The Global Campaign for Men and Boys
Boys and girls can benefit from the influence of a broad range of adult role models.
All children benefit from male role models and for boys in particular, men represent the transition they will make from childhood into adulthood. Boys generally spend less time with adult men than girls spend with adult women for a variety of reasons:
Men are significantly under-represented in schools with 97% of state nursery teachers and 88% of primary school teachers in England being women. One in four boys and girls are taught in primary schools where there are no male teachers.
The under-representation of men in schools is further exacerbated by the fact that the majority of support staff and school volunteers are women and mums are more likely than dads to go into school.
Research suggests 8 out of 10 dads say they’d like to be more involved in their children’s education and some schools harness this desire by taking a proactive approach to giving dads more opportunities to be involved in school life.
Research by the Big Lottery (Invisible Men report) has also found that men and boys are less likely to be involved in or benefit from the community projects that the lottery funds.
There is a small yet dynamic men and boys sector in the UK that demonstrates men’s willingness and ability to be involved in community projects when given the opportunity. This sector is largely ignored by Government.
On International Men’s Day 2011 a broad alliance of over 100 individuals and organisations working with men and boys wrote to the then Equalities Minister, Lynn Featherstone, welcoming the fact that the Government had consulted with women and women’s groups on how government engages with and listens to women and asked if the Government would also undertake “to consult with men and men’s groups about how it can respond more effectively to the specific needs of men and boys in the UK?”
The Equalities Minister never replied to our letter and a Home Office official sent a response that didn’t answer the one question we asked. In the run up to the 2015 election we invite politicians of all parties to engage with the men and boys sector in the UK and explore how you can engage men in strengthening communities and in responding to the 12 manifesto challenges in this report.
If you want information on the ideas explored in this post then you may want to buy our eBook Equality For Men by Glen Poole which you can download today for £10 via this link:
If you’d prefer a paperback copy of the book then find out how you can get hold of paperback version of the Equality For Men book here.
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Illustration by Jacqui Clark Art