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New fathers 40% less likely to use violence after attending Rutgers’ joint-programme in Rwanda

New research in Rwanda reveals engaging men as they become fathers helps to transform male attitudes towards women, reduce gender-based violence (GBV) and increase time spent on unpaid care work. These promising results come two years after the MenCare+ programme, the precursor of Rutgers’ current Prevention+ programme that engages men and boys to end GBV.

The results from a two year randomised controlled trial, were published in the journal PLOS ONE by Promundo, a partner in our Prevention+ programme. Nearly 600 men who participated in a 15-session MenCare+ programme in Rwanda, are now nearly half as likely to use violence against their female partners. They also spend almost one hour more doing household chores than their peers who did not participate.

Hopes and fears of expecting parents

The new research shows impressive results in other aspects, too. Thanks to the programme, couples were given the opportunity to talk about their hopes and fears as they became parents. They were also able to discuss topics such as pregnancy, contraception and violence for the first time.

This has led to greater modern contraceptive use (70% of women in the MenCare programme versus 61% in the comparison group) and more visits to prenatal care. Among couples who already have children, there is a drop in the rate of violence against children, both by men and women. Finally, 56% of women in the programme said the man has the final say about income use, in contrast to 79% of women who did not participate in the programme.

Prevention+

These results are a huge boost for Rutgers’ Prevention+ programme, the successor to the MenCare+ programme, which runs projects in Indonesia, Pakistan, Rwanda and Uganda, as well as in parts of the Middle East and North Africa region (Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Palestine). It is coordinated internationally by Rutgers, Promundo, and Sonke Gender Justice, and has partnered with the MenEngage Alliance on advocacy activities.

You can find the full findings from the randomised controlled trial here.

 

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