Men & Boys
Our Partners
Related Tools

Group education

Last edited: October 30, 2010

This content is available in


What is group education?

 Group workshops are one of the most common strategies to promote positive changes in attitudes and behaviours amongst men. They can encompass a variety of methods and approaches ranging from a single group education session to 16 weekly sessions. Typically such initiatives involve creating dynamic spaces for men and boys to critically reflect about gender norms and enabling participants to rehearse gender-equitable behaviours. Group education can be employed by itself or it can be used as one element in a strategy that might include communication efforts, mass media, training and other strategies.

Programming Recommendations and Lessons Learned

Plan multiple group education sessions and allow time between sessions.

  • Multiple sessions seem to be most effective in producing self-reported change in attitudes and behaviours;
  • Weekly group education sessions 2-2.5 hours lasting 10-16 weeks seem to be most effective in sustaining attitude change;
  • Allow participants time between sessions (a few days to a week) to reflect about the content to allow men and boys to apply the themes discussed to real-life experiences and to reflect about the challenges that may follow (WHO 2007).


Design group discussions that explicitly and critically reflect about masculinity and gender norms.

  • Include a discussion of how gender is constructed and how it affects relationships, power and inequity;
  • Connect discussions to participants’ real life concerns; and
  • Complement reflections with accurate and unbiased information, particularly when gender-biased opinions are expressed.

Exercise: ‘Act like a man, Act like a woman’, originally developed by Paul Kivel from the Oakland Men’s Project in theUnited States . The version presented here is from the manual Men as Partners: A Programme for Supplementing the Training of Life Skills Educators, developed by Engender Health and The Planned Parenthood Association of South Africa.

Include skills building opportunities

Promote skills building such as teaching men how to express feelings without being violent, how to negotiate consensual and safe sex, how to intervene in violent situations and in sexist and violence-supportive talk, and how to resolve conflicts in the context of couple relationships, among others.

Example: Mentors in Violence Prevention (USA )

See the video.


Teach men to intervene – use a bystander approach

A bystander is someone who is around (seeing and hearing) a situation where abuse is occurring or where sexist remarks are being made. When men and boys witness these situations and remain silent, they are in a way saying that the attitudes and behaviours being exhibited are acceptable. On the other hand, when a bystander takes action or speaks out against what is happening, he can provide a powerful challenge to men’s derogatory behaviour and violence towards women (Funk 2006).

The ‘bystander approach to prevention’ can serve to:

  • Convey the message that violence is everyone’s responsibility;
  • Empower individuals to confront abusive peers;
  • Create opportunities for other men to voice their discomfort (Funk 2006); and
  • Teach men how to intervene when they are faced with a violent situation or with a sexist behaviour or remark by other men.

One drawback of this approach is that it may not work as well in contexts where violence against women is widely accepted.

In teaching men to act in a bystander situation, it is important to clearly explain what is meant by bystander; acknowledge that it might be intimidating or frightening to intervene and that acting may seem awkward at first, until one’s own style using the skills learned are practiced and developed (Funk 2006).

Another method that has encouraged a break with sexist peer norms and an increase in willingness to intervene as a bystander (also rooted in a social norms approach) involves conducting research to highlight the gap between what men think their peers agree with in terms of violence-supportive and sexist attitudes and behaviours versus what they actual agree with (Flood 2005-2006).

Using a ‘bystander intervention’ approach, other campaigns have sought to place “a sense of responsibility and empowerment for ending sexual violence on the shoulders of all community members”. They teach men and women skills in de-escalating risky situations and being effective allies for survivors and foster a sense of community responsibility for violence prevention (Banyard 2005 in Flood 2008).

Ten things men can do to prevent gender violence

By Jackson Katz

1. Approach gender violence as a MEN'S issue involving men of all ages and socioeconomic, racial and ethnic backgrounds. View men not only as perpetrators or possible offenders, but as empowered bystanders who can confront abusive peers.

