Measuring attitudes towards gender norms, pilot results from Save the Children

In Sierra Leone and Cote d’Ivoire, data on gender attitudes have been used as a discussion point with community members who have volunteered to be Gender Champions – leading their communities in identifying gender disparities and developing their own strategies to work towards gender equality. In Niger, these data suggest that parents want to send their girls to school. Thus, rather than trying to build demand for girls education, in this context the most effective strategies will likely be those that help parents address the logistical and financial obstacles to sending girls to school, and ensure that learning environments are safe and gender inclusive.In terms of measurement, these pilots are informative, but they are only the beginning. For one thing, the data we have does not allow us to differentiate between what respondents thinks they “should” say, versus what they actually believe and do in practice. However, it is worth mentioning that both are important. Knowing what respondents think is the “appropriate” response is a good indication of which norms are most salient to a given population group. Mackie, Moneti, Shakya and Denny (2015) offer an excellent description of how to isolate these constructs.When we first started piloting these tools a little over a year ago there were very few examples of open-source tools that we could draw from. Recently a team of researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the World Health Organization have made available a suite of tools to measure gender norms among adolescents aged 10 to 14. These tools have been rigorously piloted through an iterative qualitative and quantitative process in 15+ sites globally, as part of the Global early Adolescence Study. There are also alternatives ways to ask adults about gender norms, such as notions of masculinity (for example, the International Men and Gender Equality Survey by Promundo and partners).

Source: Measuring attitudes towards gender norms to improve education policy and programs | Global Partnership for Education

About mkevane

Economist at Santa Clara University and Director of Friends of African Village Libraries.
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