Men for Gender Equality Now (MEGEN) was formed in the year 2001 as an initiative to engage with men and boys for the promotion of gender equality and human rights. Since its inception, MEGEN have worked with different stakeholders to ensure its programmes reach a wide audience and particularly people at the grassroots. MEGEN was first registered as an autonomous Society in Kenya in 2005. In 2011, the organisation changed status to a National Non- Governmental Organisation. Our experience helped us to broaden our thinking and thus widen the scope of our thinking and engagement. As we interacted with different communities, the intersection between Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV), HIV & AIDS became apparent. We found a group of men who gave us inspiration in working with men and to help them live positively especially those who had contracted HIV & AIDS.
MEGEN’s community activism and programmes have provided a foundation to advance human rights for all. The programmes are based on a set of internal institutional priorities that translate to the deliverance on its mandate. The organisation’s work is centered around four main strategic directions and priorities i.e. Communication and Advocacy, Capacity Building, Survivors Support, Research and Development. The focus areas have been identified based on it’s mandate and the foundation laid in the last decade of MEGEN’s history. The concerted efforts and priorities have been ground- breaking and daring.
MEGEN’s theory of change is based on experience of influencing policy and practice, within advocacy networks, underpinned by the understanding that there are multiple, contextually specific pathways to change. Work to change political, economic, cultural, social and religious norms and power relations which prevent gender equality and the realisation of equal human rights needs to be coupled with efforts to identify and disrupt, adapt or dismantle policies, structures and systems which reinforce negative norms and stereotypes.
Right from the beginning we have had people who are creative and we have provided an ample ground for tapping and nurturing people’s talents. Our concerted efforts have been ground- breaking and daring; we defined new models for community based male engagement in human rights promotion, gender equality and combating Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV), HIV & AIDS. MEGEN members have been diligent advocates for human rights and gender equality. Our community activism and programmes have provided a foundation to advance human rights for all. We have made remarkable progress since becoming autonomous in February 2009 including changing status to a Non- Governmental Organisation (NGO) in December 2011. The significant advancements have happened at a time of dire financial constraints that threatened MEGEN’s work.
MEGEN endeavors to create a resource pool to ensure that its set objectives become a reality. As an organisation working towards the realisation of gender justice, we understand that in order to transform cultures of violence, there is need to accelerate the engagement of men as allies in efforts towards gender justice. This has been based on the understanding that men sustain, reproduce and legitimize the majority of social structures that justify the subordination of women, promote unhealthy male behaviour and undermine attempts by other men to become involved in social justice initiatives”. Boys on the other hand imitate and adopt what men in their communities do whether negative or positive. Men are also gate-keepers of economic, political and socio-cultural resources (the very resources required to implement women’s claims for justice), as well as decision-makers in their households and communities and the key receptive audience (or obstacle).
The administrative structure is comprised of: