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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Men's involvement in SRH

Here's a picture I got from one of the other blogs I visit "from the boondocks". It was apparently taken in Ifugao. Found it interesting to post here for two (2) reasons:

1. It was taken by one of our media advocates based in Baguio City - Rick Reyes of The Manila Standard Today and correspondent to other local newspapers in the CAR area.
2. It's a good shot depicting Men's involvement in Reproductive Health...

With Father's Day celebrated just last month, I felt this could still be relevant and a good issue/topic to be discussed here. =) Besides, known RH media advocate and family friend Angelo Palmones, station manager of dzMM-Radyo Patrol 630 [ABS-CBN] informed me last week that he was invited in a discussion this July by The Forum for Family Planning and Development re: Male involvement in SRH and asked for some info on the subject. So I thought of posting and sharing them here as well.

The commitment to engage men in both sexual and reproductive health and gender equality was first made at the International Conference on Population and Development (Cairo 1994).

The objective is to promote gender eauality in all spheres of life, including family and community life, and to encourage and enable men to take responsibility for their sexual and reproductive behaviour and their social and family roles.

ICPD Programme of Action (Paragraph 4.25)

Special efforts should be made to emphasize men's shared responsibility and promote their active involvement in responsible parenthood, sexual and reproductive behaviour, including family planning; prenatal, maternal and child health; prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV; prevention of unwanted and high-risk pregnancies; shared control and contribution of family income, children's education, health and nutrition; recognition and promotion of the equal value of children of both sexes. Male responsibilities in family life must be included in education of children from the earliest ages. Special emphasis should be placed on the prevention of violence against women and children.

ICPD Programme of Action (Paragraph 4.27)

Involving more MEN: Recommendations

Instead of viewing "men" from the perspective of a deficit or a challenge, advocates should consider how men are already involved as sexual partners, husbands and fathers, and use those roles to try to involve men in sexual and reproductive health programs and services from a gender equality and partnership perspective.

Partnership implies men and women making decisions and choices together, from equal positions of power, to achieve common sexual and reproductive health goals. In particular, couple communication and negotiation is generally a factor and should be promoted in order to reach agreement on SRH goals, such as family planning and preventions of STI and HIV prevalence and increase gender equality among couples.

Here are innovations that have been successful in involving men in SRH:(from WHO)

1. Incorporating the gender and life cycle perspectives into SRH programs;

2. Creating opportunities for discussion about masculinities and gender equality among both men and women;

3. Providing comprehensive SRH services for men that go beyond contraception, and that includes the provision of counselling to men on family planning, contraception, STI transmission and couple communication;

4. Reaching men in t he workplace or where they socialize, instead of relying on a traditional clinical setting;

5. Using social marketing campaigns to promote male involvement in SRH;

6. Involving local opinion leaders in marketing campaigns and service design and delivery;

7. Reaching out to adolescents and young men through creative marketing and public communication.