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| January 22, 2015

New York Times features IRH evaluation of Save the Children’s Choices curriculum

The New York Times article “In Egypt, Sowing Seeds of Gender Equality” describes Choices, a program originally piloted by Save the Children in 2009 in Nepal with a goal to empower adolescents, through systematic thought reasoning and behavior change, to challenge the accepted social gender norms in their community. The Institute for Reproductive Health at Georgetown University (IRH) led an independent analysis of the program, with results showing that the Choices curriculum was effective in creating a shift towards more gender-equitable norms among young girls and boys.

Since then, Save the Children has spread the Choices model to Bolivia, Bangladesh, El Salvador, Zambia and Egypt. In Egypt, Choices is “…the first to explore gender issues with adolescents and early teenagers in a mixed-gender environment.”

Children begin forming ideas about what it means to be a boy or a girl early on, but, until puberty, those ideas remains somewhat fluid. “One key to Choices is its focus on the sweet spot between childhood and adulthood — a time when children have the intellectual development to think critically, but are still shaping core ideas about themselves and their place in the world,” said IRH’s Dr. Rebecka Lundgren.

Dr. Lundgren goes on to explain how there has been “buzz” in the gender justice community about this intervention because while it is relatively modest, it is achieving robust results. “If something like this was implemented on a broader scale,” she said, “it could be really significant.”

Read the full article here.

Read the recent peer-reviewed article on the Choices evaluation research: Whose turn to do the dishes? Transforming gender attitudes and behaviours among very young adolescents in Nepal

Read the brief: Transforming Gender Norms among Very Young Adolescents: An Innovative Intervention and Evaluation in Nepal


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