2. If a brother, friend, classmate, or teammate is abusing his female partner – or is disrespectful or abusive to girls and women in general – don't look the other way. If you feel comfortable doing so, try to talk to him about it. Urge him to seek help. Or if you don't know what to do, consult a friend, a parent, a professor, or a counsellor. DON'T REMAIN SILENT.

3. Have the courage to look inward. Question your own attitudes. Don't be defensive when something you do or say ends up hurting someone else. Try hard to understand how your own attitudes and actions might inadvertently perpetuate sexism and violence, and work toward changing them.

4. If you suspect that a woman close to you is being abused or has been sexually assaulted, gently ask if you can help.

5. If you are emotionally, psychologically, physically, or sexually abusive to women, or have been in the past, seek professional help NOW.

6. Be an ally to women who are working to end all forms of gender violence. Support the work of campus-based women's centres. Attend "Take Back the Night" rallies and other public events. Raise money for community-based rape crisis centres and battered women's shelters. If you belong to a team or fraternity, or another student group, organize a fundraiser.

7. Recognize and speak out against homophobia and gay-bashing. Discrimination and violence against lesbians and gays are wrong in and of themselves. This abuse also has direct links to sexism (e.g. the sexual orientation of men who speak out against sexism is often questioned, as a conscious or unconscious strategy intended to silence them. This is a key reason few men do so).

8. Attend programmes, take courses, watch films, and read articles and books about multicultural masculinities, gender inequality, and the root causes of gender violence. Educate yourself and others about how larger social forces affect the conflicts between individual men and women.

9. Don't fund sexism. Refuse to purchase any magazine, rent any video, subscribe to any website, or buy any music that portrays girls or women in a sexually degrading or abusive manner. Protest sexism in the media.

10. Mentor and teach young boys about how to be men in ways that don't involve degrading or abusing girls and women. Volunteer to work with gender violence prevention programmes, including anti-sexist men's programmes. Lead by example.

See the website for more information and for the Spanish version.

The Bell Bajao Campaign ( Breakthrough,India )

“It's about time we all stop being silent witnesses”

This multi-media campaign by Breakthrough TV reaches out to men and boys inIndia to do their part and take action, whether by speaking out or ringing a door bell, to make sure women in their communities can live a life free of domestic violence. The campaign is being implemented in seven states ofIndia and uses print, television, radio, mobile phones, touring vans with video and the internet to air its award-winning public service announcements and connect with audiences across the nation. It also provides informational materials, handbooks and a discussion guide on domestic violence in English and Hindi.

To learn more and link-in to the campaign, visit the Bell Bajao website.

Use a variety of teaching approaches

Use role-plays and dramatizations when teaching new skills to enable men and boys to dramatize scenarios they may not feel comfortable addressing otherwise and to allow them to put themselves in another’s ‘shoes’. Role plays, and the tools below, can be applied in group discussion with adult men, or in a classroom or other settings with younger men.

Tools to support skill-building:

In Her Shoes: Living with Domestic Violence (Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence,USA ), a community education tool designed for learning about domestic violence. Participants move, do, think and experience the lives of battered women. Originally developed in theUnited States , it is now available in various versions and languages. Available in English.

In Her Shoes – Economic Justice Edition increases awareness of the additional struggles battered women face when they are poor and includes the perspective of the batterer. It is most useful for longer training sessions where there are opportunities for group discussion. Available in English for purchase.

Caminando En Sus Zapatos (Alianza InterCambios) is the Spanish version of the original In Her Shoes adapted to the Latin American context. For more information and to obtain a copy, see the website.

Role Play Examples and Debriefing Video (Fourth R,Canada ) This 55 minute video was developed to assist facilitators with the debriefing of role plays. The video includes several full length role plays with a full debriefing by a classroom teacher. The video can be used to demonstrate model role plays, to analyze role plays and as a resource for debriefing role plays. Teachers with less experience in facilitating role plays have found this resource useful when building relationship skills among students. The video is available for purchase.

