Engaging Men and Boys in Girl-Centered Programming

Project Overview

Council researchers are testing the effects of engaging boys and men alongside girl-centered programming to improve the lives of adolescent girls.

  • In Kenya, adolescent girls living in the urban slums face considerable risks and challenges that affect their safety, health, and general well-being.
  • A 2013 survey, highlighted high levels of exposure to sexual violence and exploitation for girls ages 15 to 19, including sexual harassment, physical, sexual and emotional violence, and unwanted and transactional sex.
  • More than 60% of respondents indicated that wife-beating was acceptable in at least one circumstance and more than a third had experienced some form of gender based violence.
  • Male engagement programs tend to neither consider girls’ and women’s needs in the design, nor measure their ability to create positive change for women and girls.
  • Rigorous program design and evaluation is needed to ensure that programs are accountable to women and girls.

The Progress

Intervention combines safe spaces, financial and health education, and savings accounts for marginalized girls to build their social, health, and economic assets using a multi-sectoral approach.

Until recently, these interventions have focused exclusively on girls, engaging community members and parents to gain support for the interventions themselves, but not as program participants. This project seeks—for the first time—to engage boys and men in girl-centered interventions, to determine what works best for girls as well as for boys and men.