The National Conversation: Barriers and Enablers to Engage Boys and Men Towards Gender Equality

Feb 28, 2018


Key Questions

  • What are the barriers and opportunities to accelerate work with boys and men towards gender equality in India?
  • How can philanthropic initiatives support initiatives with boys and men?

This research was conceived because Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies and Equal Community Foundation (ECF) identified a lack of publicly available information on how social sector organisations are working with boys and men towards gender equality, including what the barriers are and what the available opportunities are for supporting them.

ECF asked 663 organisations to complete a survey on the barriers and opportunities to engage boys and men towards gender equality. 101 organisations responded, including a majority of practitioners, with a limited number of intermediaries, advocacy organisations and donors.

The objective of this research enquiry is to understand what the barriers and opportunities are to accelerate work with boys and men towards gender equality in India, And to initiate a national conversation towards the same goal. 

This research is considered to be formative. We anticipate repeating similar research in the future. During the process of completing this research we identified improvements to the structure and content of the questionnaires and the use of language that we used, that will improve future iterations.


  • Four areas of capacity building were highlighted as essential: Fundraising Capacity, Team Capacity, Programme Materials, M&E Tools.
  • Key barriers are a lack of tools, skills, technical knowledge, and programme resources.
  • There is an urgent need for a collaborative platform for capacity building.
  • Collaborative platforms should have defined outcomes and not just be a network or a discussion forum.