In order to address deep-seated beliefs about gender norms,
family planning, and reproductive decision making, Somali Family Health Services Organization (SFHSO) aims to work directly with a cadre of male community health workers, raising them to become promoters of family planning uptake and access. Through continuous engagement and training of male health promoters, SFHSO hopes
to improve communication about fertility between couples; increase the uptake of family planning services amongst women in Puntland, Somalia; and broaden community support and awareness of family planning services, including in religious communities.
Programs involving men in reproductive health services are rare in Muslim contexts, but SFHSO sees strong potential within Puntland for social transformation led by men who are community leaders and show strong support for women’s empowerment. They are beginning their pilot by testing different messaging and formats to understand what might engage men most effectively in these topics.