Gender and Educational Reform: Transforming Gender Norms among Young Adolescents for Lasting Social Change
Can gender bias be changed? More specifically, can participation in a specially designed curriculum over a specific period of time lead to a shift in gender norms among very young adolescents?
Research on adolescent development finds that pre-teen and early teen years are especially important for the formation of norms and the adoption of behaviors that persist into adulthood. These early behaviors and norms significantly affect adults' educational attainment, occupations and health, including their perception of gender roles and gender equity.
The seminar will address these important questions through a presentation of a project entitled CHOICES which was developed by Save the Children and Georgetown University's Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH). Implemented as a pilot project over a three-month period in Nepal and most recently in Egypt, CHOICES achieved its aims. The evaluation of the program demonstrated that even relatively brief curriculum interventions can empower very young adolescents to challenge the gender norms of their society and make changes in their own lives in the direction of gender equity.
Taking this project as an example, the discussion will center on how such curriculum interventions can be implemented in different societies and contexts, such as the UAE for example.