13 June 2019

Toolkits: Programmes on gender norms and masculinities

Author: Sapna Kedia, Ravi Verma
Published by: ALIGN

A range of toolkits and resources are available to support programmes that work with men and boys to question non-equitable views of masculinity and develop positive attitudes to prevent the unhealthy behaviours that affect their well-being and that of their families.

Overall gender attitudes

  • Manhood 2.0 is a gender-transformative curriculum developed by Promundo and the University of Pittsburgh. It aims to engage young men (aged 15 to 24) in reflection on harmful gender norms, particularly related to teen pregnancy prevention, dating violence and sexual assault, and the discrimination against (and bullying of) lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals.
  • A regional curriculum for East and South-East Asia by Partners for Prevention provides a generic conceptual framework for understanding masculinities. It seeks to inspire users to become more effective activists and advocates for gender justice, helping them to critically analyse their contexts through a gender and human rights lens.
  • The Program HMD toolkit for action presents a shorter version of the approach contained in Promundo’s programmes H and M. The toolkit is based on 10 years of evidence and experience from the implementation of Program H|M around the world, which has engaged youth in the promotion of gender equity, including respect for sexual diversity and gender and social justice.
  • A facilitator manual by CARE focuses on training facilitators to engage men and boys in development programming, and demonstrates how their engagement for women’s empowerment benefits everyone.
  • A New York Times lesson plan highlights how to teach and learn about masculinity in today’s era of constant and rapid change.
  • Healthy Images of Manhood (HIM) is a workplace programme based on successful gender programmes in Africa and Latin America. It aims to engage men and change unhealthy cultural practices, gender norms and behaviours. The manual can be used to design and conduct the programme for any organization.
  • The Rus funk manual on the male engagement continuum provides lessons learned in applying this model to community- and campus-based initiatives.
  • A MenEngage Global Alliance toolkit provides guidance on the steps and processes involved in setting up networks that work collectively to transform masculinities and engage men and boys in gender equality.

Violence against women and girls

  • A training guide from Rozan, a Pakistan-based NGO, is designed for use by facilitators and programme planners who seek to engage young men in issues around gender-based violence and masculinities. It comprises a 15-session series that can be conducted with groups of 10-25 men in community settings.
  • The Engaging Men through Accountable Practice (EMAP) is a primary violence prevention intervention developed for humanitarian settings. The EMAP Framework developed by the GBV Responders’ Network and the International Rescue Committee offers three key manuals: an Introductory Guide that provides an overview of the framework and its concepts; an Implementation Guide that provides weekly lessons for working with women and men in single-sex groups, as well as tips for introducing and implementing the intervention; and a Training Guide that details tools to lead group sessions with men while including the inputs of women and girls throughout the intervention.
  • A paper based on lessons learnt from the Partners for Prevention regional project ‘Engaging Young Men through Social Media for the Prevention of Violence against Women’ offers a comprehensive overview on how to use social media as a tool to prevent violence against women and girls. It also provides recommendations on developing and implementing a social media strategy, as well as monitoring and evaluation.
  • ICRW’s Parivartan handbook was developed as part of the Parivartan programme for sports coaches and mentors working with schools and communities. The handbook provides an overview of the programme; explains key concepts such as gender, respect, boundaries and violence; and provides tips and suggestions for exercises as ‘Teachable Moments’, as well as inspirational stories and resources that could help mentors and coaches discuss issues with athletes and other participants. The package also includes Training Cards that outline practical steps and activities that coaches and mentors can use with participants to leverage sports for greater gender equality.
  • This Tip Sheet, created by Coalition of Feminists for Social Change (COFEM), presents some of the challenges in engaging men in feminist activism and gender-based violence prevention efforts, and underscores the need for accountability to women and girls in all work with men and boys to end GBV.
  • The Coalition of Feminists for Social Change (COFEM) also created this paper on Feminist perspectives on addressing violence against women and girls: How a lack of accountability undermines work to address violence against women and girls.
  • Culled from the experience of supporting a variety of nonprofits to work with boys, India Development Review (IDR) has pulled together these lessons on how and where to begin working with boys to reduce violence against women.


  • Promundo’s Very Young Adolescence 2.0  curriculum to promote gender equality and sexual and reproductive health offers programme of 12 weekly sessions for boys and girls (aged 11-14) on SRHR and gender norms.
  • The Sonke Gender Justice and Pathfinder’s manual is for those working with men and boys on issues of gender and health including SRHR, and more specifically on increasing access to safe and stigma free abortion services. The manual was developed for use in workshop settings and as a resource and facilitation guide to build the capacities of individuals and organisations to address specific SRH issues with men and boys.
  • The International Planned Parenthood Federation and UNFPA have developed a package to support providers of SRH services to increase the range and quality of services available to meet the needs of men and adolescent boys. It focuses on the provision of such services that are integrated within clinical and non-clinical contexts and follows a gender-transformative approach.
  • Promundo, MenEngage Alliance & UNFPA’s toolkit provides strategies and lessons learned for engaging men and boys on diverse themes such as SRH; maternal, newborn and child health; fatherhood; HIV/AIDS; gender-based violence; advocacy and policy, as well as addressing issues around monitoring and evaluation of this work.
  • International Planned Parenthood Federation’s (IPPF) toolkit provides practical guidance for developing organizational policies that encourage men's involvement in sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS programmes and explains how to tailor policies for specific groups of men and boys.
  • Promundo’s toolkit for action  provides conceptual and practical information on how to design, implement and evaluate HIV prevention activities, which incorporate a gender perspective and engage young men and relevant stakeholders.
  • Promundo’s manual seeks to help participants develop activities at a community level to create a supportive environment for work related to male engagement and HIV/AIDS. The manual focuses on mobilising community members to engage men. All of its  activities can be used with groups of men and women.
  • The MenCare program guide presents the strategies used by MenCare that emerged from the tenets of the MenCare campaign: a three-year, four-country collaboration between Promundo and Rutgers to engage men aged 15-35 as partners in maternal, newborn, and child health and in SRHR.

Unpaid care work

  • The MenCare prospectus by Promundo and Sonke Gender Justice provides an overview of the campaign and provides tools to promote social norms around men’s active participation as involved fathers and caregivers.
  • The Program P Manual by MenCare Campaign, Promundo and Sonke Gender Justice compiles interconnected strategies and actions to reshape how local communities, governments, and in particular the public health system, engage men as caregivers.
  • Oxfam’s Rapid Care Analysis (RCA) and Household Care Survey is a user-friendly assessment tool that provides distance training sessions for development practitioners. Its purpose is to assess who carries out unpaid care in a community to identify, reduce and redistribute care work that is heavy and unequal. The RCA also seeks to ensure that carers can be represented in decision making.


  • The GEMS manual by ICRW, CORO for Literacy and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) is based on the experience of conducting group education activities with students. It is organised in seven themed modules, drawing on the GEMS experience to provide evidence of a useful and feasible methodology that creates discussion around gender equality within schools.
  • An educational manual by Promundo can be used for working with men to question non-equitable views about masculinity and develop more positive attitudes to prevent unhealthy behaviours. It can also be used to train facilitators to implement workshop activities with groups of men.
  • Plan’s Champions of Change methodology presents a community-wide strategy to promote gender equality and social norm change through youth engagement and peer-to-peer mobilisation. It aims to advance gender equality by engaging girls in a process of empowerment and by working with boys to challenge dominant masculinities and support girls’ empowerment. Champions of Change has intentionally developed separate but inter-related curricula for girls and boys.

Child marriage

  • The More Equal Future manual was developed as part of a collaboration between the MenCare Campaign, World Vision and Promundo to engage fathers to prevent child marriage in India.
  • The briefing series by ICRW and Girls Not Brides suggests ways to incorporate and measure child marriage prevention and response throughout the programme lifecycle within a variety of sectoral and cross-sectoral programming. These briefs can be of particular interest to donors and practitioners during the needs assessment and programme design stages.