Can gender-transformative education make young men less violent?

  • Violence against women and girls is pervasive in India. Working with young men from an early age to transform traditional gender norms has been proposed as a potential solution to reduce violence against women and girls. However, little is known about whether young men who are exposed to gender-transformative life skills education turn out to be less violent.
  • This study compared attitudes about violence against women and girls and perpetration of violence within intimate partnerships among a group of young men who were exposed to the Do Kadam intervention – a gender-transformative life skills education and sports coaching intervention – five years after their participation.
  • Interviews were conducted with 431 participant and 422 non-participant young men who belonged to youth clubs supported by the Nehru Yuvak Kendra Sangathan in Bihar.
  • We found that the Do Kadam intervention had a sustained impact on young men’s gender role attitudes and attitudes about violence against women and girls.
  • Findings lend support for promoting gender-transformative life skills programmes for adolescent boys that will encourage them to question gender stereotypes and promote new concepts of masculinity and femininity, develop self-esteem, and strengthen their skills in problem-solving, decision-making, communication, and interpersonal relations and negotiation.