The Sonke Gender Justice Network works across Africa to strengthen government, civil society and citizen capacity to support men and boys to take action to promote gender equality, prevent domestic and sexual violence and reduce the spread and impact of HIV and AIDS. In this way the organization contributes to the development of societies in which men, women, youth and children can enjoy equitable, healthy and happy relationships that contribute to the development of just and democratic societies.
The One Man Can Campaign encourages men to prevent gender based violence, to advocate for gender equality, work towards greater public and reproductive health, and reduce the spread and impact of HIV and AIDS.
These changes are aimed at ensuring women’s rights and gender equality, as well as promoting healthier models of masculinity which will benefit both men and women.
The One Man Can Project aims to provide men with the tools they need to act on these concerns. In addition, Sonke developed the One Man Can Action tool kit that provides information and strategies on how men can:
- Understand the relationship between gender and HIV/AIDS Challenge other men to take action Support a survivor of violence to prevent HIV infection Educate children early and often about HIV and gender.
- Support teachers to educate boys about gender and HIV/AIDS Raise awareness about gender and HIV/AIDS in places of worship
- Build a human rights culture and promote democracy.
Prisons Transformation Sonke Gender Justice Network is working in prisons in the Western Cape to reduce new HIV infections and increase positive living amongst staff and inmates both while in prison and upon release by:
"From Cape Town to Kivu to Cairo, from Abidjan to Antananarivo, men are implicated in health and human rights crises across Africa. Men are also essential for their successful resolution – whether it be stopping sexual violence in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo; accelerating demilitarisation and disarmament in Central and East Africa; preventing new HIV infections, expanding treatment and reducing the burden of AIDS care borne by women and girls across the entire continent; increasing men’s active involvement in the lives of their children; strengthening health systems or promoting a more active sense of citizenship aimed at holding government to account for their commitments." -- Helen Alexander, Communications and Information Manager at the Sonke Gender Justice Network.
- Identifying the social networks amongst inmates and popular opinion leaders to take on risk-reduction advocacy roles.Training DCS staff on HIV prevention, gender and health-focusing both on DCS staff and inmates.
- Providing information and encouraging responsible behaviour amongst inmates and staff in relation to HIV/AIDS, gender, sexual and reproductive health issues.
- Training cadres of opinion leaders to disseminate risk reduction endorsement messages within their own prison based social networks.
- Initiating and supporting awareness raising activities in the correctional facilities.
- Setting up a monitoring and evaluation framework to assess project progress.
- A growing body of evidence suggests that programs that work with men and boys can have a significant impact on increasing men’s support for gender equality and in reducing a range of health problems.
- The Medical Research Council’s evaluation of the Stepping Stones initiative implemented in the Eastern Cape showed significant changes in men’s attitudes and practices. In follow-up at two years, men who participated in the intervention reported fewer partners, higher condom use, less transactional sex, less substance abuse and less perpetration of intimate partner violence. In Brazil, Instituto Promundo’s intervention with young men on promoting healthy relationships and HIV/STI prevention showed significant shifts in gender norms at six months and twelve months. Young men with more equitable norms were between four and eight times less likely to report STI symptoms, with additional improvements at 12 months post intervention. Following on these findings, the World Health Organisation recently released a report endorsing the efficacy of working with men to achieve gender equality.
Sonke Gender Justice Network's website and Facebook page.
Sonke made IWHC's Top Ten Wins 2009 list: Sonke Gender Justice Network Challenges Hate Speech in Court
In the Media