Category Archives: Symposium

Global Symposium – The Coffee Break

To get a good idea of just how many people, from many different countries, attended the conference, you just had to be there during the coffee break.


Images From Around The Symposium

Communal laptops and iffy wifi have stymied a few of my posting attempts unfortunately. We have some great video but it has been, so far, troublesome to upload.

Rio Call For Action
The Plenary Sessions started in earnest yesterday morning. Two things were said during Dialogue With Women’s Rights Movements that I found very poignant. First from Michael Kimmel (paraphrasing from my notes) “never forget we are here because of the work of women” which he then summed up as “premature self-congratulation.”

Secondly from Judith Bruce, referring to a difficult and distasteful meeting she had with some rather misogynistic doctors (again paraphrasing) “if you’ve got someone to tell it to, you can make it through anything”

Unfortunately I missed the second session Including Men and Masculinities In Gender Equality Policies, but a friend gave me a summary: “Norway and Spain are the best places to live if you’re looking for gender equity.” Which I discovered for myself later in the day during Uif Rikter-Svendsen’s (Reform in Norway) presentation at Engaging Men to Prevent Violence Against Women And Girls. Unfortunately the rest of that session was very data-heavy and didn’t leave any room for engaging the audience.

The most engaging session of the day came, perhaps not surprisingly, from Jackson Katz during Men, Masculinities and Gender-based Violence. I had heard a lot of what he said when he was in Toronto in November, but it is always a moving experience.

The Global Village
also got into high gear with displays from many like-minded organizations around the world, with more to come in the next two days.

As well the Rio Call To Action was available in the Atrium for participants to voice their opinions. If you haven’t done so already, this is your opportunity to have your say.

img_0425 img_0426 img_0427

The best interaction I had yesterday, however, came after dinner, during a relaxed, informal discussion among colleagues. These are the sessions I look forward to most.

If anyone has pictures or a post they’d like to see here, please contact me at


“There is no going back now…”

Opening Session

One, two skip a few, ninety-nine, four hundred and fifty.

To say that it has been a mind blowing day is an understatement. As the delegates came flooding into the atrium it became impossible for me to ignore that we are no longer a few guys toiling away, almost unseen, in a bleak corner of downtown Toronto.

I have had some excellent conversations, some off the record and on the beach, but all reaffirming the importance of this work.

The Opening Session got off to a late start, which is to be expected when you gather so many people from so many places around the globe, together for the first time to discuss and engage men and boys on social norms and gender equity. Putting faces to email addresses produces a gush of “WE HAVE SO MUCH TO TALK ABOUT!”

Michel Sidibé, Executive Director UNAIDS, said it best during his Opening Sessions speach; “this is not just a meeting, it is a revolution in practice.”

Tomorrow the sessions beging in earnest. Here is my schedule for tomorrow:

9:00am: Dialogue with Women’s Rights Movements
11:00am: Including Men and Masculinities in Gender Equity Policies
2:30pm: Men, Masculinity and Gender-Based Violence
4:30pm: Engaging Men to Precent Violence Against Women and Girls

You can read the full week’s program here (PDF).

The title quote was from the Opening Session speach from by Inés Alberidi, Executive Director of UNIFEM. After these four days in Rio, there will be no turning back from engaging men and boys, addressing social norms and gender inequalities.


Posteos en español

En este sitio también pondremos posteos en español.
Hoy lunes se realizó una reunión de la red global menengage, con cerca de 40 participantes. Se sigue articulando una red global.
El congreso comenzará en 40 minutos, con una inauguración en el hotel intercontinental, en san conrado, Rio de Janeiro Brasil. Sera cerca de 450 personas de todo el mundo, que trabajan con masculinidades y equidad de género en multiplicidad de temáticas.

36 Hours!

logo-grandeThe office is buzzing with energy as we fine tune the logistics of our participation in the Global Symposium Engaging Men & Boys in Gender Equality.

It was a bit of a battle, learning, tweaking, editing but I think I was able to put together a PowerPoint presentation that might actualy turn out alright.  Excited to see it on a big screen.

There will be a longer version available online once I figure out how to convert it to video.

See you in Rio!

Blogging Engaging Men

Engaging Men and Boys in Achieving Gender Equality

Engaging Men and Boys in Achieving Gender Equality

Welcome to White Ribbon Canada’s Engaging Men Symposium blog.

From March 30th – April 3rd visit this space to keep up to date on the goings on of this unique symposium, bringing together White Ribbon Campaigns from over 55 countries around the globe to  share ideas and best practices around community mobilization.