Instituto Promundo

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Founded 1997
Type NGO
Focus Gender Equity, Masculinities and Femininities, Violence Prevention, Gender-Based Violence, Violence against Youth, Violence Against Children
Key people
Tatiana Moura (Executive Director)
Gary Barker (International Director)
13 in Rio de Janeiro
4 in Washington, DC

Promundo is a Brazilian-based, non-governmental organization with offices in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Washington, DC, USA, that work in collaboration to promote caring, non-violent and equitable masculinities and gender relations in Brazil and internationally. Promundo's work engages women, girls, boys and men; strives to transform gender norms and power relations within key institutions; and is based on building local and international partnerships. It is an applied research institute that works to test, evaluate and advocate for policies and programs that transform masculinities.


Founded in 1997, Promundo was born out of frustration with the prevailing discourses about gender equality and efforts to put those discourses into action, practice and policy. The institute has concentrated on developing evaluated interventions and advocacy strategies to achieve gender equality with a focus on engaging men and boys in changing inequitable and violent forms of masculinities.

Promundo works locally, nationally, and internationally to:

  • Conduct research to build the knowledge base on masculinities and gender equality;
  • Develop, evaluate and scale up gender transformative interventions and policies;
  • Carry out national and international advocacy to achieve gender equality and social justice.

Promundo designs, implements, and evaluates its research and evidence-based programs in close partnership with local, not-for-profit Civil Society Organizations. In recent years, Promundo has been increasingly recognized for promoting the role of men and boys in achieving gender equality. Most recently, Promundo expanded its presence to Washington, DC, to support the organization’s international communication, advocacy and technical assistance, which include the coordination of the MenEngage Alliance, a global network of NGOs and UN partners working to engage men and boys in gender equality, of which Promundo was a co-founder.

Main Programs and Activities[edit]

Program H[edit]

In 1999 Promundo, together with ECOS Comunicação em Sexualidade (São Paulo, Brazil), Instituto Papai (Recife, Brazil), and Salud y Género (Mexico), with support from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the World Health Organization (WHO), International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region (IPPF/WHR), JohnSnowBrasil and Durex – SSL International developed the Program H (H for Portuguese: Homens and Spanish: Hombres, the words for Men).[1] The material was born in part of extensive community-based research, including the study Dying to be Men: Youth, Masculinity and Social Exclusion.[2]

Program H seeks to engage young men and their communities in critical reflections about rigid norms related to manhood. It includes group educational activities, community campaigns, and an innovative evaluation model, called Gender-Equitable Men or GEM scale,[3] for assessing the program’s impact on gender-related attitudes.[4] The approach was subjected to quasi-experimental impact evaluation studies in Brazil, India, the Balkans and several settings in Sub-Saharan Africa,[5] and found to lead to significant changes in attitudes among young men, in addition to self-reported increases in condom use, increased in couple communication and reductions in men’s reports of use of violence against female partners.[6] Program H has been acknowledged by the Pan American Health Organization, UNICEF,[7] United Nations Population Fund, United Nations Development Programme, the World Bank and the Brazilian Ministry of External Relations[8] as a best practice in promoting gender equality.

Program M[edit]

In 1999 Promundo in partnership with Ecos (São Paulo), Instituto Papai (Recife), Salud y Género (Mexico) and World Education (United States), with the support of the Oak Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Nike Foundation and the Brazilian Secretariat for Women’s Policies developed Program M (M for Portuguese: Mulheres and Spanish: Mujeres, the words for Women).[1]

Program M seeks to promote the health and empowerment of young women through critical reflections about gender, rights and health. It consists of educational workshops, community campaigns and innovative evaluation instruments for assessing the program’s impact on young women’s gender-related attitudes and perceived self-efficacy in interpersonal relationships.

