Changing gender norms in Mumbai’s schools

Article Date

18 March 2015

Article Author

Erin Kelly

Media Contact

Anne McPherson

Vice President, Global Communications email [email protected]

Starting in 2008, ICRW and partners developed and implemented the “Gender Equity Movement in Schools” or GEMS program, designed to undercut deep-seated harmful norms about the value of girls and boys.

The program, initially delivered to thousands of 12- to 14-year-old girls and boys in 250 Mumbai schools, helps students challenge perceptions and stereotypes according about ones gender, with the ultimate goal of tackling discrimination and preventing gender-based violence. Now, school children throughout India and Vietnam are taking part in the GEMS program.

ICRW research found that over the course of the program, participating 12- to 14-year-old students grew more supportive of girls pursuing higher education and marrying later in life, and of boys and men contributing to household work.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation recently traveled to Mumbai to document classroom exercises that are a core part of GEMS and to speak to girl and boy participants. Below is a short video highlighting the program and the voices of young boys and girls themselves.