UNbacked meeting examines role of males in preventing spread of HIVAIDS

At its 48th session in March 2004 and for the first time, the UN Committee on the Status of Women will have these topics on its agenda and a report on the 21 to 24 October conference in Brasilia will contribute to the discussion, DAW said yesterday.“Ideologies of masculinity and ‘manliness,’ which encourage men to display sexual prowess by having multiple partners, by stressing aggressiveness and dominance and lack of responsibility in sexual relationships, put men themselves and their partners at risk,” it said in a news release.In addition, work relations that were not supportive of responsibilities at home resulted in economic inequalities for women, the Division said. “Achieving gender equality would also require greater sharing of domestic responsibilities between men and women.”DAW said it already had conducted a four-week online discussion – in which 314 representatives from 70 countries took part – on the positive roles men and boys could play in achieving gender equality in work and in combating the HIV/AIDS pandemic.