Promote healthy and safe relationships, not just violence prevention

A healthy and safe relationship is one in which people:

  • respect each other’s opinions, feelings and decisions, even if they do not always agree with each other;
  • are not jealous or possessive of each other;
  • do not hit or threaten each other;
  • communicate with each other in an open and honest way and do not use words to hurt each other;
  • continue their own interests and friendships outside of the romantic relationship;
  • use communication and negotiation to make decisions about their activities;
  • accept each other’s right to say no and to change their minds;
  • feel good about each other when around the other person; and
  • feel safe around the other person.

Respect the limits of different participants, especially when discussing sensitive issues

Different participants may have different levels of comfort with issues addressed, and may feel shy in a group or may have experienced or witnessed violence themselves. It is also important to be mindful of younger age groups, ensuring that methodologies and approaches are age and maturity appropriate.

Choose a good facilitator

Because addressing gender roles and violence challenges long-standing beliefs, it may raise strong reactions amongst group participants.  It is important that facilitators be well-trained, credible to their audiences and able to handle conflict in a diplomatic manner.  The best facilitators:

  • Have extensive training
  • Have reflected about their own attitudes about gender and masculinity
  • Model gender-equitable behaviour, healthier reflections on masculinities and ways of relating that are based on respect and dialogue (Harvey et al., 2007)
  • Are confident in dealing with complex issues and conflict
  • Are able to create safe space where men can express doubts and questions without fear of being ridiculed or censured (WHO 2007)
  • Are thoughtful, passionate and knowledgeable; adaptable and flexible; in touch with their emotions; authentic and honest; comfortable with challenging situations; and know themselves (Funk 2006)

Lesson learned about group education facilitators

Having a well-chosen, experienced facilitator is key despite the possible challenges listed below:

  • Hiring such professionals may be expensive
  • Training facilitators can be timely and costly
  • Facilitators need to be supervised
  • Losing a good facilitator due to staff turnover or any other reason may be difficult to overcome

One step to overcome these obstacles may be to sensitize and train those professionals who already work in related areas – such as schools, health services, community organizations – and who may become good group facilitators through training opportunities.


• Establish ground rules regarding listening, respect for others, confidentiality, and participation.

• It is important to have a suitable physical space where activities can be carried out without any restriction of movement. Avoid classroom-style sitting arrangements. Instead, have the young men sit in a circle during discussions to promote more exchange. The space should also be private in the sense that young men should feel comfortable discussing sensitive topics and personal opinions.

• Include as much physical movement as possible to keep the participants alert and interested.

• Be friendly and create rapport with participants.

• Be sure to dress appropriately. Look approachable, but professional.

• Remember that information should be provided in a non-authoritarian, non-judgmental, and neutral way. Never impose one’s own feelings on the participants.

• Be conscientious of the language and messages which are presented to young men.

• Remember that although young men often act as if they are knowledgeable about sex they often have concerns about relationships and sexual health, including about such things as puberty, penis size, and how to communicate with a female.

• Involve the young men in choosing the themes for discussion and make the themes personally meaningful. Remember to always reflect on activities and ask the participants how they can apply what they have learned in their own lives.

•  Young men respond positively to participatory style activities that are entertaining and educational. For example, role plays allow young men to explore problems they might not feel comfortable discussing in other settings. Role plays also help young men practice various skills, such as negotiation, refusal, and decision-making. Remember that some young men may not be comfortable with physical contact during role playing or with taking on the role of female characters. An alternative to role plays is to use debates where participants will need to argue perspectives that they might or might not normally consider.

• Do not aim to instil fear as young men can often ‘switch off’ or feel paralyzed.

• Encourage participants to be honest and open. They should not be afraid to discuss sensitive issues. Encourage the young men to honestly express what they think and feel, rather than say what they think the facilitator (or peers in the room) wants to hear.

