Social Norms & Power Dynamics
Social and gender norms are shared expectations for how people of certain genders and ages should behave, what roles they should play in their communities and homes, and what resources they can access. These norms are learned during childhood and reinforced throughout life. Norms shape community behaviors and attitudes and can contribute to harmful inequalities that affect women, girls, and sexual and gender minorities.
These inequalities can lead to gaps in education, job opportunities, and unpaid domestic work. They can also contribute to homophobia and transphobia, gender-based violence, technology-facilitated violence, child marriage, workplace harassment, and lack of access to sexual and reproductive healthcare.
Our research focuses on identifying the norms that create gender inequality and the ways in which they manifest in different contexts. We then develop innovative methods of measuring norms and changes in norms and test and disseminate emerging evidence and best practices. Through our partnerships, we create and implement norm change curricula and seminars, aimed at breaking down the rigid social boxes that contribute to gender inequality.
We work to shift mindsets, institutions, and structures that underlie and perpetuate inequitable social norms. This is critical to promote social and gender equity, as social norms can be powerful drivers of community behaviors and attitudes. When we change norms, we create new possibilities for people, particularly women and girls, and challenge the systems that keep them trapped in a disadvantage.
Examples Of Our Work
Gender Equity Movement in Schools (India)
Gender Equitable Male Engagement (Tanzania and Rwanda)
Enabling Girls to Advance Gender Equity