One Man Can
A gender transformation, masculinities and rights-based programme which aims to reframe harmful definitions of masculinities in order to reduce rates of violence and unsafe sex and work towards more just and equitable gender relations.
Type of intervention
Target groups, level of prevention and subgroups
- Additional Resource | Group work | English
Men and women aged 15 years and over.
Sonke Gender Justice Network, South Africa (see www.genderjustice.org.za).
Mode and context of delivery
One Man Can (OMC) is a gender transformation, masculinities and rights-based programme which aims to reframe harmful definitions of masculinities in order to reduce rates of violence and unsafe sex and work towards more just and equitable gender relations. The programme focuses on community mobilisation following educational strategies. It is being delivered throughout South Africa and has been scaled up to North Sudan, Swaziland, Lesotho, Mozambique, Zambia and Malawi. Small group workshops are combined with interventions by Community Action Teams. The materials for the workshops have been published.
Level/nature of staff expertise required
The desired skills include facilitation and community action/development skills.
Intensity/extent of engagement with target group(s)
Small group workshops on six topics, followed by community action projects. The Activities Manual provides a range of activities for each of the six topics, which last between 30 and 90 minutes each.
Description of intervention
OMC is a gender transformation, masculinities and rights-based programme, developed in South Africa, which aims to reframe harmful definitions of masculinities in order to reduce rates of violence and unsafe sex and work towards more just and equitable gender relations. It addresses dating violence, sexual violence and domestic violence (it does not specifically address intra-familial sexual abuse of young children). Through a programme of educational small group workshops it aims to:
- Examine the links between gender, power and health
- Define and critically evaluate masculinities as these are practiced in relationships with women, other men and the broader community
- Use a rights based approach to reducing violence against women and both men and women's HIV risks
The programme actively engages men and boys in reflecting on and reconfiguring gender inequalities in families, relationships and communities.
Workshops are held on six topics including gender, power, health, critical reflections on norms and practices, gender and violence, healthy relationships and taking action for change. A Workshop Activities manual for facilitators provides clear and detailed instructions on activities, their objectives, materials required to deliver and notes for facilitators. Action planning is built into each workshop. A set of guiding principles is described for running the programme. This manual can be downloaded free of charge from www.genderjustice.org.za/onemancan.
OMC workshops also draw on a history of racial inequalities and apartheid in South Africa to engage men in exploring critically what it means to be a man and to be positive role models and agents for change. The programme supplements the workshops with a community action approach. An Action Kit is also available for download with many examples of action in different communities.
Van den Berg, W., Hendricks, L., Hatcher, S., Peacock, D., Dworkin, S. (2013) One Man Can: shifts in fatherhood beliefs and parenting practices following a gender -transformative programme in Eastern Cape, South Africa, Gender & Development, 21 (1).
Dworkin, S.L., Hatcher, A.M., Colvin, C., & Peacock, D. (2013) Impact of Gender- Transformative HIV and Anti-Violence Programme on Gender Ideologies and masculinities in Two Rural, South African Communities. Men and Masculinities, 16 (2), 181-202.
Dworkin, S.L., Colvin, C.,Hatcher, A.M. & Peacock, D.(2012) Men's Perceptions of Women's Rights and Changing Gender Relations in South Africa: Lessons for Working with Men and Boys in HIV and Anti-violence programmes, Gender and Society, 26 (97).
Sweetman, C. (2013) Introduction: Working with men on gender equality, Gender and Development, 21 (e), 1-13.
ONE in FIVE Campaign Secretariat
Council of Europe
F – 67075 STRASBOURG Cedex
Tel.: +33 (0)3 88 41 24 74