• If a participant makes an exaggerated statement or gives misinformation or myths during a discussion, try to ask for clarification and be sure to provide accurate facts and information. Another participant can also be asked if he has a different opinion, or if no one offers a different opinion, the facilitator can offer his along with facts to support the view.

• One’s own assumptions should be checked, including being aware of whether young men from particular social, cultural, or religious backgrounds seem to trigger any strong emotions. These reactions can be used as an opportunity to reflect and reach past one’s own assumptions or prejudices.

•  Have regular check-ins. Check-ins usually occur at the beginning of each session and could involve the following questions:

1) How has it been since we last met?

2) Has anything new happened?

3) Have you talked to anyone about the issues we discussed in our last session?

* If important issues come up during the check-in, do not be too rigid about the planned agenda. Allow some space to deal with the young men’s issues.

•  Provide further resources which young men can use to obtain more information or support about the issues discussed in the workshop. For example, you may need to tell participants where to obtain services (e.g. if they experienced or witnessed violence as a child, or sexual abuse as a young adult; for issues of substance abuse); or go for voluntary counselling. Consider whether there are online services, youth-friendly services or youth-friendly sensitized professionals or peer support groups.

Adapted from: Promundo and UNFPA. Young Men and HIV Prevention: A Toolkit for Action (2007). Available in English, Portuguese and Spanish.

Facilitators should be prepared to deal with resistance

Men, young and old, as well as women may react defensively when gender norms are challenged.  Although a lot more needs to be learned on how to best address resistance, some steps that facilitators can take include:

  • Understand that resistance can be a defense mechanism against uncertainty and may stem from various reasons, including fear, protection of privilege or hostility to feminism.
  • Feel trained and equipped to handle conflict among participants (including physical conflict).
  • Be skilled to promote a style of discussion that encourages tolerance and respect toward one another.
  • Make use of moments of conflict, and the themes that seem to lead to conflict, to promote further discussions.
  • Be cognizant of gender stereotyping and homophobic discourse that might arise and be prepared to address it.

Use male facilitators and consider having men and women working as co-facilitators

Male facilitators may:

  • Have insider knowledge of the workings of masculinity and may use this critically within the group.
  • Be perceived as more credible and persuasive by male participants.
  • Make men and boys feel more comfortable.
  • Model behaviours such as listening, empathy and respect for both women and men.

At the same time, female and male facilitators working together can:

  • Enable men to hear the other side of the issue.
  • Model a gender equitable relationship.


Common reactions by men when discussing violence & tips on how to deal with it

Men can react in many ways and all reactions cannot be predicted, though some of the more common include: blame, curiosity, defensiveness, denial, empathy, guilt and sensitivity.

An effective strategy to dealing with some of the challenges that may arise from these reactions is to avoid arguing and ask participants what they do agree with to keep the discussion going.

Men, especially younger men, can get boisterous and unruly in all male settings with a male facilitator.

When a group displays these behaviours, it is better to have fewer exercises that are carefully chosen.  Any individual trying to purposely undermine the group’s learning should be addressed by the educator by openly talking about it with the group, which often silences the disruptive participant.

Men have been found to react in a varied way to female educators, by listening attentively on the one hand, while opposing the expertise and authority they have on the other.

In such cases, female educators should not directly engage with any disrespectful behaviours, but rather command respect through their actions that demonstrate they expect to be respected.

Men have generally demonstrated a greater level of comfort with male educators, which can potentially send the discussion into directions that were not intended.

In such cases, the educator can request that the participants visualize a woman survivor sitting in the back of the room, which will likely keep the conversation on track and induce self-censoring of any inappropriate comments by participants.

Men tend to focus their attention on and interactions with male educators when groups have both male and female educators.

In these cases, men can support their female co-educator by allowing her to answer questions, even when they are posed to him.

The most effective strategy for working with men in any point out dynamics as they occur, not in a judgemental...way, but in a curious, noticing way.”

