Journal Article

Transforming the attitudes of young men about gender roles and the acceptability of violence against women, Bihar

Although the importance of working with young men to transform traditional gender norms has been widely acknowledged, programmes for young men remain sparse in highly gender stratified settings such as India, and those that have been implemented have not reached those in rural areas and those out-of-school. Drawing on data from a cluster randomised controlled trial with panel surveys, of a gender-transformative life skills education and sports-coaching programme conducted among young men aged 13–21 who were members of youth clubs, this paper examines the extent to which it transformed the gender role attitudes of young men and instilled in them attitudes rejecting violence against women and girls. The intervention succeeded in changing gender role attitudes and notions of masculinity, attitudes about men’s controlling behaviours over women/girls, attitudes about men’s perpetration of violence on a woman/girl and perceptions about peer reactions to young men acting in gender-equitable ways. Effects were particularly significant among young men who attended regularly, underscoring the importance of regular attendance in such programmes.