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13 July 2023

10 ways to transform gender norms

Author: ALIGN
Published by: ALIGN
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Norms exist at the societal level – in the rules, laws and conventions that guide our collective life, as well as in schools, legal systems and religious practices. But they also exist in people’s minds, where attitudes and behaviours depend on group approval or disapproval, and on rewards and sanctions for conforming or diverging from these implicit rules.

Shifting restrictive, discriminatory and oppressive norms is by no means the only answer – but it is one powerful piece of a big and complex puzzle for transformative change. This booklet lays out five critical areas for investment and five spaces in which to organise so progressive actors can align to counter a global patriarchal backlash.

Five areas for investment

  • Invest in gender-equitable education
  • Invest in sexual and reproductive rights for all
  • Invest in promoting women’s economic rights and financial independence
  • Invest in the expansion of women’s power in politics
  • Invest in the elimination of gendered-based violence in all its forms

Five organising spaces

  • Organise to fund women’s feminist and intersectional social justice movements
  • Organise to make digital platforms safe and inclusive for all
  • Organise to expand and build pro-feminist men’s movements
  • Organise to resist ‘norm spoiling’ in international agreements
  • Organise to expose and disrupt patriarchal norms driving backlash against feminism