Gender Roles, Equality and Transformations

Photo by Sarah Day

During the first phase of the project, Pathfinder conducted research to identify best practices to change gender norms, attitudes, and behaviors among adolescents in post-conflict settings.

Photo by Pathfinder Uganda

The second phase focuses on developing, piloting, and scaling-up interventions that address gender norms—to improve reproductive health and reduce gender-based violence among adolescents in northern Uganda.

Pathfinder International, the Institute of Reproductive Health at Georgetown University, and Save the Children together implement GREAT (Gender Roles Equality and Transformation), a project funded by USAID. GREAT improves adolescent sexual and reproductive health and decreases gender-based violence in the post-conflict settings of Northern Uganda by facilitating the formation of gender equitable norms and the adoption of attitudes and behaviors which positively influence health outcomes among boys and girls aged 10 to 19 years.

The first phase (2010-2011) of the GREAT project involved a formative research to understand how gender norms are learned, internalized and passed on and why individuals would be motivated to change and to identify individuals and social institutions which play determining roles in the formation and transformation of gender roles and explore how gender roles and attitudes influence sexual and reproductive health and gender based violence. A program review was conducted to identify projects and programs, local and international, with successful adolescent sexual and reproductive health, gender, and gender-based violence interventions that are scalable.

Key stakeholders of the project include the Technical Advisory Group, Ministry of Education and Sports, Ministry of Gender Labor and Social Development, and the Ministry of Health.

The first part of the second phase (2011-2013) focused on designing and piloting interventions including a toolkit of scalable products that will be used by young people in platforms to dialogue and reflect on  their own gender norms and sexual reproductive health, a serial radio drama called Oteka that is being broadcast on two local radio stations in northern Uganda, a strategy for improving access to sexual reproductive health services by adolescents that focuses on working with the Village Health System and health care providers to improve their skills and attitudes towards adolescents health and a GREAT champion’s recognition strategy. During the pilot phase, the project also rolled out a community mobilization approach known as the community action cycle and formed Community Mobilization Teams and Community Action Groups in the pilot districts of Lira and Amuru.

The project is now entering its final phase with a focus on scaling up its work to identify and consolidate best practices in supporting change in gender perceptions among youth.

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