Engaging Men and Boys in Gender Equality Programming

9 October-19 November 2019 (E051019) | Register for this course (opens in new window)
Instructor: Frank Elbers

Since the 1990s, gender equality advocates have increasingly urged humanitarian and development organisations to engage men and boys as a complement to empowering women and girls. This e-learning course introduces participants to principles, strategies, normative frameworks and policy approaches that have emerged from this work. Examining critical concepts such as masculinity, patriarchy and intersectionality, the course discusses why a holistic approach is central to achieving gender equality and explores the relationship between gender equality, sustainable development and human rights. Through case studies, it will also look at how practitioners can use these key concepts to transform gender relations and overcome gender inequalities faced by women and men.

Participants will think critically about how men and boys can serve both as change agents and as target groups in realising gender equality and gender justice for all. This course will focus on the lessons learned by organisations that have carried out gender equality programmes that have engaged men and boys in fields such as gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive health and rights, domestic work and caregiving, education, income generation and economic empowerment of women.

Course structure

This certificate course involves approximately 30 hours of reading, discussion, webinars and quizzes, and is offered over a six-week period. The course is based on a participatory, active learning approach, with an emphasis on critical reflection and peer-to-peer learning. Participants will do the required readings, prepare interim and final assignments and participate in group discussions. Case studies will be used to enable interactive learning and activities. The maximum number of course participants is 25. Students who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Participation. It is also possible to audit the course.

Course outline

Week 1: Men, masculinities and gender – key concepts and normative/legal framework Week 2: Opportunities and challenges of engaging men and boys in gender equality programming Week 3: Gender-based violence Week 4: Sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS Week 5: Domestic work and caregiving Week 6: Lessons learned and the way ahead

About the instructor: Frank Elbers

Frank ElbersFrank Elbers is a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World at Lebanese American University in Beirut. He has more than 25 years of experience in development and human rights in post-communist Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and West Africa. From 1998-2016 he was the Director of Programmes and Executive Director of Human Rights Education Associates (HREA). Before he joined HREA he worked as a Program Officer in rule of law programs for the Netherlands Helsinki Committee and Program Officer West Africa for SATELLIFE. He has been an instructor and trainer for courses and workshops on human rights-based programming, gender-based violence, gender mainstreaming, monitoring children’s rights and monitoring women’s human rights, and women, peace and security. Frank has also served as a consultant for UNESCO and UNICEF, and for UNIFEM on strategies for violence against women, implementation of CEDAW (the Convention on the Elimination of All Discrimination Against Women), and the Beijing +5 review process. He was a member of the Advisory Committee to the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) for the course on Gender and Humanitarian Action: Different Needs, Equal Opportunities. Mr. Elbers holds an MA in political science from the University of Amsterdam. He is also the instructor of HREA's Gender Mainstreaming (Gender Equality-Advanced Course).

Who should apply

The course is intended for staff of inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations, (under)graduate students, humanitarian practitioners, gender focal points and others interested in gender equality. Participants should have a good written command of English -- the working language of the course -- and have high competence and comfort with computer and Internet use. HREA aims to ensure equal gender and geographical distribution across the selected participants.


Tuition fee for participants: € 345 (after 1 July 2019: € 405); tuition for auditors: € 135 (€ 165 after 1 July 2019). Payments can be made online with major credit cards (American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa), PayPal and bank transfer. Bulk rates are available. Payments are due upon registration.

How to register

Register for this course (opens in new window.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about HREA's e-learning courses.