“Storming the Norms” – Shifting social and gender norms to fight early child marriage in Asia
Widely recognised as a violation of children’s rights and the rights of girls and women, Child, Early and Forced Marriage (CEFM) is a global issue and harmful practice. Despite a decline over the past decade, the progress of eradicating CEFM still encounters significant challenges, particularly in Asia. Shifting social and gender norms plays a very important role in meeting these challenges.
In line with Plan International’s Gender Transformative Approach (GTA), Plan International’s Asia-Pacific (APAC) Regional Hub and ResultsinHealth embarked on research to contribute to the global knowledge about social and gender norms perpetuating CEFM in the region. Different from personal attitudes, norms are “the informal rules governing behaviour” in a community or social group.
Assigned by PLAN APAC to conduct the research, ResultsinHealth identified negative social and gender norms existing in the area. Based on an in-depth literature review and key informant interviews (KIIs), we consolidated global knowledge and evidence on how to shift such norms through a gender-transformative approach, as well as on promising practices in measuring these shifts.
The research led to the development of a practical tools package: the Scoping, Highlighting, Identifying, Formulating and Transforming (SHIFT) Social and Gender Norms Tools Package©. The package can be used to gather and analyse quantitative data and qualitative information on social norms and gender norms perpetuating CEFM, and to measure shifts in these norms at different stages of the project cycle.
Our client has been very satisfied with the results: “We are delighted with [ResultsinHealth’s] innovative spirit and approach to creating the practical tools package. We are also pleased with [their] flexibility, responsiveness, and respect for deadlines. Collaborating with [them] was pure joy!”