Discussions of gender in sanitation and hygiene (S&H) often focus on the roles, positions or impacts on women and girls, who bear the greatest burden of work related to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). Efforts to improve S&H and change social norms do not always actively engage men and boys in the most effective or transformative way. We must learn more about the roles men and boys actually play now and – if necessary – how they can be modified to make efforts more successful. This Learning Brief outlines the findings of a review that focused on men and boys: the problems they cause and experience, how to engage them (or not), and how to mobilize them as allies in the transformation of sanitation and hygiene outcomes.
The brief is based on a scan of the published and grey literature and interviews with respected WASH and gender practitioners to assess the degree and effectiveness of the engagement of men and boys in sanitation programming. Results were distilled into findings, from which a set of recommendations were developed.