Programa H - Promoting more Gender-equitable Norms and Behaviors among Young Men
Programa H stimulates young men to question traditional "norms" associated with masculinity and promotes both discussion and reflection about the "costs" of traditional masculinity as well as the advantages of gender equitable behaviors, such as better care for their own health. Program H, replicated in several parts of Brazil and throughout the world, uses educational workshops, lifestyle campaigns, innovative approaches to attracting young men to health facilities, and a culturally sensitive impact evaluation methodology.
- Programa H focuses on helping young men question traditional norms related to manhood.
- A validated curriculum that includes a manual series and an educational video for promoting attitude and behaviour change among men.
- A lifestyle social marketing campaign for promoting changes in community or social norms related to what it means to be a man.
- A research-action methodology for reducing barriers to young men's use of clinic services.
- A culturally relevant validated evaluation model (the GEM Scale - Gender Equitable Attitudes in Men Scale) for measuring changes in attitudes and social norms around manhood has been developed to measure outcomes of the initiative.
- Program H is theoretically based and has been empirically shown to positively influence attitudes related to gender, including greater sensitivity to issues of gender-based violence, increased intention to use condoms, improved partner negotiation skills, increased attention to health needs and desire to be more involved as fathers (for those young men who are already fathers).
- Given the short time- line of many interventions with young men, it is often unrealistic to expect behaviour change and difficult to measure such change.
- Our work would suggest that attitude and behaviour change are possible to achieve, but more research would be necessary -- and ongoing interventions and policy-level discussions -- to confirm and sustain long-term gender equity.