13,209 The Drum Beat 735, May 24-2017, Gendered Lenses on Healthy Communication

The Drum BeatGendered Lenses on Healthy Communication – The Drum Beat 735
May 24, 2017

In this issue:


This collection of selected Communication Initiative (CI) summaries on gender addresses Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 5, which calls for achievement of gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls. Social and behaviour change strategies can ensure that gender perspectives of both men and women are considered in a balanced way and integrated into activities such as planning, implementation, and monitoring of programmes and projects. For example, social expectations and cultural beliefs that women should not be not allowed to access health resources on their own makes them vulnerable to diseases. Conversely, gender stereotyping and the cultural belief that it is not masculine to seek health care can lead men to suffer unnecessarily. [Source: Gender Mainstreaming and Integration: 3 Themes for Ensuring Impa! ct in Social and Cultural Norms [PDF] , by Debora Freitas López and Dr. Kamden Hoffmann]
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  • 1. Gender and Tuberculosis: Discussion Paper
    by Katya Burns and Caitlin Boyce
    This discussion paper from the United Nations Development Progrmme (UNDP) summarises the existing evidence base on tuberculosis, “demonstrating the ways in which gender has an impact on the risks and effects of TB (including those that intersect with HIV), and highlighting existing gaps in data and implementation.” [Dec 2015]
  • 2. Gender and Malaria: Discussion Paper
    by Katya Burns and Caitlin Boyce
    As stated in this UNDP discussion paper, it is important to tailor interventions materials and information to different groups and to consider social and cultural norms which impact women’s and men’s ability to access prevention and treatment services, depending on gender-specific economic necessity. [Dec 2015]
  • 3. The Impact of Gender on Advanced Maternal Age and High-Parity Pregnancy in Niger and Togo
    This Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) brief presents research findings on how gender norms contribute the prevalence of advanced maternal age (AMA) and high parity (HP) pregnancies in Togo and Niger. Early marriage, remarriage, polygamy, and strong religious beliefs all contribute to AMA and HP pregnancy prevalence. One suggestion: “It is important to work with local organizations and structures to develop holistic, gender-transformative (e.g., those that facilitate gender equity and address imbalanced gender norms) and community-centered programs that address harmful norms…head on to reduce AMA and HP pregnancy prevalence.” [Jan 2017]
  • 4. Gender Matters: Overcoming Gender-Related Barriers to Prevent New HIV Infections among Children and Keep Their Mothers Alive
    Noting that key gender-related barriers stand in the way of preventing new HIV infections among children and keeping their mothers alive, this Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) document makes recommendations based upon discussions in Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, and Uganda to overcome gender-related and cultural barriers to service. [Oct 2014]

  • 5. Gender Transformative Approaches: An HC3 Research Primer
    This primer summarises gender transformative approaches (GTAs) in the context of health and social and behaviour change communication (SBCC) so as to “address multi-leveled power hierarchies in communities that impede an individual’s ability to make decisions about his/her health…”, for example, women’s access to health services, condom use, partner reduction, and birth spacing. GTAs are designed to create an enabling environment for gender transformation through the integration of gender issues into all aspects of programme and policy conceptualisation, development, implementation, and evaluation; thus, they include benefits for men, for example, encouraging HIV-related service use among men and increasing men’s contraceptive use. [Aug 2014]
  • 6. Gender Equity and Family Planning Outcomes in Health Communication Programs: A Secondary Data Analysis
    by Carol Underwood, Zoé Hendrickson, and Anna Leddy
    The analysis, a review by HC3 researchers of existing data sets from the 4 HC3 country programmes, was aimed “to determine if there is a significant relationship between gender equity and current use of family planning, and also whether exposure to communication intervention components is significantly associated with gender equity.” The research concludes that communication programmes designed to influence gender constructs and FP ideation and use “should be more explicit and strategic in addressing the norms they are designed to influence. They also recommended that researchers move beyond the individual when evaluating these programs to integrate other levels of gender equity, including couples, the community and society overall.” [Mar 2015]
  • 7. Community Group Engagement: Changing Norms to Improve Sexual and Reproductive Health [SRH]
    The brief explores some of the challenges that community group engagement (CGE) can help countries address and some of the evidence of its impact. For instance, CGE can address gender norms that idealise sexual ignorance for girls and sexual prowess for boys, norms that underpin harmful social practices that contribute to poor health and that are reinforced through family and community. Studies show that CGE can improve both men’s and women’s SRH knowledge and improve women’s decision-making power. CGE is associated with higher levels of contraceptive use. CGE is also described here as a potentially critical component of comprehensive adolescent SRH programming; it is suggested that such programmes incorporate a variety of SBC approaches and service delivery improvements. [Oct 2016]
  • 8. Gender Socialization during Adolescence in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Conceptualization, Influences and Outcomes
    by Neetu A. John, Kirsten Stoebenau, Samantha Ritter, Jeffrey Edmeades, and Nikola Balvin
    This paper provides an overview of the gender socialisation process during adolescence – from its basic theoretical foundations to contemporary programme interventions that aim to influence it. Researchers from the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Office of Research – Innocenti develop a socio-ecological framework to bring together the main factors that influence the gender socialisation process and its outcomes, providing practical suggestions on how to use knowledge around gender socialisation in the design of policies and programmes to improve gender equality. [Mar 2017]
  • 9. Strengthening Community Platforms to Address Gender Norms
    by Ibou Thior
    Several studies have reported that girls’ and women’s risk of HIV infection is associated with gender inequality and violence. This technical brief from AIDSFree describes the elements of programmatic approaches to strengthen community platforms to address gender equality and harmful gender norms that can lead to risky behaviours, violence, substance abuse, pursuit of multiple sexual partners, and domination of women. It draws examples from successful community platforms for addressing gender-based violence (GBV). Guiding principles for mobilising communities include, among others, a human rights framework to create a legitimate channel for discussing gender norms (e.g., women’s needs and priorities) and to hold the community accountable for treating members as valuable and equal human beings. Another guiding principle is promoting community ownership. [Feb 2016]
  • 10. Changing the River’s Flow – A Gender Transformative Programme for Young People
    SAfAIDS in partnership with Sonke Gender Justice is implementing a 2-year gender programme that seeks to transform gender roles and promote more gender-equitable relationships in order to reduce HIV and GBV and promote positive SRH in Zimbabwe. Launched in 2015, the programme is intended for young people in hard-to-reach areas like farms and mining communities. Activities engage all levels of the community through workshops and dialogue sessions that promote positive gender norms and values, transform harmful gender norms, and reduce harmful cultural and religious practices that can lead to unsafe sexual behaviour and HIV infections.
  • 11. Towards Gender Equality: The GEMS Journey thus Far
    by Achyut P., Bhatla N., Verma H., Uttamacharya, Singh G., Bhattacharya S., and Verma R
    This evaluation of the Gender Equality Movement in Schools (GEMS), a curriculum for children aged 12-14 in India, observed significant improvements in the children’s attitudes to gender and violence, the interaction between boys and girls, communication with teachers, and reduced perpetration of violence. The GEMS study is a collaborative effort of International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), Child in Need Institute (CINI), and Life Education and Development Support (LEADS), Jharkhand. Findings confirm the value of school-based prevention approaches that begin in early adolescence, when ideas about gender and violence are still being formed. [Dec 2016]
  • See also:
    The Drum Beat 723 – Communication to Address Violence against Women and Girls
    The Soul Beat 261 – Addressing Gender-Based Violence Through Media and Communication

