International Men and Gender Equality Survey

The International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES) is one of the most comprehensive research studies ever to explore men’s practices and attitudes related to gender equality alongside women’s. Since 2008, IMAGES surveys have been adapted in over 32 countries, representing in-depth research with more than 67,000 men and women on crucial topics, such as gender-based violence; health, including sexual and reproductive health; division of household labour; and caregiving and fatherhood.

IMAGES is an international research project measuring men’s attitudes and practices – along with women’s opinions and reports of men’s practices – on a wide variety of topics related to gender equality.



Led and created by Equimundo since 2008, in partnership with Instituto Promundo in Brazil and the International Center for Research on Women, IMAGES is one of the most comprehensive studies ever to explore men’s practices and attitudes related to gender equality alongside women’s. 

Using a wide variety of measures, IMAGES questionnaires investigate gender-based violence, health and health-related practices, household division of labor, men’s participation in caregiving and as fathers, men’s and women’s attitudes about gender and gender related policies, transactional sex, men’s reports of criminal behavior, and quality of life. 

The IMAGES questionnaire incorporates items from existing survey instruments on gender, quality of life, childhood antecedents of violence (including observing gender-based violence), health, sexuality, family gender dynamics, and fatherhood, as well as new items created specifically for the survey. It builds on the Gender Equality and Quality of Life Survey (GEQ Survey) first fielded in Norway, as well as widely used instruments such as the Gender Equitable Men (GEM) Scale and standardized questions from the multicountry surveys on violence against women developed in partnership with the World Health Organization. 

Wherever quantitative data collection and analysis have occurred using the IMAGES survey, research partners also have conducted complementary qualitative studies in the same settings, seeking to document in depth the lived realities of gender inequalities, notions of masculinity and femininity, and participants’ perspectives on efforts to promote gender equality. IMAGES data make it possible to:

  • Explore men’s experience on topics usually explored with women only;
  • Triangulate results across men’s and women’s experiences;
  • Generate a baseline on gendered attitudes and practices in a setting, such that progress toward the equality agenda can be contrasted with it in the future; and
  • Contribute to a global effort to improve the evidence base on men and masculinities and on gender equality.

IMAGES Over the years


IMAGES has received recognition, support, and funding from numerous international organizations, including the World Bank, CARE, UN Women, the United Nations Population Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, the Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the International Development Research Centre (Canada), Global Affairs Canada, the United Kingdom Department for International Development, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Oak Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation.

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