Understanding Men and Masculinities: Towards Creating Egalitarian Gender Relations in Afghan Society

Authored by: Munazza Ebtikar

Categories: Human Rights, Violent Conflict
Sub-Categories: Access to Justice and Rule of Law, Democratization and Political Participation, Economic Participation
Country: Afghanistan
Region: South and Central Asia
Year: 2020
Citation: Ebtikar, Munazza. "Understanding Men and Masculinities: Towards Creating Egalitarian Gender Relations in Afghan Society." December 2020.

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Executive Summary

This paper examines how Afghan men from diverse socio-economic, ethno-linguistic and age groups challenge and redefine masculinities in the face of socio-political and economic changes. Understanding diverse and shifting masculinities and the men who practice more equitable gender relations by departing from hegemonic masculinity can help to inform more effective gender-based initiatives.

This report is based on 5 men from diverse socio-economic statuses, ethno-linguistic backgrounds, and diverse age groups and locations in Afghanistan. These 5 case studies were chosen from 18 life history interviews conducted as part of the 2017 IMAGES survey by the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU).

The 3 emerging themes among the 5 case studies are: (1) all case studies experienced gender relations that they describe as “positive” during their upbringing; (2) all case studies have an understanding of existing and changing social norms regarding gender; and (3) all case studies challenge and redefine established understandings of masculinities in Afghanistan. This paper demonstrates the ways in which masculinities are constructed, deconstructed, and change over time and space in different ways for different men.