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Factors associated with gender equality among church-going young men in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo: a cross-sectional study
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing. World Council of Churches, Central Africa Regional Coordinator of the Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiative in Africa (EHAIA), Kinshasa Gombe, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
2017 (English)In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 16, article id 213Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: While women and girls are made vulnerable by inequitable and violent versions of masculinities, there is increasing evidence that gender equality will not be achieved without partnering with men. The aim of this study was to assess gender-equitable norms and their determinants among church-going young men in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Method: A cross-sectional study was carried out among 289 church-going young men, aged 18-24 years, residing in three disadvantaged communes of Kinshasa. Variables included sociodemographic characteristics, attitudes towards gender equality and responses to issues related to the Gender-Equitable Men (GEM) scale. Logistic regression was applied to identify the associations between sociodemographic characteristics, attitudes and the GEM scale.

Results: The findings provide evidence of attitudes and beliefs that act as barriers to gender equality. For instance, the majority of church-going young men (83.74%) agreed that a man is the only decision maker in the home and about half (50.87%) of the respondents supported the statement "There are times a woman deserves to be beaten". Similarly, around half of the participants agreed with the idea of men's uncontrollable sex drive (50.87%) and men's toughness (50.17%). Close to half of the participants (44.29%) agreed that it is women's responsibility to prevent pregnancy. These attitudes co-existed with a few gender-equitable norms as 82.70% agreed on the importance of joint decisions concerning family planning. An association between education, certain places of residence, being single or separated, and supportive attitudes towards gender equality was found with higher scores for the GEM.

Conclusion: Our study findings indicate that a high proportion of church-going young men do not endorse gender-equitable norms. Therefore, churches urgently need comprehensive gender equality and masculinity policies and programmes to influence young men's attitudes and behaviours. The promotion of gender equality in schools and the wider community also need to be encouraged.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BIOMED CENTRAL LTD , 2017. Vol. 16, article id 213
Keywords [en]
Gender equality, Gender-equitable men scale, Church-going young men, Masculinities, Cross-sectional study, DR Congo
National Category
Gender Studies Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-143521DOI: 10.1186/s12939-017-0707-7ISI: 000417624900001PubMedID: 29228996OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-143521DiVA, id: diva2:1170665
Available from: 2018-01-04 Created: 2018-01-04 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved

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