This content was published in the period between 3 October 2014 and 20 January 2019

ICMEO - focus and background


After being hosted by Germany, Austria and Luxemburg, Sweden is now to run with the ball. The 4th ICMEO conference in Stockholm focuses on change of social norms and stereotypes as ways to strengthen focus on men and boys and their role in gender equality politics and efforts.

Illustration for sub-target Equal education.
A two day conference on men and gender equality with both plenary and parallell workshop sessions. Illustration: Annika Carlsson

ICMEO is organized in cooperation with the newly established Swedish Agency for Gender Equality, which is also responsible for one of the six seminars. The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, the Swedish National Agency for Education, The Public Health Agency of Sweden and MÄN are also organizing one seminar each.

This year's ICMEO theme is "Masculinity and norm critical approaches: Gender equality work with boys and young men". Challenging norms for masculinity promotes gender equality and better opportunities for all, and is especially important in work with youth. How do social norms change, and what are the best ways to engage men and boys for gender equality, and a lifestyle with opportunities which reach beyond stereotypical norms?

Day one, May 15, will have an international perspective, and parts of day two more of a Nordic profile, as Sweden holds the Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers during 2018.

Parallell workshops

  1. Norm critical work in schools
  2. Promote equality through education
  3. Masculinity and caregiving
  4. Young men and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)
  5. Barbershop dealing with masculinity and trafficking of human beings for sexual purposes
  6. Nordic work with violence prevention among young men including honour-related violence


ICMEO was held for the first time in Berlin in 2012, in Vienna in 2014 followed by Luxembourg in 2016. The overall theme for the conference series is the role and responsibility of men in gender equality efforts, and the Luxembourg conference was entitled "Who cares? Who shares?"

Over 300 representatives from 23 European countries participated in Luxembourg. The conference there clearly demonstrated that men do provide care in many ways, but they provide much less unpaid work than women. The participants in 2016 saw these inequalities as resulting from a complex interplay between cultural norms, individual inclinations, power structures, social practices, business requirements, and the political environment.