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What are some of the key challenges regarding working with men in this area?

Some groups feel that working with men might distract from the fundamental work of empowering women, lead to competition for funding (Ruxton 2004) and possibly weaken the women’s rights agenda (Esplen 2006).

Many of the activists, researchers and programme personnel in this area of work come from a feminist or women-centred background and may themselves be resistant to engaging men and/or may not know how to engage this population.

Not all men’s groups working on gender issues have equality or women’s rights as core or mandatory principles and some may be anti-gender equality and opposed to women’s rights.

Men’s protectiveness of their privileges and power.

Hopelessness about men being non-violent and caring.

A division between men and women based on differences in the way they’ve been socialized to think and feel.

Men’s distance from their emotional self.

Lack of safe spaces and support for men to engage in self-reflection and awareness-raising.