Gender norms

Rubina takes her children to the mobile creche in Delhi.

Our work on gender norms aims to enhance understanding of the informal rules that influence attitudes and behaviours and their impact on gender relations, equality and empowerment. Our research identifies underlying drivers of discriminatory and harmful norms and proposes evidence-informed pathways to gender justice. Underpinning our knowledge is a nuanced understanding of how gender-based rights can be realised in complex cultural and political contexts.

The Gender Equality and Social Inclusion programme works to place discriminatory norms on the agenda, identifying where and how they are detrimental – from keeping girls out of school to excluding women from decision-making – and identifying solutions in political, civil, social, legal and economic structures, alongside measures to enhance personal efficacy and agency.

Recent systematic reviews have covered media approaches to address gender norm change, the efficacy of girls’ clubs to promote empowerment and projects to promote positive masculinities for adolescent boys and young men. We host the Advancing Learning and Innovation in Gender Norms (ALIGN) platform, which connects practitioners, policy makers and researchers working to understand and find effective ways to change discriminatory norms, and acts as a hub for knowledge sharing.