The Burden of Breadwinning: Transformative Masculinities in the Context of HIV, Violence against Women and Gender Inequality

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A publication from Brot für die Welt, February 2016

For a long time, at least in the field of development cooperation, gender has been regarded as an issue that concerns mainly women. Consequently, gender mainstreaming efforts have been characterised by a focus on women.

However, a one-sided focus on women usually fails to analyse the situation of both women and men; neither does it take account of existing gender roles and power relations between gender groups.

Gender stereotyping creates violence and fear and can easily lead to HIV infection. Initiatives that support men who are searching for other ways of being men, for transformative masculinities, represent an important step in the right direction. Masculinity should no longer be conceptualised as a manifestation of hegemony but as a transformative force for gender equality and societies based on the realisation of human rights. In this context, it is important to realise that masculinity can be expressed in different ways, that there is not just one masculinity but diverse masculinities.

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