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Lang, James (2002) – Gender Is Everyone’s Business – Programming with Men to Achieve Gender Equality


To reach Oxfam’s goal of overcoming poverty and suffering, inequalities such as those based upon class, race, ethnicity, physical ability and gender must be addressed. We must continue to confront these inequalities, and to learn to do so more effectively and with more sustainable results. As a primary factor influencing inequalities, gender has been at the centre of Oxfam’s work for decades. Gender equality is an end itself, but it is also a requirement for long term poverty reduction. It is also clear that gender equality is not possible unless both women and men are engaged in the process. Through the “Gender Equality and Men” (GEM) project, Oxfam GB is exploring ways to move more effectively towards gender equality by incorporating men and boys more fully in its gender work – their positions and privilege, and the consequences of that privilege.

The GEM project was launched at an opportune moment in the evolution of work on men, masculinities and development. Over the past two decades, a growing body of literature has emerged that explores various theoretical and conceptual aspects related to men, gender and development. In addition, there are numerous projects and organisations around the world that have been engaging with men and boys as part of their gender work in different arenas. Collectively, these initiatives represent a significant body of experience that offers insights into how we can include men more fully in gender work to more effectively overcome poverty (see appendix 1.1 for a full overview of the GEM project).

Overall, the objectives of the GEM project include:

  • A better analysis on the effect of poverty on men, women and on gender relations.
  • Improved gender analysis tools and frameworks to include men more effectively in poverty analysis.
  • Pilot projects exploring some areas in more depth and development of case studies to illustrate good practice.
  • Campaigning work that starts to break down stereotyped ideas and beliefs.
  • Improved programme design that has a greater impact on poverty and livelihoods, through implementation of necessary changes in policy and practice.
  • Mainstreaming of this improved analysis to make an impact on policy and practice change at different levels in government.

As part of the GEM project, the workshop “Gender is Everyone’s Business: Programming with Men to Achieve Gender Equality” was held over 10-12 June 2002, at Charney Manor in Charney Bassett, Oxfordshire, England. An aim behind the workshop was to bring together the latest theory and practice related to men, masculinities and development, but also to situate it within the context of Oxfam’s anti-poverty programming to help make its work more effective by working more holistically with men and women.

This report gives an overview of the implementation of the workshop and summarises the key lessons learnt. It describes the conceptual frameworks tested over the course of the event, gives specific detail on a number of the workshop sessions, and offers recommendations for next steps.

-Excerpt from Text, p. 7.


Lang, James. 2002. Gender Is Everyone’s Business: Programming with Men to Achieve Gender Equality: Workshop Report 10-12 June, 2002. Oxford: Oxfam.

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Lang, James (2002) – Gender Is Everyone’s Business – Programming with Men to Achieve Gender Equality

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