Getting men involved as equal partners to women requires a different approach. One lesson that BAFROW has learnt in working towards gender equity is to demystify the myths and beliefs about women by demonstrating that women can be success stories and that a family, the community and the state can only succeed if they are successful.
BAFROW's work with men revolves around the concept that partnership with women can bring greater success in the home, at the community and within the state. That masculinity is manifested in positive ways including supporting partnerships between man and women, respect for women's views and ideas, creating space for dialogue between partners and taking informed decisions, and sharing responsibilities particularly with respect to issues of sexuality, child bearing and child rearing, empathy and support during pregnancy, and prevention of gender-based violence. These principles guide all discussions on family and reproductive health issues, harmful traditional practices, HIV/AIDS prevention, and other development related issues.
BAFROW supports different male action groups. These groups are sensitized and trained so that their levels of knowledge and understanding of different thematic issues commensurate with that of their spouses or female partners who have benefited and continue to do so from the programs. Men become their own advocates and advocates for the empowerment of women and men.
Men in Mandinaba and other program sites are beginning to appreciate and accept women as counterparts in development and decision-making. A KAP survey showed that there are fewer problems in the homes due to increased dialogue and understanding among partners.Supportive actions from men are in the increase particularly on issues of family maintenance and family planning, HIV/AIDS prevention and promotion of girl's education. More girls are receiving support from their families to continue their education resulting in fewer school dropouts among girls and reduction in forced marriage. Female genital cutting is now non-existent in Mandinaba. Increasingly men are showing keen interest in the health of their girl children and their spouses.