MERGE for Equality promotes paid parental leave to advance gender equality in the United States

MERGE Summit

MERGE for Equality, a new MenCare partner in the United States, is a recently formed organization based in western Massachusetts that seeks to engage individuals and communities in transforming masculinity to advance gender equality.

MERGE was created out of the 35-year legacy of the Men’s Resource Center for Change and Men’s Resources International, as well as more recently, the Healthy Men and Boys Network. These organizations have been on the forefront of efforts to engage men in transforming masculinity, promoting gender equality, and eliminating gender-based violence. MERGE currently provides three core offerings: training and consulting, advocacy, and its annual summit.

MERGE convened the 3rd Annual Healthy Men and Boys Summit in June, at Clark University in Worcester, MA. This year’s summit was the first to be coordinated by MERGE for Equality. Over 200 professionals from more than 120 organizations registered for the summit, representing every county in Massachusetts and several in Connecticut.

2016-MERGE-Summit-Photo-1-350xThe summit concluded by asking participants to endorse the MenCare Parental Leave Platform, which presents 10 ways to leave gender inequality behind and give children the care they need. MenCare Global Co-Coordinator Ruti Levtov presented the platform via videoconference, and conference organizers recommended that attendees reference additional advocacy tools listed on the MERGE website.

As a MenCare partner, MERGE is considering further strategies and advocacy efforts to promote paid parental leave, as a leverage point for advancing gender equality.

Following the 3rd Annual Healthy Men and Boys Summit, Executive Director John Engel continued the conversation about the importance of paid family leave for all parents his monthly column in the Daily Hampshire Gazette, The Fatherhood Journey.