Skip to main content

Covid-19 and work with men and boys

The Covid-19 pandemic has had numerous significant impacts on men and masculinities, from health, to violence, to care, to the economy, to politics, as has been demonstrated in a recent report by Sandy Ruxton and Dr Stephen Burrell for Promundo.

Sandy and Stephen (based in Durham University's Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse), have also conducted a survey with members of the civil society network MenEngage Europe, to find out how work with men and boys to address gender equality issues has been affected by the pandemic. The findings of this survey have now been published, and can be read in this Durham University report: Covid-19 and work with men and boys.

The survey was conducted in May-June 2020 with 36 members of the MenEngage Alliance across 19 different European countries; organisations or individuals carrying out a range of different forms of work with men and boys related to masculinities and gender equality (such as health promotion and violence prevention). It explored the following issues: 

  • The effects that the pandemic (and societal responses to it) was having on work with men and boys. 
  • How organisations were responding, adapting and trying to survive during the crisis. 
  • How organisations working with men and boys were also finding ways to support organisations working with women and girls. 
  • Detrimental impacts of the pandemic on or related to men and boys themselves. 
  • Positive changes that men and boys were making in their lives. 
  • The extent to which governments across Europe were addressing gender equality issues in their responses to Covid-19. 
  • Steps that governments should be taking to tackle gender inequalities being exacerbated by the pandemic. 

The survey found that most organisations were operating at a reduced service; only 17% were able to carry on working as normal, at a time when many of the issues that their work addresses have become more urgent than ever. The vast majority of respondents (86%) were worried about their organisation’s funding during the Covid-19 crisis, with the survival of many women's organisations and services (such as domestic abuse refuges) also at great risk. Yet most respondents (56%) disagreed that their government was addressing gender equality in its response to the crisis, with only 25% agreeing with this statement. 

The report therefore demonstrates, as the pandemic continues, the urgent need for decision-makers at all levels to take into account and address A Business A_Gender Research Report in their responses to Covid-19 and its hugely damaging social and economic impacts.