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Involving Young Men for Young Men’s Sake

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Presentation on theme: "Involving Young Men for Young Men’s Sake"— Presentation transcript:

1 Involving Young Men for Young Men’s Sake
Nicole Cheetham Advocates for Youth December 7, 200

2 About Advocates for Youth
NGO established in 1980 Works domestically and internationally Mission: to promote policies and programs that help young people make responsible decisions about their sexual and reproductive health Target audiences include: youth activists, youth-serving organizations, health professionals, media and policy makers

3 The 3 R’s Philosophy The Three R’s Philosophy of: Rights
Young men and women have the right to sexual and reproductive health information and services Respect Young women and men deserve respect Responsibility Society has a responsibility to ensure these rights and respect so that young men and women can make responsible decisions

4 Why Focus on Youth Sexual & Reproductive Health?
Worldwide, nearly half of all people are under age 25 Most people in the world become sexually active during adolescence Most young people lack accurate knowledge about reproduction and sexuality and do not have access to information & services

5 Young People are at Risk of Unintended Parenthood and STI’s
14 million children are born to adolescent women each year---10% of all births Pregnancy and childbirth complications are the leading cause of death for women in developing countries. Globally one out of twenty adolescents gets an STI each year. Youth 25 and under account for 50% of all new HIV infections.

6 Why Focus on Young Men? They have a right to have their own SRH needs addressed Currently, many SRH services focus only on the needs of women Excluding men puts all family planning responsibility on women Many young men want to be involved in planning their families Men often play a critical role in supporting women’s health decisions Direct services to men provides indirect services to women Does not have to be either/or

7 What Influences Young Men’s Gender Roles?
Society and Culture Health services Government Media                       Family YOUNG MEN Religion Community Peers Economics

8 Types of Programs Community Participation Life Skills Education
Peer education Mentorship Support groups Media campaigns Men-friendly health services

9 Community Participation for YRSH in Burkina Faso
3 Southern rural provinces Youth ages 15-24 Goal: To improve youth’s sexual and reproductive health through community participation

10 Community Participation for YRSH in Burkina Faso

11 Community Participation for YRSH in Burkina Faso
Key elements included: Involvement of both young men and women in program development and implementation Holistic identification of young women and men’s needs Separated by gender initially, then integrated Equal numbers of young men and women systematically across program activities

12 California's Male Involvement Program for Teen Pregnancy Prevention
Begun in 1995 $8 million dollars, 3-year initiative State-wide Young men ages 12-24 Goal: to mobilize adolescent and young adult males to play an active part in preventing teen pregnancy and early unintended fatherhood

13 California’s Male Involvement Program for Teen Pregnancy Prevention
Core strategies included: Community awareness campaigns Pregnancy prevention Responsible fatherhood Youth leadership and prevention education services Life skills curriculum, RH and FP info, and other issues addressed including school retention, gang involvement, employment, finances, and housing Working with young men where they are Schools, juvenile detention centers, faith centers and migrant work camps Institutionalization of male involvement School credit for participation, free transportation to sessions, change in hiring procedures to staff youth Youth-adult partnerships Mentorship component Guidance and referral

14 Men As Partners Program
Established in 1996 by EngenderHealth Currently in 15 countries Goals include: To enhance men’s awareness and support for their partners’ reproductive health choices To increase men’s access to comprehensive reproductive health services To mobilize men to take an active stand for gender equity and against gender-based violence

15 Men As Partners Program
Core elements of EngenderHealth’s South Africa program: Implementation of workshops aimed at changing accepted knowledge, attitudes, and behavior about gender Mobilization of men to take action in their own communities Partnerships with government clinics to improve men’s utilization of HIV services Advocacy for increased governmental commitment to promote positive male involvement Work with media to promote changes in social norms

16 Program Tips for Male Involvement
Include young men in program development and implementation Make it about them--focus on issues of importance to them Set targets for participation Tailor programs to particular groups Age, geographic location, religion, sexual orientation, etc.. Reach young men where they are: workplace, sports spaces, etc.. Use participatory methods Identify adult and young men who exhibit gender equitable relationships and work with them as mentors and role models

17 Program Tips for Male Involvement
While separating young men and women can be important, it is not necessary all the time. Bringing them together helps break down stereotypes, but a safe and informed environment has to be created Address gender holistically, recognizing stereotypes on both sides and the mutual responsibility to counter them Where possible, offer holistic services that address adolescent boys’ varying needs Promote services for young men Promote positive views of young men rather than referencing only the negative

18 Tips for Involving Young Men
Establish clear goals for participation Share the power to make decisions Get commitment from the highest levels of the organization Be clear on roles and responsibilities Be selective Provide training Use humor

19 Tips for Involving Young Men
Educate everyone involved about different communication styles Value participation Include room for growth Remember that young men have other interests, responsibilities, and commitments

20 In Conclusion Young men are in many ways subjected to a gender straight-jacket Involving young men in reproductive health programs is doable. For their sake, as well as that of their partners and families, it’s critical to involve young men in reproductive health programs.

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