This resource provides a rationale for why men and boys should be engaged in FP efforts in cooperative ways that improve FP/RH outcomes and facilitate women and girls’ agency.
Male Engagement in Family Planning
Male engagement in family planning (FP) improves reproductive health and gender outcomes.* In many settings, men play a dominant role in decisions such as family size and the use of contraceptives. Men's critical role in FP decisions makes it important to include them in FP programming. Programs engaging men can enhance spousal communication, improve gender-equitable attitudes, and increase FP use.**
Male engagement is defined as the process of enabling men and boys to engage positively around FP with their female partners, families, and communities. This engagement expands equitable roles for men and women in making FP decisions, promotes women’s FP autonomy, challenges unequal power dynamics, and transforms harmful gender norms (e.g., that only men make decisions and hold power).
Male engagement promotes men’s and boy’s roles as users of contraception, supportive partners, and agents of community and social change:
Users of male-controlled and male-cooperative contraceptive methods (e.g., condoms, vasectomy, Standard Days Method)
Supportive partners for women to discuss, access and use modern FP methods
Agents of change within their community to challenge barriers and socio-cultural norms that prevent women, men, and couples from using modern FP methods
Men and boys have unique needs and preferences for accessing reproductive health information and services. Directly engaging men in FP can address their concerns about contraception that would otherwise hinder their use of, or support for, FP. Male engagement needs a holistic approach - one that considers the role of women, men, and the couple.
In this Trending Topic, we provide selected tools and project materials created for improving male engagement in FP. If you would like to share your own resources, please send an email to email@example.com.
*Rottach, E., Schuler, S. R., & Hardee, K. (2009). Gender perspectives improve reproductive health outcomes: new evidence.
**Lundgren, R., Cachan, J., & Jennings, V. (2012). Engaging men in family planning services delivery: experiences introducing the Standard Days Method® in four countries. World health & population, 14(1), 44-51.
JOURNAL ARTICLES & REPORTS
Male Engagement in Family Planning: Reducing Unmet Need for Family Planning by Addressing Gender Norms: This paper was developed by the Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH) at Georgetown University, with funding from USAID. It identifies critical elements of involving men in family planning, with considerations for adaptability and sustainability. Based on a preliminary review of initiatives to engage men in sexual and reproductive health programs; the subsequent technical consultation to define male engagement practices, discuss evaluation of male engagement programs, and consider feasibility of scaling up successful approaches; and a case study of four interventions which used gender transformative approaches to engage men in family planning programs, this paper lays the groundwork for engaging men through gender transformative programming.
Char, A. (2011). Male involvement in family planning and reproductive health in rural central India. Tampere University Press.
Edström, J., Hassink, A., Shahrokh, T., & Stern, E. (2015). Engendering Men: A collaborative review of evidence on men and boys in social change and gender equality.
Ezeanolue, E. E., et al. (2015). Impact of male partner’s awareness and support for contraceptives on female intent to use contraceptives in southeast Nigeria. BMC Public Health, 15(1), 879.
Greene, M. E., & Merrick, T. (2015). The case for investing in research to increase access to and use of contraception among adolescents.
Hardee, K., Croce-Galis, M., & Gay, J. (2017). Are men well served by family planning programs?. Reproductive Health, 14(1), 14.
Hartmann, et al. (2012). Changes in couples' communication as a result of a male-involvement family planning intervention. Journal of Health Communication, 17(7), 802-819.
Lundgren, R., et al. (2012). Engaging men in family planning services delivery: experiences introducing the Standard Days Method® in four countries. World Health and Population, 14(1), 44-51.
Ringheim, K., et al. (2009). Engaging men for gender equality and improved reproductive health. Population Reference Bureau.
Rottach, E., et al. (2009). Gender perspectives improve reproductive health outcomes: new evidence. Population Reference Bureau.
Trussell, J., et al. (2009). Cost-effectiveness of contraceptives in the United States. Contraception, 79(1), 5-14.
Banner photo: © 2016 Riccardo Gangale/VectorWorks, Courtesy of Photoshare
This webinar was held on June 21, 2017 and featured presentations on social and behavior change communication (SBCC) interventions designed to successfully increase men’s demand for and use of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) products and services.
