South Africa: MenEngage Africa Symposium: 5-9 October 2009

24 September 2009

Following on the success of the Global Symposium on Engaging Men and Boys in Achieving Gender Equality held earlier this year in Brazil, Sonke and the MenEngage Alliance are pleased to announce the MenEngage Africa Symposium to be held October 5th-9th, 2009.

The symposium aims to strengthen the MenEngage Alliance across Africa and to forge partnerships between representatives from civil society, researchers, national governments, UN agencies and regional coordinating bodies such as the AU, SADC, EAC and ECOWAS, amongst others.

The Symposium will bring together activists, policy makers, service providers and researchers working on gender, HIV, health, development and human rights and will produce clear country and region specific plans of action.

From Cape Town to Kivu to Cairo, from Abidjan to Antananarivo, men are implicated in health and human rights crises across Africa. Men are also essential for their successful resolution – whether it be stopping sexual violence in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo; accelerating demilitarisation and disarmament in Central and East Africa; preventing new HIV infections, expanding treatment and reducing the burden of AIDS care borne by women and girls across the entire continent; increasing men's active involvement in the lives of their children; strengthening health systems or promoting a more active sense of citizenship aimed at holding government to account for their commitments.

For more information on the conference, please see:

As you may know, we launched the paper 'Men, masculinity and guns: can we break the link?' at the Global MenEngage Symposium in April 2009. It argues that because the majority of men do not own or use guns: gun use must therefore be understood as a choice. A combination of social, economic and political factors combine to create the notion that gun violence is a legitimate option for a man. It is available online at: