Our Watch

Skip to content

How to work out what to do

2 minutes

It can be hard to know where to start to transform society by normalising and promoting gender equality.

The aim of your prevention work should be to change the reasons women and girls experience violence in the first place, not just to raise awareness about the violence itself.

There are many approaches you could use to address violence against women and girls. They work across a continuum from unhelpful approaches that might even be harmful to approaches that can create positive social change.

Approaches and their effect

Most effective: gender transformative

Gender transformative approaches address the causes of gender-based inequalities and work to transform harmful gender roles, norms and relations. They challenge both normative and structural inequality.

More effective: gender specific

Gender specific approaches acknowledge gender inequalities and consider women’s specific needs, but do not transform norms and practices.

No effect: gender sensitive

Gender sensitive approaches acknowledge but do not address gender inequality, so they’re not harmful, but they don’t create sustainable change either.

Not effective, even harmful: gender insensitive

Gender insensitive approaches ignore gender norms and inequalities, can minimise existing efforts and risk contributing to the gendered drivers of violence against women.

Not effective and harmful: gender unequal or exploitative

These approaches may inadvertently maintain or support gender inequality.

Stylised illustration of four people of different ages, sexes and skin colours, discussing ideas. They have speech bubbles and thought bubbles and lightbulbs around their heads.

Gender-transformative approaches