What is Gender Transformative Programming?


Gender transformative programming is part of the gender programming continuum which consists of indicators of to which degree programmes address – or fail to address – gender-related norms: 

(1) Gender exploitative programmes: use and reinforce gender inequalities in the pursuit of health and demographic goals. This is a negative level of programming that should be avoided. 

(2) Gender neutral or gender blind programmes: distinguish little between the needs of men and women, neither reinforcing nor questioning gender roles. 

(3) Gender sensitive or gender aware programmes: recognize the specific needs and realities of men and women based on the social construction of gender roles, but do not necessarily seek to change or influence gender roles and relations. 

(4) Gender transformative programmes: seek to challenge and transform rigid gendered norms and relations. Gender transformative programming generally entails moving beyond the individual level to also address the interpersonal, socio-cultural, structural and community factors that influence gender-related attitudes and behaviors. The EECA MenEngage Platform is an example of a gender transformative programme. 

(Source: Engaging Men and Boys in Gender Equality and Health: A global toolkit for action, 2010)

Still want to know more? On this page you will find resources on the topic of gender transformative programming. 

Engaging Men, Changing Gender Norms: Directions for Gender-Transformative Action

Advocacy brief by UNFPA and MenEngage Alliance, 2014. 

This advocacy brief explores the importance of changing social norms related to men’s ideas and behaviors and examines several questions: Can men support gender equality and learn to live gender-equitable lives? Can men transform the ideas and practices they associate with manhood? Can the spheres where men and boys are socialized and often learn inequitable norms – home, school, work, sports, religion, the media, and others – be changed?

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