"So, What About Boys?" report launched at USAID

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Each year Plan International publishes its Because I am a Girl report on the state of the world’s girls. The 2011 report, "So, What About Boys?", which explores the integral role that men and boys must play as allies and agents for social change, continues to capture the attention of partner organizations and leading donors in the international development space.

On the heels of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID’s) release of its new Gender Equality policy, the first in almost 30 years, Plan International’s "So, What About Boys?" enjoyed yet another center-stage appearance that the agency. This past Monday, March 26, Plan International USA launched the report at USAID. The launch featured a panel of key experts in the field, Gary Barker and Lucero Quiroga, who served on the report’s advisory panel, as well as Pamela Young, Plan International USA’s the Director of programs for Labor, Economic Empowerment, Education, and Protection.

Gary Barker, PhD, is International Director and founder of Promundo, a Brazilian NGO, based in Rio de Janeiro, with an office in Washington, DC, that works locally, nationally and internationally to promote gender equity and to reduce violence against children, women and youth. He is co-chair and co-founder of MenEngage, a global alliance of NGOs and UN agencies working to engage men and boys in gender equality and a member of Men's Leaders Network, part of the UN Secretary General’s UNite Campaign to end violence against women.

Lucero Quiroga is a consultant specializing in gender mainstreaming and organizational development. She is currently the lead consultant for global capacity development program on gender equality and children’s rights at Plan International. She has served on the Global Advisory Panel of the Because I am A Girl Report since 2006. Ms. Quiroga served 10 years as Co-Director of the Center for Gender Studies in the Dominican Republic, where her research and publications focused on gender-based violence and on women in university education in the Caribbean.

The panel focused on the reports’ key findings : Gender equality is good for boys too, fathers who care promote their own happiness and that of their sons and daughters, and to bring about change we need to start at the beginning with the family and the school.

Pamela talked through two projects that Plan International is implementing in partnership with USAID in Bangladesh and in Ghana in which men and boys are already strategically incorporated in the project design to bring about change.

Finally, Gary shared some preliminary results from the IMAGES study and focused on the importance of coaching men into boys and brining about change through understanding and intervening in key stages through the lifecycle of masculinity.

The panel was well-received by the diverse USAID audience and proved incredibly thought-provoking for attendees in how they could not only incorporate gender equality in their programming but also how to effectively engage men and boys as champions of girls to benefit girls, their families, and entire communities.

Download the report, "So, What About Boys?".

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