While the good work for the betterment of women and girls in India has to continue, the work in gender equity shall remain incomplete unless young men and boys are brought within the ambit of interventions. We need to onboard men, not only for causes of women such as achieving goals of women empowerment and zero violence against women but also for men’s own development.
India has 200 million young men, bringing to mind certain questions.
- How will they be liberated from the identities that patriarchy, religion, caste and society have defined for them?
- Do they have safe, shared spaces to explore questions and discover themselves? How do they use their human potential?
- What gaps in their education do they want to fill and how will they do that? • What kind of pressures does the role of ‘the primary breadwinner’ impose on them?
- Given that the meaning of work and the nature of jobs are going to change dramatically in the next few decades, are we going to continue to define men by these parameters?
When a movement towards addressing these issues is put in place, there will be a holistic integration of men and boys into the movement for the rights of women and girls. Over the past three years, RNP has partnered, through “learning grants”, with ten organisations that either exclusively focuses their work on Young Men and Boys, or include men and boys in the gender empowerment efforts for girls and women. This blue book intends to present a snapshot of the models and approaches being taken by RNP’s partners, and serve as a public resource for others who might be interested in gender-transformative work.
RNP invited niiti consulting to observe the operating models of the ten grantee organisations, and record the challenges faced, along with approaches adopted for mitigation of these. The intent was also to record the implementation, monitoring and measurement programme templates, the narrative of the results and the change in young men and boys. The experiences of each grantee organisation could be drawn upon by implementing organisations, governments and funders across the country for inspiration, guidance or refinement of their own interventions for young boys and men.