There is a tremendous need to shift the cultural lens of how women are viewed and treated in Ugandan society. There are many programs in place to equip and empower young girls, but not much is being done to address issues that young men in the community face. Educating young men, in a culturally relevant way, to be caring, respectful, and supportive of women is crucial for systemic transformation to take place in decreasing power differentials and increasing gender equality.
We are not advocating for an either/or approach, but one that is both/and. We believe strongly in the work being done to empower young women in Uganda, and aim to support those efforts by educating and empowering young men to have a healthier understanding of masculinity, resolve gender inequalities, and protect the vulnerable.
There are no magic bullets. Comprehensive, holistic, long-term strategies are required to transform the social norms regarding gender inequality, power differentials, and gender roles. We believe strongly that promoting gender-equitable attitudes and behaviors among boys and young men will have far-reaching effects for entire communities.