Source: Funk, Rus. 2006. Reaching Men: Strategies for Preventing Sexist Atittudes, Behaviours, and Violence. Jist Publishing.

Promote male only groups and create safe spaces

Male-only groups may:

  • Be perceived as safer spaces for discussion of sensitive topics;
  • Allow men the opportunity to hear the views of other men; and
  • Provide men with visible allies (Berkowitz 2004).

Consider organizing occasional mixed sex groups

Mixed sex groups may be appropriate at certain points, presenting an important opportunity for men to hear women’s perspectives and concerns.

Lesson learned on male only or mixed sex groups

Research on the effectiveness of educating men alone or in a group mixed with women, has mainly focused on sexual violence, though the findings from this research is likely transferable to educating men on other forms of gender-based violence.

In general, mixed groups have proven more effective when the goal is to increase men’s empathy for women and those who have experienced men’s violence.  Male-only groups, on the other hand, have tended to work better when trying to engage men as allies or in bystander programmes. In either case, male educators should ensure communication with local women’s groups on the content of sessions and presentations.

Source: Funk, Rus. 2006. Reaching Men: Strategies for Preventing Sexist Atittudes, Behaviours, and Violence. Jist Publishing

Examples of organizations that take this approach include:

Stepping Stones


Salud y Género

Men’s Resources International

Mentors in Violence Prevention


Help men see the distortion between actual and perceived gender norms

Many men may incorrectly believe that other men accept violence against women and may react by expressing inequitable gender norms, even if they do not actually behave in these ways themselves.  Groups should work to:

  • Undermine their conformity to sexist peer norms
  • Shift men’s perceptions of their peers’ attitudes and behaviours to increase their willingness to intervene in violent behaviour


Dispel myths about violence against women

Widely held beliefs about violence against women, and rape in particular, perpetuate this type of abuse by reinforcing gender stereotypes that justify violence and blame the victim. Dispelling these myths may increase men’s understanding of violence and may instil in them empathy for the victims of such violence.

Lesson learned about encouraging victim empathy

There is an assumption that for men to rape, they must lack empathy. It is for this reason that various prevention programmes attempt to encourage men’s empathy with victims of violence, particularly victims of sexual violence (Flood 2005-2006).  However, data on this approach shows mixed outcomes of such attempts.  Although some studies have shown that programmes can indeed increase men’s sense of empathy for victims of sexual violence (Foubert 2000), at least one study among male undergraduates showed that such attempts actually increased participants’ likelihood to engage in rape-supportive behaviours, and neither their empathy nor their rape-supportive attitudes improved (Berg, Lonsway and Fitzgerald 1999).  Authors theorized that this finding could possibly be a result of sexual arousal caused by listening to the female account of sexual victimisation and suggested that empathy-induction techniques might inadvertently run the risk of linking sex and violence as often done in the media or in pornography.

This conflicting data has led Berkowitz (2002) to argue that it may be necessary to address men’s own concerns first and that it may be wise to invite men to empathize with both male and female survivors.  Indeed, a strategy combining multiple appeals has proven to be effective in increasing victim empathy amongst males.

Tools for dispelling myths:

Exercise: “What are the myths and realities that help perpetuate violence against women?” adapted from the WHO TEACH VIP Curriculum. Available in English.

There are a number of scales used to measure the acceptance of rape myths, including Burt’s Rape Myth Acceptance Scale and and the Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale, among  others. See a compilation of illustrative questions.

There are numerous video-based programmes developed by north west media, inc. that can be used with adolescents to increase knowledge and understanding about rape and its effects on survivors, including:

  • Rape: Get the Facts (ages 13-25) provides viewers with the perspectives and analysis of rape by key responders, such as doctors, lawyers and victim advocates, in addition to survivors themselves.
  • Acquaintance Rape: The Ultimate Betrayal (ages 14 years and up) presents the stories of three acquaintance rape cases through candid interviews.
  • No Means No! (ages 14 years and up) explores the emotions that result from date rape.
  • Teen Files Flipped: Date Rape/Abusive Relationships (ages 14 to 22) can be used to encourage changes in attitudes and behaviours in relationships.

