Preventing violence against women and girls through social norm change.

This report identifies a range of examples of action from the Region in preventing violence against women and girls, using holistic, multi-sectoral approaches to change social norms and attitudes at every level of society.

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This report identifies a range of examples of action from the Region in preventing violence against women and girls,using holistic, multi-sectoral approaches that attempt to tackle violence and change social norms and attitudes at every level of society are needed.The examples are key areas of intervention that are proving promising in prevention including community mobilization; engaging men and boys; education and youth; and policy and legal. Specific examples from the Region include:

  • Facilitating community dialogues: Cambodia, Laos People’s Democratic Republic, and VietNam.
  • Engaging men and boys: Men Leading Change: White Ribbon Campaign Australia and New Zealand.
  • Education and youth: Love Journey from VietNam – which seeks to challenge traditiona lgender roles, sexuality, norms related tomasculinity, gender roles in relationships.
  • Gender Equality Movement in Schools.
  • Legal and policy actions such as: the Non-Violent Workplace Initiative. CARE Cambodia works to make entertainment establishments, such as beer gardens and karaoke bars, safer for women through the Initiative; the National Framework for Ending Violence Against Women, Australia– Change the Story



Gender Responsiveness Assessment Scale (GRAS) and the elements of good practice for gender mainstreaming (GM) used

Gender transformative: For interventions to be effective current evidence shows that they need to:

  • Be long term and intensive;
  • Include men and women;
  • Engage entire communities;
  • Combine multiple approaches and work across multiple sectors; and
  • Address social norms regarding acceptability ofviolence


For example, White Ribbon is Australia’s and New Zealand’s sole male-led campaign to end VAWG. The campaign relies on primary prevention initiatives, using education, awareness-raising and education, programmes with youth, schools and workplaces and across the wider communities. Seeks to challenge and transform traditional norms about masculinity.

Progress in prevention is not possible without policy and legal reform. In order to combat the normalization of VAWG and its ongoing prevalence a supportive policy and legislative environment are necessary, as well organizational cultural change to reinforce messages about social norms and gender inequality. Ina ddition, multi-faceted and multi-sectoral approachesto programming must be encouraged, and supported with funding that facilitates monitoring and evaluation and ongoing, vigorous research. The National Framework for Ending Violence Against Women, Australia – Change the Story challenges norms around SRGBV, gender stereotypes, inequality and relationship stereotypes. It draws on latest evidence from around the world and was developed in consultation with 400+ stakeholder groups around Australia.


Potential challenges include the time required for bringing about social norm change i.e. it much more than the life of a pilot or project, and then requires systematic scale up and roll out as well as ongoing evaluation and monitoring.

Relevant to countries who are interested in

Taking improved and or strengthened action on gender mainstreaming to tackle gender-based violence. It includes detailed examples of action. As with the other example of the Men’s Perspective Project from Cambodia, while many of the initiatives are multisectoral and not lead by the health sector there are co-benefits for the health sector in partnering with other sectors to better tackle gender-based violence working to change social norms and attitudes at every level of society including the health system and among service providers.

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