The Role Model Men and Boys (RMMB) approach mobilizes men and boys to dialogue and go through personal reflections to explore...
CARE International Sri Lanka’s ‘Empowering Men to Engage and Redefine Gender Equality’ (EMERGE) project is a pioneering effort that addresses persistent issues of gender inequality and GBV through the engagement of men. The emphasis of the EMERGE project is on working with men and boys to transform attitudes, perceptions and practices of gender inequality.
EMERGE, together with Partners for Prevention conducted pioneering research on the knowledge, practices and social attitudes towards gender and gender based violence in the largest study conducted with men on these issues in Sri Lanka. The study provides rich information that can be applied to enhance GBV prevention, health, youth and empowerment interventions.
EMERGE works three districts of Sri Lanka – Batticaloa, Polonnaruwa and Nawalapitiya, across 30 villages and 5 estates. The project has had numerous successes, both at a local level (community, divisional and district) and in its advocacy efforts at a broader national level. At CARE Sri Lanka, engaging men has been acknowledged as an important and effective component for gender programming.
The project takes a multi dimensional approach to engaging men to promote gender equality:
At community level it engages with youth, developing their capacity to make personal changes and promote gender equality among their peers and within the community; EMERGE works with husbands and wives to challenge gender stereotypes and patriarchal norms at a household level; it enhances services for women within the state and non state structures by linking together key actors through community, divisional and district level structures that have been established for this purpose.
The project also makes space for knowledge generation and dissemination on this work to engage men, so that it could be used for future gender programming in Sri Lanka and different parts of the world. With this in mind, EMERGE together with Partners for Prevention undertook pioneering research on the knowledge, practices and social attitudes towards gender and gender based violence in 4 districts of Sri Lanka – Colombo, Hambantota, Nuwara Eliya and Batticaloa. With a total sample of 1600 men and 600 women, this is the largest study conducted with men on these issues in Sri Lanka. The study provides rich information that can be applied to enhance GBV prevention, health, youth and empowerment interventions. The findings have also served as a basis for CARE/EMERGE’s advocacy interventions for policy change at a broader national level.