While child marriage predominantly affects adolescent girls, evidence has shown that working only with girls is not enough to end the practice. Many boys and young men too face pressures to marry early, or to marry girls who are children, and play a key role in embodying and reproducing harmful gender norms that drive child marriage. Rather than simply involving them in activities to prevent child marriage, the broader movement for gender equality has shed light on the need for gender-transformative engagement with both men and boys to address the roots of child marriage.
On February 22nd, 2023, the Global Boyhood Initiative – coordinated by Equimundo (Formerly Promundo-US) in partnership with Plan International and with core global partner Gillette – launched the new Global Boyhood Initiative Webinar Series. We began the series with the topic “Engaging Boys to Promote Gender Equality and Prevent Child Marriage.”
Margaret Greene, Equimundo Senior Fellow and Director of GreeneWorks, moderated a discussion about the latest research, evidence-based tools and best practices for including men and boys in efforts to prevent child marriage through gender-transformative approaches. Panelists included: Jean Casey, Girls Not Brides; Jeff Edmeades, Demographic and Health Surveys Program; Colleen Murray Gastón, UNICEF; José-Roberto Luna Manzanero, UNFPA; and Julie Rialet, Equimundo Consultant.
The Global Boyhood Initiative is coordinated by Equimundo in partnership with Plan International and core global partner Gillette. Co-founded in 2020 by Equimundo and the Kering Foundation, it is designed to support boys aged 4 to 13 and the adults in their lives with the resources they need to raise, teach, coach and set an example for boys to become men who embrace healthy masculinity and gender equality. Learn more about the initiative here.