June 3, 2016

Success Story: Using Traditional Leadership to Engage Men on Gender and HIV

Written by USAID Community Based Livelihood Development for Women and Children in Swaziland Program Team

Unprecedented El Nino induced drought conditions befell Swaziland in 2015, with and whose effects linger on even to date, the CBLD 2015 gender norms program faced increasingly difficult barriers to mobilization of men to our gender norms programs. Without men’s participation the program intervention can’t effect the needed behavior changes.

Building on previous capacity building and leadership trainings the CBLD project approached traditional leaders in our communities to ask them how to best mobilize both adolescent boys and men (15-49 as the target audience). The Bandlancane of Malindza, KaLanga and Khuphuka were mobilized to take the lead and to speak to adolescent boys and men about the importance of gender norms sessions, which is intended on fostering healthier relationships and promote non-harmful gender norms in the communities – thus preventing GBV, encouraging HIV Testing as a benefit for men.

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