Links to organisations and initiatives
Please find below a list of projects profiling some of our community members engaged in projects and programmes exploring gender norms and norm change. We invite members of our Community of Practice to submit organisations, projects, programmes and initiatives engaged in work relevant to understanding gender norms and norm change to submit these for spotlight on the ALIGN platform. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your submissions.
Breakthrough is a global human rights organization driving culture change to make gender based violence (GBV) unacceptable. Through a mix of transformative on-the-ground engagement, building leadership, pioneering multimedia initiatives, relevant cultural tools, and outside-the-box partnerships, Breakthrough reaches people where they are and equip them to change the norms that enable violence and stand for a just and equal world. Breakthrough pioneered the tactic of “using culture to change culture”, using cultural tools to mainstream crucial issues and normalize human rights-driven values to inspire people to act, with a particular focus on the culturally ingrained practices of early marriage, gender-biased sex selection, sexual harassment and assault, and domestic violence.
Breakthrough don’t just find better ways to respond to gender-based violence; they work to shift the social norms, cultures, and attitudes that make it “acceptable,” in order to cut it off at its source — and build a society on a new bedrock of dignity and equality for all.
Read about Breakthrough's Man Ke Manjeere chart-topping album on women’s rights, the Bell Bajao (“Ring the Bell”) global campaign to end gender-based violence, capacity-building of other organisations, and games for social change on the Breakthrough website.
CARE is engaged in a stream of work led by CARE USA on social norms, with programming in Asia and Africa. For example, CARE is involved in work in Ethiopia through its Abdiburo project to understand and address harmful and discriminatory gender norms. The project is in an early stage and findings will become available later as the project develops. Other relevant programmes include the Tipping Point in Nepal and Bangladesh on child marriage and Indashikirywa in Rwanda on intimate partner violence.
CUSP: The Community for Understanding Scale Up
CUSP is as group organisations covering three regions working to scale up social norm change methodologies in various contexts. The community is led by nine organisations with expertise in social norm change programmes - The Center for Domestic Violence Prevention (CEDOVIP), Intervention with Microfinance for AID and Gender Equity (IMAGE), the Institute for Reproductive Health and Georgetown University, Oxfam, Puntos de Encuentro, Raising Voices, Salamander Trust, Sonke Gender Justice and Tostan. These organisations draw on their combined 180 years’ experience to use evidence-based methodologies to provide expertise and perspective on changing social norms and scaling programmes. Read more about CUSP in this 2-page intro.
Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence
Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence (GAGE) is a nine-year, mixed methods longitudinal research programme investigating 'what works' to improve adolescent girls' well-being in the Global South. GAGE is funded by UK aid from the UK government.
Girl Effect is a social change organisation that works with girls and those around them to empower girls to reach their full potential and disrupt the cycle of poverty. Using culture brands, mobile technology and innovative research, Girl Effect works to challenge harmful stereotypes about gender by working directly with girls in their communities to empower them and promote gender equitable norms.
Girls Not Brides
Girls Not Brides is a global partnership of more than 800 civil society organisations from over 95 countries throughout Africa, Asia the Middle East, Europe and the Americas committed to ending child marriage and enabling girls to fulfil their potential. Central to much of this work has been understanding and challenging the harmful gendered norms which promote child marriage.
The Gender Roles, Equality and Transformation (GREAT) Project developed by the Institute of Reproductive Health at Georgetown University, Save the Children and Pathfinder International, aims to promote gender-equitable attitudes and behaviours among adolescents and their communities. The project has developed a set of participatory activities to engage adolescents and adults in northern Uganda.
Learning Collaborative to Advance Normative Change for Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Wellbeing
Made up of a network of experts committed to facilitating collaboration between organisations and individuals working on adolescent sexual and reproductive health norm change initiatives, the Learning Collaborative is working to enhance collective efforts, build knowledge, and develop shared tools to promote and guide effective social norm theory, measurement and practice at scale.
The Learning Initiative on Norms, Exploitation and Abuse (LINEA) works to explore how social norm theory can be used to reduce child sexual exploitation and abuse. Affiliated with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s Gender Violence and Health Centre, LINEA works to combine research with partnership-building to guide programmes to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse.
MUVA is testing a range of different approaches to economically empower young women in urban areas of Mozambique. Recognising persistent social norms and other barriers that limit access to decent work, MUVA develops innovative projects with local partners to build the skills that young women need to work, to develop the self-confidence and vision they need to pursue economic activities, and to create new job opportunities that match their aspiration and abilities. The project is funded by DFID and runs from 2016 – 2022.
The Passages project developed by the Institute of Reproductive Health at Georgetown University, FHI 360, Johns Hopkins Global Early Adolescent Study (GEAS), PSI, Save the Children and Tearfund, is a five-year initiative aiming to address a broad range of social norms, at scale, to achieve sustained improvements in family planning and reproductive health, which investigates a range of gender norms relevant to sexual and reproductive health. This research project is building the evidence base and contributing to the capacity of the global community to strengthen normative environments that support reproductive health, especially among very young adolescents, newly married youth, and first-time parents. Passages is currently being implemented in Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Nepal, Niger and Senegal.
Promundo is a global initiative working to promote caring, non-violent and equitable masculinities and gender relations in Brazil and internationally. Promundo's work engages women, girls, boys and men; strives to transform gender norms and power relations within key institutions; and is based on building local and international partnerships.
SASA! and Raising Voices, Uganda
SASA! is a community mobilisation programme developed by Raising Voices in Kampala, Uganda. The programme aims to unpack power, both its positive and negative uses, to work with communities to address violence against women and HIV. The programme addresses norms and focuses on relationships, encouraging staff and community to reflect on their own lives and relationships, before trying to influence others.
Sonke Gender Justice
Sonke Gender Justice is a research and advocacy initiative based in Johannesburg that works across Africa to strengthen government, civil society and citizen capacity to promote gender equality, prevent domestic and sexual violence, show the effects of gender norms and inequalities on men and women, and reduce the spread and impact of HIV and AIDS. Sonke has partnered with initiatives such as MenEngage to promote equitable gender norms.
STRIVE is a research consortium focused on investigating the social norms and inequalities that drive HIV. STRIVE aims to address the evidence gaps on how gendered social norms, power differences and other structural forces increase vulnerability to HIV and on the interventions that work, in practice, to address them.
Voices 4 Change (Nigeria)
Voices 4 Change works to strengthen the enabling environment for gender equality in Nigeria, with a key mission to equip young women and men to ‘speak up and speak out’ to challenge gender stereotypes and discriminatory social norms. The project ran from 2013-2017, and reports from the project are available online.
Upcoming Lancet series on Health and Gender Equality
The Lancet is supporting a data-driven series on gender norms and health to advance conceptualizations of gender in the health sector. The forthcoming series will have an explicit focus on gender norms and will discuss the intersectionality of issues of gender and power impacting health and well-being.