The different notions of what it means to be a man, including patterns of conduct linked to men’s place in a given set of gender roles and relations. It involves questioning the masculine values and norms that society places on men’s behaviour, identifying and addressing issues confronting men and boys in the world of work, and promoting the positive roles that men and boys can play in attaining gender equality.

See also: caring masculinity; hegemonic masculinity


(1) European Union (2005), Glossary of Gender and Development Terms, in Toolkit on Mainstreaming Gender Equality in EC Development Cooperation (Chapter 1, section 3). Available at:  

 (2) United Nations (2013). Ending Violence against Women and Girls: Programming Essentials. Available at:

Propose an update