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Men, Masculinities, and Family Planning in Africa

The UCLA Bixby Center on Population and Reproductive Health and UCLA James S. Coleman African Studies Center present a conference on gender inclusivity in family planning programs and policies in Africa.

Thursday, October 14, 2010
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
4240 Public Affairs Bldg.
Los Angeles, CA 90095

For the past two decades, efforts to prevent HIV transmission and treat those affected have absorbed the lion’s share of human and financial resources for reproductive health in sub-Saharan Africa. Whereas the 1970s and 80s had witnessed considerable research into African fertility and the introduction of programmatic innovations in family planning service delivery—such as social marketing and community-based delivery—in recent years these efforts have stagnated and fertility reduction in much of Africa has stalled. The purpose of this conference is to examine previous efforts  through a “gender lens,” and to consider how a better understanding of men and masculinities in Africa could inform a new era of family planning service delivery.

Gender is increasingly used as an analytical framework for understanding poverty and health in Africa, but generally it focuses on the challenges and disadvantages facing women and girls. Yet gender is a relational identity which should include males. In the past, family planning programs and policies in Africa have centered exclusively on women and girls, with little attention to the relationship context, gender roles, and masculinities.

This conference will consider a gender perspective on fertility and family planning that is inclusive of men and boys. The first day will focus on the broader constructions of African masculinities in different regional, ethnic and national contexts with special attention to fertility and sexuality. The second day will address family planning in varied African contexts, with special attention to gender inclusivity.


Registration to this conference is free. If you are not a presenter and would like to attend, please contact Rachel Veerman at rveerman(at) To attend you must register. (Space is limited.)

Registration and breakfast will be from 8:15 to 9:00 AM. The first panel presentation will begin promptly at 9:00 AM.


Tentative Schedule Subject to Change


Oct 14, Day 1:  Men and Masculinities in Africa



Welcome and Introductions (9:00a-9:15a)


Panel 1 (9:15a – 10:45a): Constructions of Masculinities among African Youth

Amber Reed, UCLA, “Gender roles among youth activists in South Africa.”

Susan Ajok, Straight Talk Foundation, “Affirmative Masculinity for positive social change: The straight talk experience with pro-boy programming.”

Warrick Moses, Tufts University, “Flipping the script: The re-evaluation of masculinity in South African hiphop.”

Damola Osinulu, UCLA, “Rich Husbands, Spirit Wives, and Fertile Bodies: Contesting Male Sexuality in Pentecostal Lagos.”

  • BREAK (10:45p-11:15p)


Panel 2 (11:15a – 12:15p) Masculinities, Human Rights and Sexualities

Lara Stemple, UCLA, “Human rights and masculinity messages.”

Olajumoke Yacob-Haliso, Babcock University, “Non-governmental organizations and the construction of gender rights notions and practice in addressing gendered violence in post-war Liberia.”

Donald Donham, UC Davis, “A comparison of male-male sexuality in Accra and Johannesburg.”

  • LUNCH (12:15 -1:30p)


Keynote (1:30p – 2:30p)

Professor Mark Hunter, University of Toronto, “The Concurrent Partnerships Debate: The Contribution of Historical-Ethnography”

  • BREAK (2:30p-3:00p)


Panel 3 (3:00 –4:15p) Multiple Partners, Relationship Dynamics and Masculinities

Ashley Fox, Harvard University, “Multiple partners, marriage and materialism: The economic drivers of multiple sexual partnerships in men across 16 African countries.”

Elizabeth Montgomery, RTI International, “Recycling ‘shared responsibility’ for reproductive health in southern Africa: Male partner involvement in HIV prevention in Zimbabwe applied to a family planning context.”

Rachel Snow, University of Michigan, “High fertility aspirations among Ugandan men: The importance of gendered attitudes towards women and experience of HIV.”


General Discussion on Masculinity in Africa (4:15 – 4:45) - moderated by Apter and Mindry



African Studies Center 310-825-3686

Download file: MMFPA_Conference_Agenda_10 7 10.pdf

Sponsor(s): African Studies Center, Bixby Center on Population and Reproductive Health, UCLA

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