy interventions at the global and national levels around engaging men and boys as clients, partners, and SRHR advocates to advance gender equality, health, and well-being for individuals of all gender identities. Promundo advocates for policies that support the full realization of women’s SRHR.
Unmet sexual and reproductive health (SRH) needs are a critical threat to the health of individuals worldwide, and gender inequalities remain a significant barrier to addressing such health issues. Harmful gender norms and attitudes influence men’s and women’s health and well-being, shaping men’s behaviors in ways that have a direct impact on the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of their partners, their families, and themselves. At the same time, SRH and family planning issues are often treated as women’s responsibility, and sexuality is often considered taboo for both girls and boys. Global frameworks have traditionally failed to adequately address the ways in which inequitable gender dynamics and masculinities play a role in perpetuating poor SRH outcomes, a paradigm that ensures women continue to bear the responsibility of family planning, exacerbates gender inequalities, and leads to suboptimal health outcomes for people of all gender identities.
Promundo’s flagship curricula, including Program P (for fathers and couples), Program H (for young men), and Program M (for young women), address inequitable gender roles and encourage transformation of SRHR-related behaviors through critical reflection and evidence-based group education activities. A randomized controlled trial in Rwanda found that couples who participated in Program P sessions had a 16% higher likelihood of using modern contraceptives then couples in a control group, 16 months after the intervention ended. Manhood 2.0, the adaptation of Program H for a United States context, has a particular emphasis on challenging harmful gender norms to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights, prevent teen pregnancy, and eliminate dating violence.
In 2016, Promundo and UNFPA produced Adolescent Boys and Young Men: Engaging Them as Supporters of Gender Equality and Health and Understanding their Vulnerabilities, a report that explores global research and reveals boys’ and young men’s specific risks and realities in relation to sexual and reproductive health. It provides concrete recommendations for working with boys and young men on SRH services, comprehensive sexuality education, and the elimination of violence against women and girls.
Promundo is currently working with partners to conduct research to better understand how men can be engaged to support women’s right to access safe and legal abortion services at the individual and societal levels. In India, we’re exploring men’s participation in women’s decisions to seek abortion services, while in Rwanda we’re studying men’s roles as activists calling for expanded access to safe abortion.
With support from the Gates Foundation, Promundo developed a Call to Action brief, Getting to Equal: Engaging Men and Boys in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and Gender Equality, with expert feedback gathered at a Washington, DC consultation event in partnership with Family Planning 2020. This document highlights guiding principles, identifies 10 priority areas, and outlines opportunities for the SRHR community in engaging men and boys as clients, partners, and advocates. It aims to advance the conversation with policymakers, donors, implementers, and activists, and to identify opportunities for further collaboration among advocates – complementing and building on transformative work by feminist and women’s rights organizations.
As part of the Getting to Equal initiative, Promundo is also producing a forthcoming landmark research report, Global Evidence and Action on Men, Gender Equality, and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. The report will enhance the global knowledge base and identify gaps in order to shift the paradigm around data collection, research, policy, and programming, to promote the full range of SRHR needs and rights, and to highlight the role of gendered norms and attitudes in understanding SRHR outcomes. This comprehensive review of the global data takes a deep dive into the challenges, reframes the problem, and proposes concrete actions forward, building into the existing evidence base.