Gender justice and social norms - processes of change for adolescent girls

Research reports and studies
January 2014
Rachel Marcus, Caroline Harper
This publication presents the analytical framework for the current phase (year 2) of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) DFID-funded multi-year policy research programme, ‘Transforming the lives of adolescent girls’, which explores gender justice for adolescent girls in Ethiopia, Nepal, Uganda and Viet Nam. The current phase of this programme explores the changes and continuity in norms related to education and early marriage, along with a systematic-style review of the impact of communication and media activities on a wider set of discriminatory gender norms affecting adolescent girls.

This conceptual framework paper integrates:

·         An understanding of what gender norms are, and how they are experienced.

·         An analysis of the broader or structural forces that create conditions in which gender norms and practices either are entrenched or can change in a more gender-egalitarian direction.

·         An understanding of the social psychological processes by which gender norms change.

These three elements form the building blocks for the conceptual framework for the current phase of the programme, which focuses on how gender norms change and the processes that lead to these changes. This conceptual framework aims to provide a greater understanding of the processes by which discriminatory gender norms change or remain ‘sticky’, and the factors that drive such change or persistence.