Men & Boys

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Balla Sidibé, Country Director for CARE Côte d’Iviore, weighs in on his personal experiences managing workload and fatherhood.

How have you been able to balance your roles as father and Country Director? They are complementary.  It’s challenging to be a new CD. When I leave the office and go home, I can play with my children and do simple things outside of my normal work day.  I also have a nanny and when I travel, my mother or my mother-in-law comes to visit so that someone is with the children.

This was the question when we started our program with male field staff. As part of their jobs, the male staff were out in communities challenging social norms around gender. But it was tough to talk about it amongst their own peers, because they were afraid their friends would make fun of them. It’s important to create spaces for men to talk about their own experiences, and what gender inequality means for them.   We are all better activists if we believe what we say and are comfortable with it, if we are not afraid of ridicule.

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It was difficult for Suneeta to adjust in her In-laws house even after 5 year of her marriage.  She had a 4 year old baby, and her role was very restricted at her in-laws’ home. Her entire day was devoted for house hold chores and taking care of in-laws. Her husband usually came home at late night, and they hardly had anything to share. They almost never talked.

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CARE focuses on women and girls because we know that investments in women and girls can make huge changes in eradicating poverty.  We believe that women and girls face enormous obstacles, but with help and support, they can change the world.  But we also know that women and girls are only half the picture.  Women and girls can't advance alone.  They are part of families and communities that need to accept equality and women's rights to fully develop, and for all community members to be truly empowered.  In Rwanda, CARE has done significant research with Promundo to build programs that work

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My name is Mr. Ousmane Goulaka. I am a farmer in Mandoli in the commune of Bara Sara in Bandiagara, Mali.

I participated in the gender and social transformation program in my capacity as a village agent organized by the Nyeleni/Pathways project team with their local partner. During this training a number of topics were covered, but I was really struck by the issue of sharing the workload in the household. As I left the training, many ideas were going around in my head about which task I should take on to help my wife.

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Salma says she has seen a “radical change” in her husband Anzu Mia in the past year; he has become committed to supporting the most vulnerable families in his community. In 2009, Anzu contracted tuberculosis and was taken to the hospital. “Many people died in hospital from TB,” he explains, “I thought I would die too”.  But Anzu did not die and after this experience, he began to change his behaviour with his wife and in the community. He appreciated and supported his wife more.

CARE's work on Food Security in the Ultra Poor in Bangladesh (FSUP) indicates that the changes for women can only happen if there are broader changes in their environments and communities.  This means working with men and boys to help increase women's mobility and access to resources. 

Bangladesh Masculinities

CARE's work on Food Security in the Ultra Poor in Bangladesh (FSUP) indicates that the changes for women can only happen if there are broader changes in their environments and communities.  This means working with men and boys to help increase women's mobility and access to resources.  To this end, CARE comissioned a study on masculinities in Bangladesh.

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