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.
A guide to help you work out how gender transformative your initiative is
Guidance from Our Watch about different approaches to addressing violence against women, from 'gender transformative' to 'gender unequal'.
A guide to creating gender transformative change
This knowledge paper from Women's Health Victoria explores the key elements of ‘gender transformative practice’ and how these can be applied by specialist practitioners and organisations working to create gender transformative change to prevent violence against women and family violence.
- A paper that looks at promising practices in gender-transformative change
A review of literature and promising practices of gender-transformative change from CARE USA.
- Guidance to develop gender-transformative policies and programs
A guidance note to inform the development of national policies and programs from Promundo and UN Women.