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Project with solution

Engaging Men in Accountable Practices (EMAP)

A one-year primary prevention intervention created by the International Rescue Committee (IRC)


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The framework for EMAP is centered around Accountable Practice which provides a method and structure for honoring women’s leadership and developing male engagement in a way that improves the lives of women and girls.



Violence against women and girls (VAWG) impacts individuals, communities and societies across the globe. Recent data indicates that 35% of women worldwide have experienced VAWG in their lifetime, either through intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence.1 During times of conflict and crisis, violence toward women and girls worsens, leading to increases in sexual exploitation, domestic violence, forced marriage, rape, and transactional and prostituted sex.
While men commit these forms of violence, men are not born violent toward women and girls and not all men commit violence. Many men, in fact, are deeply concerned about the violence that other men commit, and believe that women and girls deserve respect, opportunities and equality. Men have daughters, mothers, sisters, wives, girlfriends, and friends whom they care about and want to lead safe lives. All around the world, men have important roles to play in helping to create peaceful and safe communities.
While research on programming that engages men and boys in preventing VAWG in humanitarian settings remains limited, promising findings suggest that “gender transformative” interventions may reduce men’s intimate partner violence against women. Such interventions challenge deeply held beliefs by men and the power structures that support them.


Solution and innovation

The approach aims to achieve behavior transformation at the individual level, drawing on an evidence-based, 1 year- long curriculum. The approach targets both women and men, with a special emphasis on men to enable to identify their role in preventing violence against women and become women’s allies.
This intervention is guided by the voices of women and girls. Their testimony regarding types of violence experienced informs the curriculum used with men. Integral to this implementation is communicating that EMAP activities are not intended to diminish tradition or belief systems, but to encourage practices and beliefs that promote respect for women and non-violence. The intervention is specifically designed for use in humanitarian settings and has been field tested. (Photo Credits: Meredith Hutchinson)


Results and impact

UNHCR rolled out EMAP in Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya. The project involved 480 men and women, garnered community interest, and has resulted in positive and transformative outcomes. The safety of women and girls became a central concern for the community, safe spaces for women were created, and participants became highly regarded and considered as role models in the community. Women reported increased cooperation on household responsibilities by their husbands as well as a positive change in husbands’ attitudes toward violence. In Dadaab, EMAP was also linked to other programs, which resulted in enhanced livelihoods for intervention participants.





“It is important to talk to the women and find out what would be helpful to them, rather than making assumptions. If we don’t ask women how we can help them to prevent violence, we may end up reinforcing the behaviors such as being controlling, making decisions for others and dominating. Instead we can ask women in our families and communities how we can support them in building a safer world.” Male participant


If you are interested in more information on the EMAP project download the research package:

Introductory Guide (part 1)

Training Guide (part 2)

Implementation Guide (part 3)