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Gender, power and progress: How norms change

This report is about gender norms – the implicit informal rules about appropriate behaviour for people of different genders – that most people accept and follow. It is about the ways in which gender equality, women’s and girls’ rights and the norms that shape the ability to claim those rights, have progressed over time. It examines how gender norms have changed in the 25 years since the UN’s Beijing Platform for Action on women’s rights was set out in 1995, and their role in progress and setbacks to achieving these rights.

The report draws on global data and learning and explores: 

  • how gender norms have changed over the past quarter-century,
  • what has supported and blocked changes to gender norms in a number of sectors, and
  • how to ensure change is faster, and robust enough to resist backlash and crisis.

The report identifies 4 key areas critical to shifting gender norms to achieve lasting change: 

Harper, C., Marcus, R., George, R., D’Angelo, S. M., & Samman, E. (2020). Gender, power and progress: How norms change. ALIGN.

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