Around the Institute

“Like a Girl” – Not a Bride

February 6, 2015  • Institute Contributor

Like a Girl

Last week, the APEP team was honored to facilitate a workshop for Girls Not Brides, a global partnership of over 400 civil society organizations working to end child marriage. As participants Meg Greene and Allie Glinski report here and here, there is still a lot to learn about what works. And as we explore below, one big problem is again our old pal Norm… So hats off to Always for reframing what it means to run, throw and be “like a girl.”


Great (or not so great) expectations

Our friends at CARE posted this moving story about Endayehu, a young Ethiopian woman who endured a traumatic child marriage, yet later seriously considered marrying off her own young daughters. Why? Because that is what society expects; that’s the norm. Social norms are front and center in efforts to reduce early marriage and gender inequality. But what do we mean by social norms? Check out this useful framework for thinking through what is (or isn’t) a social norm in the context of child marriage, developed by  Christina Bicchieri and her colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania’s Behavioral Ethics Lab.


Measuring social norms

Social norms are difficult to change – and equally difficult to define and measure. Gerry Mackie of UC San Diego Center on Global Justice and Francesca Moneti of UNICEF provide this thoughtful guidance on measuring social norms. Congrats to GNB members Tostan International and the Institute of Health Management, Pachod for developing meaningful and measurable indicators of social norms to use in the field. Examples like these social norms measures (thanks to Tostan for sharing baseline data!) help practitioners document their impact.