Men’s exclusion from gender study contributes to inequalities
KABUL (Pajhwok): Exclusion of “men and boys” from mainstream research and policy formulation on gender in Afghanistan has significantly contributed to persisting inequalities in practice, including unequal access to education, healthcare and employment, a new study released on Thursday found.
The research “The Other Side of Gender Inequality: Men and Masculinities in Afghanistan” was conducted by Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU), with financial contribution and in close coordination with Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA).
The research has aimed at an in-depth understanding of various notions of being an Afghan man and its contribution to gender inequality in four provinces of Afghanistan, the AREU said in a statement.
The paper argues that even though masculinity is a significant gender studies issue, the term “gender” for Afghans is connected almost exclusively with women, leading to men’s resistance towards messages interpreted solely as “women’s issues”.
“Policies still fail to accommodate the emerging research that points toward the advantages of including men and boys in programs to promote gender equality and prevent gender-based violence,” the paper says.
The research has used a multi-method approach employed both quantitative and qualitative techniques to assess four different regions that manifested degrees of both conservatism and openness regarding gender issues and were satisfactorily secure, namely, Nangarhar, Takhar, Bamyan, and Kabul, both in rural and urban areas.
The statement said the aim for the research was to explain how men’s attitudes, perceptions and actions were influenced by socio-culturally constructed ideas of manhood, and how these factors further affected the interaction between men and women in Afghan communities.
The paper draws on perceptions of adult males and females and strives to address the issues connecting the notions of “manhood” to the violence against women, as well as the degree in which men tend to claim the “control” over women’s life and their decisions.
The AREU hoped it was expected that the results of the study would contribute to a greater understanding of Afghan masculinities and how they influenced gender inequality in Afghan communities.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.