The first meeting of its kind at the U.N., the two-day gathering with hundreds of attendees was an offshoot of the HeForShe campaign launched last September by UN Women, the global body's agency for women's empowerment, to engage men and boys in promoting gender equality.
The hope of its sponsors, the governments of Iceland and Suriname, was that the conference would spark the kind of discussions men have within the primarily male domain of the barbershop.
"We had a very simple goal to have a space at the U.N. filled with at least 70 percent men," said Henry Mac-Donald, Suriname's ambassador to the U.N. "In order to engage men, you have to find a way for them to communicate and have them come. And they came."
The presence of women, whom some feared would be excluded from the conference, did not inhibit frankness from the men, according to the sponsors."
Read article by Lisa Anderson from Thomson Reuters Foundation.