A family in Bangladesh. © 2011 Johns Hopkins University Global mHealth Initiative, Courtesy of Photoshare

A family in Bangladesh. © 2011 Johns Hopkins University Global mHealth Initiative, Courtesy of Photoshare

SBCC offers a unique opportunity to address gender-related attitudes, norms and behaviors, including among those who do not typically access health services, such as men and young people, as well as those that provide services, such as clinical providers and community health workers. SBCC also extends beyond health services into the community, workplaces and other institutions to provide tailored information, with the opportunity to address gender discrimination, gender-based violence and gender roles and encourage couple communication and community dialogue – all of which can lead to changes in health outcomes.

HC3 is working to support the achievement of gender equality and sustained health behavior change through three strategic approaches:

  1. Research and evaluation to examine how gender-related attitudes and norms influence specific health behaviors, per audience and context, as well as how and to what extent SBCC can influence these norms and behaviors;
  2. Implementation of SBCC interventions and approaches to create gender transformative shifts in social norms and individual attitudes and behaviors; and
  3. Strengthening capacity of SBCC practitioners and other partners in using SBCC for gender transformation and integrating gender into program design, implementation and evaluation.

Highlights of HC3’s work in gender transformation for research, implementation and capacity strengthening include:

  • secondary analysis examining the use of gender equity in health communication programs to increase contraceptive use.
  • A “Smart Couple” campaign in Nepal that uses a gender synchronized approach to encourage young couples in their first three years of marriage to use modern contraceptives. Using an aspirational approach, the campaign empowers young Nepali couples to envision a bright future.
  • The Integrating Gender into Social and Behavior Change Communication Implementation Kit, which is designed to help SBCC professionals integrate gender into their SBCC programs. The I-Kit helps users understand gender concepts, theories and frameworks, assess the current level of gender integration in a project, and use a series of tools to uncover new information that can be applied to an existing SBCC strategy or marketing plan.

Gender Transformation & Male Engagement

Over the past two decades, family planning (FP) programs in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) have dramatically expanded access to and use of modern family planning methods. These programs traditionally focus on increasing modern FP method use among women and rarely focus directly on men as FP end-users themselves. Globally, men’s FP method use lags significantly behind women’s use rates.

To address this inequity, HC3 will develop the Promoting Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) Products and Services for Men Implementation Kit (I-Kit) to enable organizations to develop stronger, more tailored communication programs to reach men and their partners, thereby increasing use of and demand for SRH products and services by men. The I-Kit will be designed for stakeholders working to plan, promote, and implement family planning programs in low-resource settings; including Ministries of Health – national, regional and district level; Donors; Implementing partners – program managers and technical advisors.

Check back in the coming months to learn more about the progress of this exciting I-Kit.

Please contact Joanna Skinner for more information on HC3’s gender-related activities.

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