All materials are available in English for purchase.

Consider combining groups with vocational activities

Men and older youth, in particular, may be difficult to recruit because they may be working, looking for employment or participating in training courses that may lead to employment.  Therefore, it may be important to consider pairing group work with vocational activities in order to ensure attendance or holding workshops on the weekends.


Initiatives that have used group education with men and boys to address violence against women

Examples of initiatives using group education as part of a multipronged strategy include:

Initiatives that rely primarily on group education:

Stepping Stones (South Africa and 40 other countries)

Stepping Stones is a workshop series designed for HIV prevention that aims to improve sexual health through building stronger, more gender-equitable relationships with better communication between partners. It uses participatory learning approaches to build knowledge of sexual health, awareness of risks and the consequences of risk taking and communication skills, and provides opportunities for facilitated self-reflection on sexual behaviour. It was originally developed for use in Uganda and over the last decade has been used in over 40 countries, adapted for at least 17 settings, and translated into at least 13 languages. It is delivered to single sex groups, which run during the same time, and has 13 three hour long sessions that are complemented by three meetings of male and female peer groups and a final community meeting. The programme spanned about 50 hours and ran for six to eight weeks.  The second edition of the South African adaptation underwent rigorous evaluation through a cluster randomized control trial that showed that Stepping Stones significantly improved a number of reported risk behaviours in men, with a lower proportion of men reporting perpetration of intimate partner violence across two years of follow-up and less transactional sex and problem drinking at 12 months.  See the Stepping Stones website for more information.

Men Can Stop Rape (United States)

This community-based programme targets both high school and college-aged males in order to: (1) educate young men about their role as allies with women in preventing dating violence; (2) promote positive, nonviolent models of male strength; and (3) empower youth to take action to end dating violence, promote healthy relationships based on equality and respect, and create safer school communities.  In a 2005 evaluation, men who participated in the programme reported that they were more likely to intervene to stop gender-based violence after participating in the programme (Hawkins & Zakiya Consulting, 2005 cited in WHO 2007).

See a 10-minute video about the work of the organization.

Mentors in Violence Prevention (United States)

The Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) is a leadership training programme that motivates student-athletes and student leaders to prevent men’s violence against women.  MVP utilizes a creative ‘bystander’ approach to gender violence and bullying prevention. It focuses on young men not as perpetrators or potential perpetrators, but as empowered bystanders who can confront abusive peers – and support abused ones. It focuses on young women not as victims or potential targets of harassment, rape and abuse, but as empowered bystanders who can support abused peers – and confront abusive ones. It is built on the premise that most men who abuse are not sociopaths and that many men who disapprove of violence do not speak up or take action because they do not know what to do. The case study is available in English.

Tools that can be used in group education with men and boys:

Men As Partners: A Programme for Supplementing the Training of Life Skills Educators, 2nd Edition

This manual is intended for use in working with men to address gender norms and issues related to gender and reproductive health to prevent HIV infection and gender-based violence. The manual is aimed primarily at:

  • MAP master trainers, who train and supervise life skills educators who implement MAP activities with the public
  • MAP life skills educators themselves

It contains a variety of interactive educational activities on such topics as gender and sexuality, male and female sexual health, HIV and AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, relationships, and violence, as well as general resources for facilitators, including tips for improving facilitation skills and sample introductory and icebreaker activities.  Three sections are dedicated to various aspects of violence and one section addresses relationships, including controlling behaviours.

Though originally designed for use by MAP educators in South Africa, the manual and the activities have been used successfully by trainers around the world. Available in English.


Program H Manuals - produced by Promundo, PAPAI, ECOS, Salud y Género

Five training manuals, each addressing a different topic, including:

  • sexual and reproductive health
  • fatherhood and care-giving
  • from violence to peaceful co-existence
  • reasons and emotions
  • preventing and living with HIV and AIDS
  • paternity, violence, emotions (including drug use) and HIV and AIDS

Available in English, Portuguese and Spanish.


