Men As Partners In Change

While it is true that women and girls often have worse outcomes in terms of health, education, and quality of life, than their male counterparts, both genders are equally affected by decades of war and conflict in Afghanistan. Men and boys are often overlooked in development programs with more attention being paid to the rights of women and girls.

In order to move forward towards achieving better health and education outcomes, we must work together, allying with men and creating communities that recognize the value of both genders. This has impacted the mental well-being and physical health of both men and women and continues to put immense stress on households and their members.

That is why Sahar, with the financial support of a grant from WomenStrong International, created a pilot program to include men in gender development that was more than simply teaching men and asking them to adopt a new way of life.

We hoped to challenge perceptions and start planting the seed of new thoughts about gender and women in Afghan society. Many men in the country have never had the opportunity to engage with and discuss the ideas about Fatherhood and Caregiving, Mental Health and trauma, Physical Health, and being male champions in their community to bring positive changes,  these were important topics in the program.

This successful program was reintroduced in October 2023 with 40 students.

This revolutionary approach to educating men to be advocates for gender equality. Graduates of this program will understand why women’s rights are integral to the recovery of their communities and how to be advocates for change.

This program aims to move forward towards achieving better health and education outcomes helping curb domestic violence by recognizing equality among both genders, promoting awareness of mental health and the implications of the notions of masculinity on wellbeing, and encouraging peaceful and cooperative coexistence in communities by developing leadership.

The program began with 2 classes of 20 high school boys who are eager to learn how they can contribute to healthy and thriving communities. Sahar has planned 3 rounds over a year which will serve and educate 120 students. This program was an active part of the Sahar mission until the Taliban takeover in 2021. We are pleased to have reinstated the program with new partners who are dedicated to improving the community support of women’s rights.

Men as Partners in Change Photo Gallery

Sahar Education, Pilot Round of MPC

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