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Shifting Gender Norms, 2 Iccp (Nx Power Lite)


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  • 1. Shifting Gender Norms Emerging Community-Based Intervention Programs Nicholas T. Kaufmann II International Conference on Community Psychology Lisboa, Portugal University of Illinois at Chicago
  • 2. Driving questions
    • How do gender norms influence individual and community health and well-being?
    • Can gender norms change quickly enough to matter for this generation?
    • How can we engage young men in health and gender equity initiatives?
    • Who is doing what and where? Does it work?
    • How can we become engaged in promoting gender equality?
  • 3.  
  • 4. “ Fish swim in water. But they don’t know they’re swimming in water. We are walking around, bombarded by gender assumptions and stereotypes, and don’t know it.” -- Michael Kimmel
  • 5. Health from a gender perspective
    • Morbidity rates for young men (15 – 24 yrs) are 8%-15% higher than rates for young women;
    • 50% of HIV infections worldwide are to young people under 25;
    • 65,000 women worldwide die of pregnancy related conditions per year;
    • 25%-50% of women worldwide have reported being abused physically by an intimate male partner.
    Sources: WHO, UNAIDS, USAID
  • 6. International consensus
    • International Conference on Population and Development (Cairo, 1994)
    • Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing, 1995)
    • UNAIDS 2000 World AIDS Campaign Men Make a Difference
    • World Health Organization (1999) What about boys?
    • Countries around the world initiated responses.
  • 7. What research tells us…
    • Increasing awareness that gender role socialization puts men and their partners at health risk (WHO, 2000)
    • Young men who support ‘traditional’ versions of manhood are more likely to use drugs, be violent, practice unsafe sex (Courtenay, 1998).
    • Gender norms are among the strongest influences on sexual behavior of young people (Marston & King, 2006, Lancet)
  • 8. Why engage young men and boys?
    • Power in sexual and intimate relationships
    • Early sexual initiation and multiple sexual partners
    • Poor health seeking behaviors and self-healthcare
    • Physical violence towards others
    • Adolescence and sexual relationships
  • 9. Program Typology
    • Gender neutral : no distinction between men & women; men just another target group
    • Gender sensitive : recognize gender norms but little attempt to transform them.
    • Gender norms transformative : seek to promote equitable relationships, somehow change gender norms.
  • 10. Intervention framework
  • 11. Emerging Intervention Programs
    • Group educational workshops
    • Critical reflection
    • Variety of themes
    • Youth-adult partnerships
    • Youth participation
  • 12. Emerging Intervention Programs
    • Social Marketing Campaigns
    • Gender-equitable lifestyles
    • Young male peer promoters
    • Youth magazines, raps & skits
    • Impacting in strategic settings
    • Promoting condom use
  • 13. Emerging Intervention Programs
    • Male-friendly health services
    • Access to health services & health service usage;
    • Reproductive health services, including contraception, prenatal care, child birth and care;
    • Two level action-research approach: supply and demand.
  • 14. Program H’s impact *p < 0.05 – t- test; No Significant Change In Control Group Support for inequitable gender norms decreased among intervention participants
  • 15. Program H’s impact % harassed any girl Pre Test Post Test Behavior Attitudes A man can hit a woman if she cheats on him A man can hit a woman if she refuses sex A woman should tolerate violence to keep family together There are times when women deserve to be beaten
  • 16. Program H’s impact
    • Extracts from qualitative interviews:
    • Participant: “Used to be when I went out with a girl, if we didn’t have sex within two weeks of going out, I would leave her. But now [after the workshops], I think differently. I want to construct something [a relationship] with her.”
    • Partner: “…after the workshop…He even talked about getting a blood test [HIV test] and he said: ‘You should get one too’ and I said: ‘Okay, I’ll do it, we’ll go it together”
  • 17. Program H’s adaptation
    • Three steps:
    • Utility of manual activities
    • Relevance and acceptability of manual topics and methods to young men
    • Impact of manual activities on young men’s attitudes and behaviors
  • 18. Lessons learned
    • Explicit inclusion of discussions of manhood/masculinities in educational activities
    • Critical reflection about violence and traditional manhood
    • Creating an enabling environment (peers, social group that support change)
    • Alliance-building (using an ecological perspective to reinforce messages)
    • Need for evaluation research on attitude and behavior change, as well as cost-benefit analyses
  • 19. The other half of gender
    • Promoting health and empowerment of young women (15 – 24 yrs)
    • Educational workshops
    • Community campaigns
    • Field-tested in Brazil, Jamaica, Nicaragua and Mexico.
  • 20. Promoting Diversities
    • Program D
    • Reducing homophobia
    • Promoting respect for sexual diversity among young people
    • Engaging young men in critical reflections on social norms of masculinity.
  • 21. “ Only dead fish float with the current; live fish swim against it.” -- Anonymous
  • 22. Thank you!!! E-mail: