Good Men Campaign, Changing Men’s Attitudes and Behavior towards Gender Equality through Mobile Technology

Good Men Campaign, Changing Men’s Attitudes and Behavior towards Gender Equality through Mobile Technology

By Setha Rath

To all men, do you want to know how a good man you are? There is now an app that can help you answer this question and the process is fun. You can now download Good Men Quiz from PlayStore and start playing. Good Men Quiz is a mobile app game designed to influence men’s attitudes towards gender equality. It challenges and measures how good a man the player is, as far as gender equality and gender based violence are concerned. The app is part of a Good Men Campaign, a national campaign aimed at reducing violence against women through transforming gender norms. The campaign was meant to challenge and question gender norms that perpetuate violence against women, promote understanding of meaningful ways of “being a man,” and encourage changes in attitudes and behavior towards gender equality. This app is available only in Khmer language.

The campaign was implemented by Paz y Desarrollo (PYD) Cambodia, a Spanish NGO in partnership with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs. According to Ms. Kim Thidakallianey, a former Communication Manager of PYD Cambodia, the main motivation behind this campaign was to bridge the knowledge gap on gender between men and women. Generally, gender initiatives focus solely on empowering women. Gender shall, nonetheless, be treated as shared issues of both men and women. It is, therefore, equally crucial to engage and educate men about gender norms since most perpetrators of violence and abuse tend to be men. Good Men Campaign was implemented through a number of means including mass media, social mobilization at the grassroots level, institutional mobilization with policy makers at the sub-national and national level, and interpersonal communication using a mobile app game called “Good Men Quiz”.

“More and more young people now have access to smartphones. This project chose to create a mobile game because we wanted to educate men with something fun. If they like this game, they will definitely share with friends and challenge one another,” said Kallianey. The app’s concept shared a similar form with “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire Game” – a quiz competition in which contestants attempt to win a top prize of $1,000,000 by answering a series of multiple-choice questions. In the Good Men Quiz, the player has 60 seconds to answer each multiple-choice question. At the end of the game, the total score determines the level of a good man the player is. During the initial stage of the app design process, a survey with users was carried out to understand what it means to be a man and what types of content should be included in the app. And, during the design process, the app was tested a few times to ensure that it is corresponding to users’ needs.

Content, based on Kallianey’s experience, was one of the challenges of designing an educational app. Formulating questions that reflected gender perspective required extensive knowledge of the matter and critical analysis of the norms. The game was intended to educate men in a way that they could relate to their every day’s life. For instance, a good man shares the responsibility of doing housework. The other challenge related to how to market the app to target audience. To overcome the challenge, Good Men Campaign team worked hand-in-hand with their partners to promote Good Men Quiz to men aged from 15 to 49 in both urban and rural areas. Besides, the team worked with mobile phone stores to install this app to their customers. “Mobile app is not a silver bullet. This stand-alone app cannot completely change men’s attitudes and behavior towards gender equality,” she added. For this reason, Good Men Campaign also integrated other types of inventions such as promoting good men concept through mass media, raising awareness on gender perspective to community, and educating local authorities and police to be the good man models.

Play Good Men Quiz now to test your knowledge regarding gender equality and norms. It is available on PlayStore and can be downloaded at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.osjastudio.goodmen.

Setha Rath is a Program Officer at The Asia Foundation. She can be contacted at setha.rath@asiafoundation.org.