Positive Masculinities

Positive masculinity & co-responsible health: combating the culture of risk and virility among young people in the DRCongo, a project to promote positive masculinity attitudes and practices for a more equitable society.

Financial partner

belgique partenaire du développement


In the DRCongo, despite the strong participation of women in Congolese working life, patriarchal traditions, social and cultural prejudices and the way public services operate do not sufficiently recognise their rights. In terms of gender inequality, the country is ranked 156th out of 162 countries worldwide.

As a result of these inequalities, women and girls are highly dependent on men, both economically and socially, and are exposed to increased risks of violence and stigmatisation. All the gender-related indicators are worrying: schooling, health (maternal and reproductive health, access to quality healthcare, recognition of psychosocial needs), access to the factors of production for economic activity, violence in places of socialisation (physical violence, sexual harassment).

In Kinshasa (> 10 million inhabitants), risky behaviour linked to alcohol, drugs and the feeling of impunity endanger the dignity and life of women in the provision of health and education services. In North Kivu, other aggravating factors are added by the presence of more than a hundred armed groups and their specific violence against women.

This tragic situation is passed on from one generation to the next, and young men, in an unstructured context, adopt a culture of risk-taking and virility that reinforces these negative situations and dynamics.

The situation is therefore systemic and rooted in family, school, work and health environments.


The project focuses on communes/health zones in or on the outskirts of 3 urban centres: Kinshasa, Goma and Butembo.

  • Kinshasa province: Kingasani, Masina, Kimbanseke, Bandalungwa and Kintambo
  • North Kivu province: Vuhovi, Katwa, Karisimbi and Goma



The overall aim of the project is for teachers, young people and care providers and users to resort less and less to behaviour based on violence (verbal or physical), thanks to capacity-building and the promotion of an environment conducive to positive masculinity.

Specific goals

  • Work on representations of male and female roles using a reflective multi-actor approach
  • To raise awareness, in an active and participative way, among the target groups of toxic male behaviour and attitudes and the effects they have in terms of gender-based violence
  • Draw up charters of commitment tailored to each target group, to serve as a common reference for supporting behavioural change
  • Use the charters as a basis for lobbying the public authorities in the sectors concerned

Target groups

  • Education stakeholders: Secondary and higher education students and teachers
  • Professional stakeholders: Motorcyclists’ associations, motorbike taxis, farmers’ organisations
  • Health stakeholders: medical, nursing and management staff at public and private health centres in the target health zones
  • Civil society stakeholders: youth clubs, women’s associations, LGBTQ+ associations


  • Training: defining and validating training manuals for trainers in transformative masculinities, training facilitators in reflective practices for organising exchange workshops, etc.
  • Raise awareness: identify community leaders for transformative masculinities among the target groups
  • Organise: organise meetings and discussion forums with representatives of communities, healthcare providers and professional organisations, aimed at young people, to address the issues of “risk culture, virility” and “violence against women”.
  • Mobilise: support risk analysis processes, define concrete action plans and draw up charters;
  • Support: create a referral system for psychosocial services and support for empowerment through microcredits for victims of GBV;
  • Disseminate: support stakeholders’ lobbying of public authorities for the adoption of charters, support exchanges of experience, capitalisation and good practice between areas of intervention, capitalise on good practice and share it.


716.472 €


30 months: 01.06.2022 – 30.11.2024

Contact persons: Serge NGAIMAFélix VANDERSTRICHT

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