Yaari Dosti (Program H, India) The Program H Manual was adapted to be used in the India context by Population Council and CORO for Literacy with the support of Instituto Promundo.  This adaptation is available for download in English and Hindi.

Tài liêụ dành cho đồng đẳng viên (Program H, Viet Nam) produced by TCDN-MOLISA, Save the Children and Instituto Promundo with the support of USAID and Pact Vietnam was adapted for use in the Viet Nam context.  This adaptation available for download in Vietnamese.

The Program H Manuals are also being adapted for Tanzania and the Balkan context and will be available for download soon.

Engaging Boys and Men in GBV Prevention and Reproductive Health in Conflict and Emergency-Response Settings: A Workshop Module (Acquire Project/USAID) was designed to develop the capacity of practitioners working to engage men and boys in conflict and other emergency-response settings on issues of gender-based violence. It covers core concepts around why the value and impact of reaching out to men in these settings; explains how conflict and emergency settings might affect gender; provides methods of engaging men and incorporating this work in existing workplans; and makes available sample agendas, training activities, pre-test and post-test evaluations. The manual is available in English.

Stepping Stones Manual (Wellbourne)

Stepping Stones is a training package in gender, HIV, communication and relationship skills. The workshop aims to enable individuals, their peers and their communities to change their behaviour – individually and together – through the ‘stepping stones’ which the various sessions provide.

The original package consists of a 240 page manual for trainers (and an optional accompanying workshop video of 15 five-minute clips). There are full, closely-guided instructions on how to run around 60 hours of workshop sessions, divided into 18 sessions over 10-12 weeks. Most sessions are designed for people in small groups of 10-20, of their own gender and age. Occasional sessions bring everyone together. The optional video or DVD is viewed by participants during different sessions of the workshop.  Planned originally for use in communities throughout sub-Saharan Africa, the package has now also been adapted for use elsewhere in Africa, Asia, and Europe. The Stepping Stones Training Package is available for purchase in English.

The South African adaptation of the Stepping Stones manual comprises 14 workshops with exercises designed so that they can be used in rural and urban settings, with literate and non-literate people.  One copy is available for free and multiple copies are available for purchase.  See the medical research council write-up.

Working with Men on Gender, Sexuality, Violence and Health (Men’s Action for Stopping Violence Against Women, India)

This manual was jointly developed by four organizations in India, namely: Kriti Resource Centre, Eklavya, Tathapi and SAHAJ, Baroda through its ‘Women Centred Health Project’.  This Manual is intended for anyone working with groups of men on issues of gender, sexuality and health (e.g. teachers who work with adolescent boys; community organizers who work with men’s groups like farmers; husbands of women of reproductive age; HIV and AIDS care givers; facilitators who work with men on issues of gender-based violence). Facilitators can either conduct a series of workshops with the same group of participants, using the six modules sequentially, or they can mix and match select session outlines to create their own workshops depending on their objectives and the time available.  The Manual has six distinct modules: Equity and Equality, Gender, Sexuality, Health, Violence and Facilitation Skills.  The manual is available in English and Hindi.

Toolkit for Working with Men and Boys to Prevent Gender-Based Violence.

This is a comprehensive resource for practitioners to work with men and boys to prevent violence. It provides readings, case studies, handouts, exercises, and other materials, and includes sections on working with young men and working through schools.  All materials are available in English.

Así Aprendimos a Ser Hombres/This is How We Learned to be Men (Alvaro Campos 2007)

This is a manual to be used with men’s groups.  It results from the experience of men's groups in various Latin American and Caribbean countries.  It is centred on issues of masculinity and gender. Available in Spanish.

Hombres Trabajando con Hombres/Men working with Men (Alvaro Campos, 2007)

This is a manual for facilitators’ of men’s groups in Central America. Available in Spanish.

