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Infant and Young Child Feeding and Gender Manuals for Male Group Leaders

Infant and Young Child Nutrition (IYCN) Project
Year Published:
Resource Type:
Tools & Manuals

The IYCN Project is the United States Agency for International Development’s flagship project on infant and young child nutrition. Begun in 2006, the five-year project aims to improve nutrition for mothers, infants, and young children, and prevent the transmission of HIV to infants and children. IYCN builds on 25 years of United States Agency for International Development leadership in maternal, infant, and young child nutrition. Our focus is on proven interventions that are effective during pregnancy and through the first two years of life.

This resource contains two manuals:

1. Infant and Young Child Feeding and Gender: A Training Manual for Male Group Leaders

This manual is designed to provide male group leaders with the information and techniques they need to share information and encourage discussions on gender issues and optimal infant and young child feeding. There is a need to encourage men to engage in, and support good infant and young child feeding practices, since prevailing gender roles often discourage men from engaging in this activity. Studies have shown that providing men with correct information and encouraging them to take an interest in their children’s feeding practices can lead to improvements in infant feeding practices. The training curriculum described in the manual assumes strong facilitation skills on part of the participants.

The manual describes a two-day training workshop that uses group activities, focused discussions, brainstorming, and role playing to introduce issues such as breastfeeding, complementary feeding, counseling and testing for HIV, and prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. These issues are discussed in the context of prevailing gender roles and gender inequalities, spousal relationships, barriers to accessing quality health care, and other social norms and practices. At the end of the training session, men will hopefully be more aware of, and engaged in their children’s feeding practices. They will also be more comfortable discussing infant and young child feeding issues with their families, as well as sharing their insights with other men.

2. Infant and Young Child Feeding and Gender: A Participant Manual for Male Group Leaders

This participants’ manual is designed to serve as a reference for male group leaders who participated in the two-day training in order for them to be able to share information and encourage discussions on gender issues and support optimal maternal dietary and infant and young child feeding practices. This manual includes summaries of key content, suggested questions to promote discussion, and activities that group leaders can use when facilitating their group sessions.