Making sure young men & boys are part of the solution

At CSW60, Youth For Change UK's Harry got to work exploring how young men and boys can be involved in the fight for gender equality.

Today I went to the first-ever working group on young men & boys. It was exciting to be in a room full of people as passionate about included boys and young men in gender issues as I was. It is a unique space and has been championed by Ravi Karkara who is the Senior Advisor Strategic Partnership and Advocacy to the Assistant Secretary-General/Deputy Executive Director.

The room was packed with organisations, individual and start-up NGOs, all dedicated to making boys and young men an active part of the solution to gender issues.

We all introduced ourselves and began to discuss themes of masculinity and how we are tackling violence against women and girls. Zack Kimmel a 17-year-old high school boy told us about how he dressed up as a drag queen for 2 weeks to learn about the issues and experiences that women face. This challenged many of his friends ideas and sparked conversation around perceptions & stereotypes on gender. This shows the impact of what happens when we engage young men and boys.

Here’s just a handful of the amazing organisations fighting to make sure young and boys do their bit to end gender inequality:

MenEngage is an alliance of NGOs working together with men and boys to promote gender equality

MenEngage members work collectively and individually toward advancing gender justice, human rights and social justice to achieve a world in which all can enjoy healthy, fulfilling and equitable relationships and their full potential.

Next Gen Men is an organisation that is dedicated to inspiring young men to be leaders serve their community and help these men change gender stereotypes.

They move beyond the stereotypes and empower boys to be men who make a positive impact on their communities.

The Man Up Campaign engages and helps youth build a network partnerships. They identify and create project that helps achieve SDG Goal 5 using their smart framework.

This partnership works to build a network of young champions and defenders, of gender equality, gender inclusiveness and opportunity linking their efforts to those of community based and mainstream organizations, entertainment and sports communities, non-profits and corporations towards our common cause.

Men's Story Project uses men's stories and declarations to influence social change and community. It's a replicable storytelling and dialogue project that brings exploration of social ideas about masculinity by men themselves to challenge common views.

The MSP highlights men’s stories that are less-often heard; breaks silences on issues including sexism, racism, heterosexism, ableism and violence – and ways in which these are often intertwined with masculinities.