03 Lesejane D Sahara Roundtable

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03 Lesejane D Sahara Roundtable

  1. 1. HIV prevention among women - Getting men involved: Lessons from SA Desmond Lesejane
  2. 2. Established in August 2006, now with offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Pretoria. 30 full-time staff working across South and Southern Africa including: Lesotho, Swaziland, Kenya, Namibia, Botswana, Malawi and Zambia. Co-Chair Global MenEngage Alliance, MenEngage Africa Region Coordinator and member of Athena Network. www.genderjustice.org.za
  3. 3. Flagship programme is ONE MAN CAN Partner in the Brothers for Life Campaign
  4. 4. The AIDS pandemic disproportionately affects women, both in terms of rates of infection and the burden of care and support for those with AIDS- related illnesses. Young women in sub-Saharan Africa are much more likely to be infected than men. Women are made vulnerable to HIV by conditions of poverty, unemployment, entrenched gender inequalities
  5. 5. HIV and Men Why work with men The basis for men’s involvement Adopting positive strategies
  6. 6. There is a link between HIV and GBV. Men who are violent are also likely to engage in risky sexual behaviour and likely to be HIV positive (MRC study) Few men access health care facilities and know their HIV status In SA HIV prevalence peaks in the 30-34 age group and there has not been any targeted responses Gender roles and social constructions of masculinity also damage men’s lives across a broad range of public health indicators: HIV, violence, road safety, alcohol, suicide etc.
  7. 7. It is not a zero sum game where women become the winners and men the net losers. HIV is also not just a women’s issue, but a social / economic/ cultural / political phenomenon with links to and driven by patriarchy and negative masculinities The HIV & GENDER complex is a key factor in the spread of HIV. The sad reality of the older man / young woman dynamic fuelled by medical, cultural and social myths is a concern Finding solutions therefore requires scaled up work with men in the areas identified
  8. 8. Work with men must promote women’s and girl’s rights; The work must enhance boy’s and men’s lives which are also negatively affected by the burdens of gender injustices It must be inclusive of the sexual / cultural / economic /social spectrum of ‘manliness’ The work must confront systemic causes and drivers of the pandemic (gender inequalities)
  9. 9. Move away from negative stereotyping of men and acknowledge positive male contributions and build on that Promote men’s involvement in reproductive health initiatives. This will enhance their lives, but also help them to protect the lives of their partners and children (PMTCT) Promote men’s involvement in the care economy Promote government and workplace policies that encourage men to be more receptive to gender transformation Demonstrate benefit to society
  10. 10. Content Sexual health ◦ Promote men’s ownership of their own health ◦ Involvement in reproductive health And protection of children Gender transformation ◦ Promote healthy gender relationships ◦ Promote empowerment of women Negative masculinities ◦ Debunk myths of violence and risky behaviour as determinants of maleness
  11. 11. Show the benefit to men if they ◦ Share the economic load ◦ Stay healthy Benefit to society ◦ Increase the well being of society Healthier families and communities ◦ Criminal justice system Cost on the national fiscus ◦ Health system Costs of belated health checks ◦ Economic development Exclusion of women Reduced alcohol induced mortalities
  12. 12. “African men will probably never change”. Margaret Wente, Toronto Globe and Mail, August 16, 2006 The question is not whether men can change, but rather ◦ can policies and programmes in society accelerate and influence positive change Recognising men’s investment in change reduces men’s potential resistance to gender transformation. Indeed there are growing numbers of men embracing change who needs to be supported
  13. 13. Often short-term, workshop focused without sufficient focus on moving from reflection to action. Insufficient use of policy and community mobilization and rights literacy to take to scale Need to integrate focus on men and gender into broader work including condom & femidoms promotion, male circumcision, microbicides etc. Lack of collective efforts and collaboration Disjuncture with cultural and religious systems and values
  14. 14. YENZA KAHLE DO THE RIGHT THING DIRA SENTLE www.genderjustice.org.za

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