10 April 2019

Addressing social norms at the VAW/VAC intersection: Challenges and opportunities

Author: Ben Cislaghi, Leah Kenny et al.
Published by: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
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The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) is renowned for its research, postgraduate studies and continuing education in public and global health. The School’s Gender Violence and Health Centre (GVHC) launched The Learning Group on Social Norms and Gender-Based Violence, to translate and adapt insights and methods from social norm theory and research into practical guidance for development practitioners seeking to transform harmful gender-related practices in low and middle-income countries. Since 2016, the group has worked to inform intervention evaluation and norms measurement through expert meetings and sharing the learnings from these.

In this meeting, we looked at how social and gender norms theory can assist design interventions to prevent violence against women (VAW) and violence against children (VAC). Here, we provide a short summary on social norms and how these influence harmful practices, for those who are less familiar with these theories. We offer an introduction to the fields of VAW and VAC, with some comparative reflections on their history and current dominant paradigms. Those familiar with both VAW and VAC might want to jump to the next section of this report.