Reports and papers

Men, Masculinities and the Security-Development Nexus

27 Apr 2010 - 14:09

Within the gender & conflict debate, the potential role of men and the concept of masculinity have garnered increasing academic and international policy-oriented attention. The fairly recent surge of interest in men and their role with regard to the advancement of gender equality can be quite confusing, not least because for many people working in policy-oriented environments and international organisations, gender often simply means 'women'. Moreover, among women's groups and organisations, there are (legitimate) concerns that the growing focus on men will dilute attention to women and their specific concerns.

Nevertheless, there seems to be a shift in thinking underway whereby the transformation of unequal gender relations in society is increasingly framed as a shared responsibility for both women and men. In other words, if men are part of the problem, they might also be part of the solution. One of the potential consequences of such an approach is that for example gender-based violence is no longer exclusively framed as a 'women's issue', but becomes a broader societal problem that implicates men as well.

Against the backdrop of a growing interest in men and gender equality, this paper intends to explain the concept of masculinity. In addition, the paper provides some further background to men and gender equality as an emerging thematic area of potential relevance for the international peace and security agendas. The final section of this paper outlines some of the issues deemed useful for further discussion.

Hommes, Masculinités et Nexus Sécurité-Développement: une vue d'ensemble résumée icon