Promundo and MenEngage Alliance with support from UNFPA produced this Toolkit that addresses strategies and lessons learned for Engaging Men and Boys in diverse themes such as Sexual and Reproductive Health; Maternal, Newborn and Child Health; Fatherhood; HIV and AIDS; Gender-based Violence; Advocacy and Policy, as well as addressing issues around Monitoring and Evaluation of this work.
The Knowledge, Practice and Coverage survey tool (KPC) is designed to be used for rapid small population household surveys for integrated programs that are linked to communities. It is a flexible tool that allows for surveys to be tailored to various technical areas and combination of areas, while maintaining standards for collection of information for specific interventions.
This interactive manual offers master trainers approaches for working with community-based health outreach workers, and offers gender activists a means to mobilize community members to take action related to HIV, AIDS and gender.
This document is intended to lead program managers, planners, and decision-makers through a strategic process to identify effective investments for engaging men in efforts to improve sexual and reproductive health.
This infographic presents a snapshot of modern male-controlled and cooperative contraceptive method use around the world and highlights data that identify opportunities to engage more adolescent boys and men as contraceptive users and family planning clients.
This report aims to support the work of UNFPA and partners by presenting a background and rationale for engaging men and boys.
This database features nine core indicators to monitor and evaluate male engagement in reproductive health, focusing primarily on men’s beliefs and behaviors.
The Gender and Social and Behavior Change Communication Implementation Kit (I-Kit) provides a step-by-step approach to integrate gender into an existing SBCC strategy or marketing plan.
The Gender Integration Continuum is a visual framework that illustrates what gender integration looks like in programming and how this affects women and men, girls and boys.
This user’s guide provides practical guidance on preparing for and facilitating the Gender Integration Continuum training session.
This tool was developed to support providers of sexual and reproductive health services. It aims to increase the range and quality of sexual and reproductive services provided that meet the specific and diverse needs of men and adolescents boys.
booklet, written in French, Hausa, and Arabic, was developed by Transform/PHARE to support the Sarari intervention. It provides guidance to those delivering sermons on how to incorporate themes about many family welfare topics.
To promote male engagement (ME) in family planning in Cote d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso, the Transform/PHARE project developed and piloted innovative approaches, including a Human Centered Design (HCD) project in Côte d'Ivoire focusing on men in the informal employment sector and an innovation lab in Burkina Faso aimed at increasing ME in FP.
Cette recherche n'a pas été réalisée dans l'ordre Identifier les segments masculins au Niger qui étaient les plus susceptibles de changer leurs attitudes et comportements envers la PF, et fournir des principes de haut niveau pour la conception et la mise en œuvre d'interventions ciblant ces segments.
La recherche participative se concentre sur les jeunes hommes âgés de 15 à 24 ans travaillant dans le secteur informel dans deux quartiers d'Abidjan, ainsi que leurs partenaires, parents, patrons, leaders communautaires et autres influenceurs directs ou indirects.
IDEO.org partnered with PSI to apply human-centered design to engage and promote the dialogue among young men working in the informal sector and their partners about contraception and family planning.
This manual was developed as part of a collaboration between World Vision and Promundo in response to harmful societal and cultural practices that support the continuation of child marriage in India.
This chart was created as part of the Transform/PHARE project in Burkina Faso and maps the existing male engagement interventions in the country for unmarried, recently married, and experienced married men according to their role as clients, partners, and agents of change.
A partir de la recherche ethnographique et participative, Transform / PHARE a cherché à découvrir les points de vue et les connaissances des jeunes et des chefs religieux sur les produits et services de santé reproductive dans trois départements et neuf villages de la région de Zinder.
Un atelier participatif de quatre jours («Innovation Lab») utilisant les principes d'inspiration et d'idéation HCD et avec la participation de participants non traditionnels (entrepreneurs, musiciens, comédiens), cinq équipes ont identifié des interventions pour augmenter l'engagement masculin dans la PF.
This handbill/pamphlet developed in Nigeria provides information on how men can participate in their family’s health and support their wives/partners.
It outlines how they can help during:
These 5 posters developed in Nigeria provide information on how men can participate in their family’s health and support their wives/partners during pre-pregnancy and pregnancy as well as during labor and delivery, postnatal care, infancy and childhood.
This job aid was developed in Nigeria to provide information on how men can participate in their family’s health and support their wives/partners during various phases of pregnancy, labor, and infancy/childhood.