Over 2018, Jerker Edström at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) is leading a team of experts, contracted by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), to undertake a focused assignment on ‘Masculinities and Transition: Enduring Privilege?’, with a focus on Egypt, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Ukraine.
The project will explore the experiences of men and shifting constructions of masculinities in current ‘transition countries’ in order to identify ways to complement women-focused interventions in the Bank’s projects and broader investments to enhance both the resilience of transition, and equality of opportunity across genders.
The team will collect evidence on, and analyse variegated impacts of transition experiences on men, women and norms of masculinity operating in broader society and business environments. The aim of the task is to identify key ‘opportunities to engage men and boys as agents of positive change, alongside women and girls, to strengthen the resilience and inclusiveness of Transition’. Thus, by generating evidence for a more holistic – yet nuanced – appreciation of dynamic interrelations between Masculinities and Transition, the Team aims to identify innovative and promising ways to support the building of equal opportunities between women and men, with a focus on market economies in transition.
Resulting knowledge products will be designed to better enable EBRD and related stakeholders to plan projects, investments and initiatives for policy dialogue, predicated on a better understanding of how men can themselves be; one the one hand, vulnerable and struggling during transition and, on the other, can often hold some power to influence change away from outdated and rigid – often male supremacist – ideals of masculinity.