White Ribbon Campaign[edit]

In 2000 Promundo, Instituto Papai and other partner organizations launched the White Ribbon Campaign in Brazil. Promundo also works together Instituto Noos and the State Government of Rio de Janeiro to start one of Brazil’s first batterer intervention programs, which eventually inspired the Brazilian Federal Government to implement such programs in other states.[9]

Video Against Homophobia[edit]

Because attitudes towards homophobia showed the least amount of attitude change in the study impact evaluation in Brazil, in 2005 Promundo, Ecos, Salud y Género, Papai and the other Program H partners, with support from the Brazilian National AIDS Programme, developed a cartoon video called Afraid of What?[10] as a complementary educational tool focusing specifically on the issue of homophobia, and targeting mostly heterosexual youth.[11]

Global Symposium on Engaging Men and Boys in Gender Equality[edit]

Between March 30 and April 3, 2009, Promundo and partners co-hosted the Global Symposium on Engaging Men and Boys in Gender Equality in Rio de Janeiro. The event brought together 439 activists, researchers, and practitioners from 77 countries to share their experiences in challenging rigid gender norms and engaging men and boys in: reducing violence against women and girls; promoting sexual and reproductive health; HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment; and fatherhood and care-giving. The event was organized in collaboration with the MenEngage Alliance.[12][13]


  1. ^ a b "Program H and Program M: Engaging Young Men and Empowering Young Women to Promote Gender Equality and Health" (PDF). Promundo. October 2010. Retrieved July 22, 2011. 
  2. ^ Barker, Gary Thomas (2005). Dying To Be Men: Youth, Masculinity and Social Exclusion. Abingdon, New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis. ISBN 0-415-33774-7. 
  3. ^ Barker, Gary; et alii (2011). Evolving Men: Initial Results from the International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES) (PDF). Washington, D.C. and Rio de Janeiro: International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and Instituto Promundo. Retrieved October 26, 2011. 
  4. ^ Pulerwitz, Julie; Barker, Gary (April 2008). "Measuring Attitudes toward Gender Norms among Young Men in Brazil: Development and Psychometric Evaluation of the GEM Scale" (PDF). Men and Masculinities. Sage Publications. 10 (3): 322–338. ISSN 1097-184X. doi:10.1177/1097184x06298778. Retrieved July 22, 2011. 
  5. ^ Barker, Gary; Ricardo, Christine (June 2005). "Young Men and the Construction of Masculinity in Sub-Saharan Africa: Implications for HIV/AIDS, Conflict, and Violence" (PDF). Social Development Papers. Washington, D.C.: The World Bank (26). Retrieved October 26, 2011. 
  6. ^ Barker, Gary; et alii (2004). "How Do We Know If We Have Changed? Promoting and Measuring Attitude Change With Young Men: Lessons from Program H in Latin America". In Ruxton, Sandy. Gender Equality and Men: Learning from Practice. Oxford: Oxfam. pp. 147–161. ISBN 978-0-85598-514-1. Retrieved October 26, 2011. 
  7. ^ UNICEF (2006). "5: Reaping the Double Dividend of Gender Equality". The State of the World's Children: Women and Children; The Double Dividend of Gender Equality (PDF). New York: UNICEF. p. 86. ISBN 978-92-806-3998-8. Retrieved October 26, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Um exemplo de sucesso" (in Portuguese). Ministério das Relações Exteriores. October 27, 2011. Retrieved October 28, 2011. 
  9. ^ A cada hora, cem mulheres são agredidas (Television production) (in Portuguese). Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Jornal da Band. October 22, 2011. Retrieved November 7, 2011. 
  10. ^ Medo de quê? [Afraid of What?] (VHS, DVD) (cartoon). Brazil: Promundo. 2005. Retrieved July 22, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Afraid of What?" (PDF). Promundo. Retrieved July 22, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Global Symposium Engaging Men & Boys in Achieving Gender Equality" (PDF). Promundo. April 3, 2009. Retrieved July 22, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Press Release: I Simpósio Global Engajando Homens e Meninos pela Igualdade de Gênero" (in Portuguese). UNFPA. Retrieved October 27, 2011. 

External links[edit]