30 March 2020

Why are norms important?

Author: Caroline Harper
Published by: ALIGN

Director of the ALIGN programme and principle research fellow at ODI, Caroline Harper, explains why gender norms and important and what we can do to challenge and change them.

[Full transcript] "Why are norms important? Norms are the rules that determine what men and women and girls and boys can be in the world, what they can do, what they can own, how they can live with each other. So they are very important, but we haven't talked about them [enough]. 

So what can we do to change gender norms? We have to build a mandate through our laws and policies. We have to invest in our institutions, in our schools, in our health centres and we have to demonstrate new attitudes through the media and through our own peer-to-peer interactions."