The MenCare Global Meeting 2017 in Belgrade, Serbia brought together nearly 100 activists, academics, and practitioners from 50 countries on June 8–10 to share and exchange new findings, lessons learned, and reflections from the field of engaging men as fathers and caregivers for gender equality.
The MenCare campaign’s second-ever global gathering sought to strengthen ties among existing members and engage new partners who had joined the campaign since the first MenCare meeting in 2013; to develop new strategies for continuing the fight for gender equality amid rising challenges; and to raise the profile of men’s caregiving within the global advocacy agenda for 2017 and beyond, including via the launch of the State of the World’s Fathers: Time for Action report.
The meeting opened on Thursday, June 8 with remarks by Brankica Jankovic, Serbia’s Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, and Vojislav Arsić, Founder and Director of Centar E8. The first day revealed key successes and lessons learned about engaging men as involved fathers and caregivers over six years of the global MenCare campaign.
“The first and most important thing is that we value unpaid care. Until we value unpaid care equally to paid work, things aren’t going to change. Men are a really important part of making that change happen,” said Nikki van der Gaag, Oxfam GB’s Director of Women’s Rights and Gender Justice, looking back at the past six years of the MenCare campaign.
Findings from the State of the World’s Fathers: Time for Action 2017 report were unveiled on the second day of the meeting, Friday, June 9. The second-ever State of the World’s Fathers report, a MenCare advocacy publication produced by Promundo, draws from nearly 100 research studies and reports, with data from nearly every country where it is available, to reveal what has stalled progress toward global gender equality and to lay out a bold agenda for men and boys doing fully 50 percent of the world’s unpaid care work.
“We [must] pass on the message to our sons and daughters that we expect all of us to be providers and caregivers,” said Gary Barker, Promundo-US’s President and CEO, during the launch of State of the World’s Fathers: Time for Action. “Fully paid leave clearly has to be part of this – paid, non-transferable, and of adequate length.”
The meeting’s second day also featured interactive workshops with members from the MenCare campaign on diverse topics related to men and fatherhood, as well as a deep reflection on the MenCare Guiding Principles.
The final day of the MenCare Global Meeting, Saturday, June 10, provided opportunities for regional break-out sessions to allow representatives from similar parts of the world to discuss joint collaboration and ways forward for MenCare.
The MenCare Global Meeting 2017 was jointly hosted by Promundo, Centar E8, and the MenCare Steering Committee, including Sonke Gender Justice, Save the Children, and MenEngage Alliance. It followed the “MAN2017: Europe talks on masculinity” Conference held June 5–7 in Belgrade.
The MenCare Global Meeting 2017 built on the work of the first MenCare Global Meeting held in South Africa in 2013, which convened nearly 100 civil society and government actors from 25 countries to formalize a set of guiding principles and create a common agenda on men’s caregiving and gender equality.
See photo highlights from the meeting:
Watch the meeting’s key plenary sessions:
To read more online conversations about the MenCare Global Meeting, use #MenCare2017.