Men’s Involvement in a Parenting Programme to Reduce Child Maltreatment and Gender-Based Violence: Formative Evaluation in Uganda
Parenting programmes involving fathers can reduce child maltreatment and gender-based violence. However, most parenting programmes find it difficult to recruit fathers. We piloted a 21 session parenting intervention, ‘Parenting for Respectability’, with fathers and mothers near Kampala, Uganda. Sixty-one fathers and 83 mothers were recruited initially and 52 fathers and 76 mothers retained to the end. We interviewed with 24 fathers and 16 mothers. Data were analysed thematically. Success in involving fathers was probably due to (a) the first 10 sessions being father-only, allowing them to share experiences before participating in mixed-sex sessions; (b) exploiting men’s pre-existing motivation to improve their children’s behaviour, thereby enhancing family respectability; and (c) the interactive, participatory delivery. Mixed sessions enabled couples to clarify conflicting perspectives regarding spousal relationships and gendered norms. However, men experienced social pressure to conform to conventional masculinity, suggesting the need to instill intervention values at community level.