The Abatangamuco - Engaging men for Women's Empowerment in Burundi

PRIO Policy Brief

Wallacher, Hilde (2012) The Abatangamuco - Engaging men for Women's Empowerment in Burundi, PRIO Policy Brief, 5. Oslo: PRIO.


The Abatangamuco are both a formal organization and, less formally, a movement of rural men in Burundi. The main task these men have set themselves is to challenge traditional gender-role expectations in their communities through personal change, testimonies and local community outreach activities. Its origin is a group of rural Burundian men who had begun to question their traditional ways of life: Was domestic abuse, family tyranny, squandering of the family’s limited financial resources and forcing the wife to carry a vastly disproportionate amount of the burden of work conducive for prosperity and economic development? The name, organizational structure and outreach activities in which they are now involved followed an initial collaboration between these men and CARE Burundi, who were seeking ways of working with local men in support of women’s empowerment. The name ‘Abatangamuco’ literally means ‘those who shine light’, and men involved in the organization see themselves as individuals who have realized the errors of their old ways, have ‘seen the light’ in terms of how they ought to live, and wish to spread this knowledge and outlook to as many others as possible.