Following the United Nations (UN) Millennium Declaration in 2000 the UN established eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to overcome global poverty. August 18 marked the 500 day milestone until the target date to achieve the MDGs.

The UN’s social media campaign MDG 500 asked people around the world, how well we have met these goals and what still needs to be done?

Collaborating with participants from DAI and UN Women-USNC L.A. Chapter, Cultural Practice’s Senior Technical Advisor Kristy Cook tackled eight questions on the Twitter panel discussion “Where are the men?” One of several chats on gender issues during the day, this Twitter panel discussion moderated by DAI focused on how to engage men to achieve MDG 3 to promote gender equality and empower women.

Men need to be involved to change their attitudes and practices to achieve real change in women’s empowerment and gender equality. Too often men are not included in interventions focused on gender equality and empowering women because “gender projects” are often misinterpreted as “women’s projects.” Using a gender-sensitive approach requires practitioners to analyze how differences between women and men contribute to gender inequalities. Interventions can engage men through a participatory process in project design and assessment. Working with men will build their awareness of women’s economic contributions, leading to better development outcomes.

Looking beyond 2015 panelists noted there is a need for better data on achievement of existing targets. While the panel was focused on MDG 3, several panelists highlighted that gender is a cross-cutting theme in all of the MDGs goals and should be better integrated into all the MDGs.

View a recap of the Twitter conversation below featuring Twitter panelists Stuart Moir, DAI, @stuartmoir_DAI; Kathleen Kurz, DAI, @kmkurz, Anne Simmons-Benton, DAI, @simbenfam; Kristy Cook, Cultural Practice, LLC; @CP4Dev; Kirsten Weeks, DAI, @klweeks; Cathy Hillman, UN Women-USNC L.A. Chapter, @UNWomenLA  and other participants.