MEA – SRI LANKA

MEASL – capacity, role and focus in SL.

MEASL was launched in Sri lanka in 2014 with 25 organizations and 10 individual membership in line with the Men Engage Alliance south Asia TOR for the regional partnership in working on masculinities and engaging men and boys for gender justice.

MenEngage Alliance seeks to provide a collective voice on the need to engage men and boys in gender equality, to build and improve the field of practice around engaging men in achieving gender justice, and advocating before policymakers at the local, national, regional and international levels.

  • Organizations, institutions, and individuals who adhere to the principles of gender equality and non-violence and MenEngage Alliance core principles, and are willing to take a public stand on these principles are allowed to take membership .Sr Lanka country alliances takes the responsibility to update and inform the regional secretariat about their membership base. UN Agencies, Donor agencies, Media and Government are  strategic partners of the Alliance. The steering committee consisting of 3 members appointed by the membership based on their commitment take the decision on membership through an in-country transparent process /membership criteria agreed by the membership.
  • The alliance’s functions are coordinated by a national coordinator appointed at the general assembly and is based in the national secretariat of the alliance. From 2017 FISD was appointed as the national secretariat. The key working areas of MEASL in 2017-2019 was expanding and Strengthening membership, drafting a strategic guideline for the functioning of the Alliance, identify and train male champions/ spokespersons /trainers , support the implementation of the NPA on addressing SGBV of the Ministry of women affaires and partnership building. Adding on to the areas from 2019 MEASL expanded its working areas to knowledge management and communication, capacity building of members on masculinities, expansion of youth engagement, engaging men and boys in SRHR and influence policy on male engagement as priority for 2019-2020.
  • Expanding on the membership MEASL currently includes a membership base of 28 organizations and 15 individuals at the national level and around 40 organizations and 35 individuals at local level covering northern, eastern, uva and the central parts of the country.
  • During 2017-2029 MEASL was able to support knowledge management with the support from FISD under its contract with ADB in Sri Lnaka and had contributed to development of TOT manual for the training of members and also to support the strengthening efforts towards achievement of NPA on addressing SGBV. The alliance had so far trained more than 250 trainers using the manual. It further contributed towards development of module to educate and engage young boys at school and vocational training centers levels. The alliance advocated with the ministry of education and ministry of skills development and vocational training to pilot test and adopt the manual in to their curriculums. MEASA piloted the manual in 12 vocational training institutions and 10 secondary schools following incorporation of the manual as a curriculum to the 13 years of compulsory education program under the ministry of education. MEASL has plans to train school teachers on the curriculum in 2020 which is delayed due to the covid-19.
  • MEASL also contributed to development of a module on Engaging men as allies in women’s economic empowerment, based on its learning derived from learnings from collecting of impact stories on women-based SMEs supported by ADB. Meaningful engagement of men and boys has become a higher priority for achieving gender equality and equity. Engaging men has been recognized as critical to women’s empowerment and prevention of violence against women and girls today. It is also important to analyze the social norms that reinforce a harmful patriarchal or masculine culture which can be harmful for both men and women. When men analyze these norms, they are better able to contribute to transforming these harmful social norms and advancing a progressive society that would allow both men and women to achieve their fullest potential in life.

In this process, it is crucial to engage men and boys effectively as allies towards women’s empowerment and prevention of gender-based inequalities.

Men are instrumental in initiating the dialogue on how harmful masculinities are learned, reinforced, practice and justified for reasons which are not even beneficial to men themselves. Men are instrumental in taking action themselves and motivating other men in society in challenging the harmful masculinities. They are also instrumental in generating positive and healthier social values and contribute to the transformation into just and fair societies.

As such, this manual aimed to strengthen the capacities of practitioners from different settings and all advocates working for just and fair society to understand, integrate, and address harmful masculinities in their work and lives. The manual has objectives at three levels,

  • Family and Household Level: To change men’s attitudes and behaviors towards partners with respect to economic freedom.
  • Community Level: To change male gatekeepers who may have preconceived ideas about what is appropriately economically for women.
  • Policy Level: This manual will not focus practically on this level, but can provide recommendations for ways men can advocate at the policy-level for women.
  • MEASL partnered to a regional conference on engaging men and boys for gender equality in the education sector in 2019. The conference aimed at bringing in a wider knowledge on men and masculinities including good practices to work on the education sector and to advocate for better engagement by policy makers in achieving gender equality in the education sector. The two days conference brought about 40 resource persons from south Asia and more then 130 participants including from south Asia.
  • SRHR being one of the main thematic areas of MEASL for 2019- 2021, a desk review is underway towards a national and regional advocacy on meaningful engagement of men and boys in SRHR issues in Sri Lanka.
  • MEASL has regional working committees in 5 districts covering north, east, and the central provinces and work is underway to reach up to 8 districts. Each working committee has a focal point who convene the district network and mobilize work around men and masculinities.
  • MEASL is a partner to the Ministry of women affaires in the implementation of the NPA on addressing SGBV under the section on prevention and empowerment – engaging men and boys. The alliance had contributed in developing the TOT manual for the training of male trainers and also in developing IEC material for the awareness creation on men and masculinities.

National Coordinator : Samitha Sugathimala
Email: samitha@fisd.lk
Phone : +94773082568
Phone +: 52552252

National secretariat
Foundation for Innovative social development
No 15A New Jayaweera Mawatha, Ethul Kotte, Kotte.
info@fisd.lk

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MEASL Steering committee members ,

1. Samitha sugathimala – samitha@fisd.lk
2. V. Weerasingham – weerasingham@gmail.com

3. Vindhya Fernando – Vindhya.fernando@chrysaliscatalyz.com

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