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EvidenceWorking Papers and Reports
Simone D. McCourtie / World-Bank

Community Activism Approaches to Shift Harmful Gender Attitudes, Roles and Social Norms

This evidence review evaluates the impact made through community activism across a range of settings—from rural areas and small towns of the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ghana, Rwanda, Nepal, to urban informal settlements in South Africa. Some of its key finds are:

  • These interventions show potential for preventing VAWG through multi-year, intensive change interventions with well-trained and supported community action teams, that purposefully engage both women and men to effect change.
  • Successful interventions used multiple avenues for achieving impact, including: speaking about and challenging violence and gender inequality; providing  direct training to community members to support non-violence, such as communication skills, building empathy and enabling critical reflection; directly engaging women and couples experiencing and using violence, and strengthening their access to care and support; engaging and equipping religious, traditional and local leaders to better understand and support VAWG survivors and promote actions to address VAWG, and also engaging health and justice sectors.
  • Successful interventions worked over multiple years with large numbers of men and women who were carefully selected from within communities, and trained, supported and retained to lead behaviour change activities.
Date published
  • 2019
  • Rachel Jewkes
  • Erin Stern
  • Leane Ramsoomar
Published by What Works to Prevent Violence