In India, there are approximately 230 million boys under the age of 18. We estimate that as adults:

justify violence against women

will or are likely to use physical violence

will or are likely to be involved in rape

Such gender based violence also sits at the root of key social issues including education, sanitation, sexual and reproductive health, child marriage and trafficking. This violence is an emerging epidemic that must be prevented.

Yet, fewer than 5% of organisations who care about gender equity run programmes that seek outcomes that demonstrate changes in boys and men’s behaviour.

ECF was founded in 2009 to tackle this gap by raising every boy in India to be gender equitable; an outcome we call Gender Equitable Boys.

The detailed strategy is available to read on this link.

The work we do and the way we do it is defined by the key principles mentioned below.

Gender transformative programmes and interventions are those that create opportunities for individuals to actively challenge gender norms, promote positions of social and political influence for women in communities, and address power inequities between persons of different genders. They create an enabling environment for gender transformation by going beyond just including women as participants. They are part of a continuum of gender integration, or the integration of gender issues into all aspects of program and policy conceptualization, development, implementation and evaluation.

Where the challenges that boys face in transforming their attitudes and behaviours and taking action are considered and addressed in the programme design, including the frequency, duration, content, structure, facilitation methodology and learning pedagogy. Any language or methodology that ‘blames’ boys and does not protect their rights as children are strictly avoided.

Where boys who are engaged in programmes to raise Gender Equitable Boys are engaged alongside or integrated with programmes that seek to secure the rights of women and girls, without impeding such programmes.

Where programmes seek to work in marginalised communities, particularly low-income communities, where access to opportunity is limited and resources to escape violence, gain agency and recourse are limited too.

Where the concept of human rights acknowledges that every single human being is entitled to enjoy their human rights without distinction as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Where children’s right to protection and safety are ensured.

Where women and girls contribute to the design, delivery and evaluation of programmes that raise Gender Equitable Boys in a formal and structured manner.

Where any programme intervention seeks a systematic change to the way we raise Gender Equitable Boys by working with boys, their peers, families, teachers and the community at large.

Where boys’ knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours are evaluated longitudinally to demonstrate sustained improvement. And where evidence for such evaluation is gathered from stakeholders including women and girls, and facilitators as well as from boys themselves.