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Gender, power and progress: how norms change

Research reports

Written by Caroline Harper, Rachel Marcus, Rachel George, Emma Samman

This research delves into gender norm change over time, and identifies the key drivers for meaningful transformation.

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.

It draws on four years of learning through ODI’s Advancing Learning and Innovation on Gender Norms (ALIGN) platform, a global knowledge and learning hub on understanding the role of gender norms in societies and how these norms change.

Caroline Harper, Rachel Marcus, Rachel George, Sophia M. D’Angelo and Emma Samman