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Overview

Padare/Enkundleni/Men’s Forum on Gender, henceforth referred to as Padare, traces its beginnings to 1995, when a group of five male visionaries held informal meetings to consider how men could contribute to the debate and actions on gender issues following the 1995 World Conference on Women in Beijing, China. In the mobilizing years (1995-2001), the male visionaries used their own resources to organize meetings in public places to share information and knowledge on women’s rights and to exchange their experiences and progress in mobilizing other men to participate in the movement for a gender just society. By 1996, the group had grown to 10 men with a 10 point plan to reach out to and mobilize other men across Zimbabwe into the nascent men’s movement to challenge status quo in gender relations of power and to promote a gender just society. Since inception to day Padare has its presents growing across the country having over 65 chapters where each chapter is comprised of men who meet regularly addressing issues affecting communities on topics not limited to Gender based violence, HIV/AIDS and Sexual and reproductive health and rights.

According to some research done there is vast evidence that clearly explain and support that men engagement for gender equality benefits everyone from women , children and even men themselves.  It is important to know the reasons why engaging with men and boys for gender equality is vital, thus often times gender norms of what it means to be a man or woman can at times discourage most men from accessing health services, challenging violence against women and children or supporting their life partners to access health services like HIV treatment and prevention. These gender norms can encourage men to engage in a variety of unacceptable, high risk negative behaviour. Thus therefore, working with men and boys is vital in addressing gender inequalities, strengthening human rights and overally improving the health and wellbeing of men, women and children. Padare’s programs targets men and boys in a bid to influence their behaviours and their role as agents of change in the achievement of gender equality.