In an effort to address gender-based violence (part of a larger effort to reduce the spread of HIV) EngenderHealth launched its landmark Men As Partners® (MAP) program in South Africa in 1996. The program, which includes a series of workshops, peer-education initiatives, and media outreach, challenges men's attitudes and behaviors that compromise their own health and safety, as well as the health and safety of women and children.
MAP has four key objectives:
• To increase men's awareness of and support for the family planning and reproductive health choices of their partners
• To increase men's awareness of the need to safeguard the reproductive health of their partners and themselves, especially through the prevention of sexually transmitted infections
• To improve access to men's contraceptive methods for couples who are interested in using them
• To improve men's access to comprehensive reproductive health services
Project milestones include:
• The first national Men As Partners Week, held in April 2007 and co-sponsored with local partners: The week marked the launch of a media campaign with the theme "I am a partner," designed to help men understand what it means to be a true partner in relationships, families, and communities. Men As Partners Week is now held annually in South Africa.
• The participation of tens of thousands of men in MAP workshops and community activities. Evaluations prove the transformative impact of the program on men's behavior, and the positive results yielded by challenging and changing the norms of masculinity in the country.
• Selection as a finalist as for a prestigious Red Ribbon Award at the XVI International AIDS Conference. The MAP program was recognized for its innovative contributions to reducing the spread of HIV in South Africa.