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Call for Abstracts: Men, Masculinities and Family Planning in Africa, 10/10

Men, Masculinities, and Family Planning in Africa
University of California at Los Angeles
October 14-15, 2010

Sponsors: Bixby Center on Population and Reproductive Health, UCLA
James S. Coleman African Studies Center, UCLA

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 €œgender 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.

Call for abstracts:

Papers investigating African masculinities can include:
*- Fertility desires and men €™s relationships to children. *- Gender identity formation, peer pressures/supports, rituals of masculinity, homophobia. *- Sexuality, sexual desire, and sexual practices.
*- Aggression, hypermasculinity, coercive and coerced sexual experiences. *- Gender power dynamics and changing gender norms.
*- Traditional values in the context of modernity.
*- Masculinity and economics.

Papers investigating family planning can include:
*- Fertility intentions, sexuality, relationship dynamics, and polygynous practices in the context of family planning. *- Cultural perspectives on fertility, contraception and birth limitation. *- Contraceptive methods and delivery options for men and for women. *- Structural barriers and supports for family planning.
*- Quality of care, cultural appropriateness, service integration. *- Healthcare provider attitudes and practices, adolescent friendliness. *- Innovations, community based activities, local and mass media. *- Funding projections and shortfalls, donor requirements, advocacy and policy.

Abstract length: 250 words Deadline: June 30, 2010
Abstract of paper and CV of the presenter should be sent electronically to: Rachel Veerman (

Limited travel funding may be available for African participants.


Page Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D.

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