Reaching Men: Strategies for Preventing Sexist Atittudes, Behaviours, and Violence (Rus Funk, 2006)

Reaching Men begins with a theoretical overview exploring educational theory and identifying those educational theories that show the most promise in educating men.  A brief overview of each form of violence is provided alongside a discussion of how each form of violence is connected to sexism.  The next chapter examines issues and intersections of racism, sexism and homophobia as they relate to violence and abuse.  The final chapters provide information about how educators and advocates can take care of themselves while educating men about sexism and violence.  For ordering or additional information, contact JistLife Publishing ( or call +1-800-648-5478.

Boys-Talk: A Program for Young Men about Masculinity, Non-violence and Relationships, Adelaide: Men Against Sexual Assault (Brook Friedman, 1996)

The Boys-Talk programme is a practical guide for teachers, youth workers and parent groups to provide young men with support and options as they search for their own understanding of masculinity.  Part one of the manual introduces the area of gender and schooling with an emphasis on the practices of masculinity in our society. It also includes information about programme implementation. Part two of the manual presents the programme. Available for purchase in English.

Women and Men…Hand in Hand Against Violence (Kafa, Lebanon)

This guide, by KAFA and Oxfam Great Britain, is a resource for practitioners and organizations working with men and boys. The resource provides guidance on engaging men and boys to address violence against women and girls, based on the context in  Arab communities across the Middle East and North Africa. Available in Arabic; 143 pages.


Once Upon a Boy//Minha Vida de João   (video) by Instituto Promundo

The videos were created to encourage young men to question the way in which they are socialized and the gender roles they were taught.  A discussion guide accompanies the videos below.

Part I

Part II

Part III

See the Promundo YouTube page for all videos on gender equality and ending violence against women.


Sonke Gender Justice Digital Stories (South Africa)

One component of Sonke’s work with men and boys to transform gender roles, reduce the spread of HIV and end gender-based violence is the use of participatory media.  By bringing people together to share and record stories from their lives compiled into short video clips, the organization works to promote meaningful public representations of men who live more caring, peaceful, and gender-equitable lives.  Video segments are then used to develop content for information exchange communications, such as posters, radio and TV spots to reach a larger audience.  Accompanying the digital stories are carefully developed discussion guides to foster dialogue and action within the community level, while also encouraging institutional and policy changes.  See the digital stories section of the Sonke Gender Justice Site to hear the digital stories and download the videos and discussion guides.

Media Education Foundation – films and documentaries

Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats & Rhymes (Unabridged) - An examination of masculinity, sexism, and homophobia in hip-hop culture. It can be used with young men to facilitate discussion and stimulate reflection.

Killing Us Softly 3: Advertising's Image of Women - This film uses images from magazines and television to critically analyze the depiction of women in advertising. It can be used in group education or in discussion forums with men. 

Game Over: Gender, Race & Violence in Video Games - This film examines the nature and consequences of simulated violence, and encourages high school and college students to think critically about how gender and race are depicted in the video and computer games they play. 

Tough Guise: Violence, Media & the Crisis in Masculinity (Unabridged) - In this analysis, anti-violence educator Jackson Katz argues that it is important to understand violence in American schools as part of an ongoing crisis in masculinity reinforced by mass media imagery.

Wrestling with Manhood: Boys, Bullying & Battering – This film provides an in-depth analysis of professional wrestling and its relationship to sexism, homophobia, violence against women, and bullying in our schools. 

Boys to Men? – This is the second film in a trilogy about masculinity in America and it focuses on the pressures and expectations faced by a diverse group of young teenage males.

War Zone - What is it like to walk down the street and be heckled, harassed, followed, and touched by men? Filmmaker Maggie Hadleigh-West armed herself with a video camera to show us, confronting the men who abuse her in this fascinating and critically acclaimed documentary.

All of the above films are available for purchase in English.