Reshaping gender attitudes: Evidence from schools in India


Published 07.07.21
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Integrated school-based interventions to advance gender equality can achieve lasting changes in regressive attitudes and behaviours

Audio file

Read “Reshaping adolescents’ gender attitudes: Evidence from a school-based experiment in India” by Diva Dhar, Tarun Jain, and Seema Jayachandran here.

Gender norms and biases form early in a child’s development, shaped by their families, social circles, media exposure, and everyday life. Therefore, intervening earlier on in children’s lives has the potential to address harmful gender roles and reshape attitudes and preferences as they venture into adulthood. In this VoxDevTalk, Seema Jayachandran discusses her recent work with  Diva Dhar and Tarun Jain in which they explore how a two-year school-based intervention around gender equality affected students’ attitudes and behaviours towards restrictive societal gender norms. 

The authors survey participants’ attitudes and self-reported behaviours, and find that those exposed to the programme reduced their presence of gender-regressive views – an effect which lasted even after a two-year follow up. Their results show how engaging adolescents, both boys and girls, in interactive and engaging interventions can be a successful way to shape gender attitudes.