What kinds of challenges and opportunities infuse your communication and media development, social and behavioural change work? This survey is a chance for you to let us know! We will report back on results and trends so you can gain insights from your peers in the network.
Click here to lend your voice.

  • 12. Strengthening CSO-Government Partnerships to Scale Up Approaches to Engaging Men and Boys for Gender Equality and SRHR: A Tool for Action
    by Jane Kato-Wallace and Aaron Foss
    This tool provides guidance on good partnership practices that can facilitate productive conversations and promote strong relationships between civil society organisations (CSOs) and government representatives on engaging men and boys in gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Developed by Promundo, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the MenEngage Alliance, its goal is to strengthen these partnerships in order to enable the scale up and/or institutionalisation of evidence-based approaches to engaging men and boys. [2016]
  • 13. Engendering Men: A Collaborative Review of Evidence on Men and Boys in Social Change and Gender Equality
    by Jerker Edström (ed.), Alexa Hassink (ed.), Thea Shahrokh (ed.), and Erin Stern (ed.)
    This evidence report is designed to help answer the question: ‘what works best when it comes to engaging men and boys for gender equality?’ The review explores, over a timespan of 20 years, the nature of changing social norms and the institutional arrangements and structures which sustain or shift norms and attitudes related to men’s and boys’ support for gender equality. It looks at successful policies and programmes, implications for best practice, as well as future directions across a variety of priority thematic areas. The review was produced by Engendering Men: Evidence on Routes to Gender Equality (EMERGE). [Sep 2015]
  • 14. Engaging Men in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Including Family Planning
    This guide from Engender Health and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) “emphasizes the importance of using a gender lens when planning and programming men’s engagement in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), including family planning – which means engaging men as clients of SRH services, as supportive partners (to their intimate partners), and as agents of change in terms of SRHR.” [Jan 2017]
  • 15. When Men Change
    “When Men Change” tells the story of 4 men who changed the way they think about gender equality, SRH, and violence. Produced by Promundo, this film illustrates what interventions have proven to be effective when engaging men and boys in advancing gender equality and preventing GBV, from the health sector to the workplace. [Jul 2015]

This issue of The Drum Beat was written by Kier Olsen DeVries.
The Drum Beat is the email and web network of The Communication Initiative Partnership.

Full list of the CI Partners:
ANDI, BBC Media Action, Bernard van Leer Foundation, Breakthrough, Citurna TV, Fundación Imaginario, Fundación Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (FNPI), Heartlines,Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs, Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP), MISA, Open Society Foundations, Oxfam Novib, PAHO, The Panos Institute, Puntos de Encuentro, SAfAIDS, Sesame Workshop, Soul City, STEPS International, UNAIDS, UNICEF, Universidad de los Andes,World Health Organization (WHO), W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The Drum Beat seeks to cover the full range of communication for development activities. Inclusion of an item does not imply endorsement or support by The Partners.

Chair of the Partners Group: Garth Japhet, Founder, Soul City garth@heartlines.org.za

Executive Director: Warren Feek wfeek@comminit.com

The Editor of The Drum Beat is Kier Olsen DeVries.
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