Changing Gender Norms

Tearfund believes men and women are equal in all things and therefore we work to see justice for men, women, boys and girls. This means everyone being equally valued and having equal access to resources and opportunities, free from violence.

Our Transforming Masculinities approach seeks to change social norms and behaviour around sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), by working through and within faith communities. It is an evidence-based approach which aims to transform harmful concepts of gender and masculinities and promote gender equality.

resources on changing gender norms

We have five key documents to help you to engage with these issues:

Transforming masculinities: a qualitative research summary front cover

Transforming masculinities: a qualitative research summary (PDF 1.4 MB)
This brief highlights the key themes and issues that arose from the research which informed the design of our approach. It emphasises how religious scriptures, the Bible and the Qur’an, can be used to justify and perpetuate harmful forms of the same process.

Transforming Masculinities front cover

Transforming Masculinities (PDF 2.8 MB)
This guide is a useful tool to lead workshops with faith leaders as well as to train Gender Champions. It is designed to be interactive and self-reflective to enable participants to explore, discuss and reflect on their own attitudes, beliefs and behaviours regarding gender equality and sexual and gender-based violence. They can then lead others through the same process.
This resource is also available in French (PDF 2.7 MB) and Portuguese (PDF 1.5 MB)

Community Dialogues front cover

Community Dialogues (PDF 118 KB)
This guide enables trained Gender Champions to facilitate community dialogues. These small group discussions can be held both in men’s and women’s groups and then in a combined session. They cover topics of gender norms and roles, as well as faith-based responses to sexual and gender-based violence.
This resource is also available in French (PDF 3.9 KB) and Portuguese (PDF 3.4 MB)

Community Dialogues adaptation front cover

Community Dialogues- Women's Economic Empowerment (PDF 1.3 MB) 
This guide is an adaptation of the original Community dialogues resource with additional sessions for mixed groups on topics relating to gender equality and women's economic empowerment.
This resource is also available in French (PDF 1.2 MB)

Transforming Masculinities Quick Guide front cover

Quick Guide to Transforming Masculinities (PDF 118 KB)
This two-pager gives an overview of our approach and illustrates how we work with faith leaders and train Gender Champions to facilitate community dialogues between men and women.
This resource is also available in French (PDF 143 KB) and Portuguese (PDF 173 KB)

Hand in Hand cover final

Hand in hand: Bible studies to transform our response to sexual violence (PDF 1.5 MB)
This booklet contains 12 Bible studies covering a range of topics related to sexual violence. The booklet includes guidance for facilitators and advice on adapting the Bible studies for use as sermons.
This resource is also available in French (PDF 1.5 MB) and Portuguese (PDF 1.5 MB)

research reports ON changing gender norms

Gender masculinities and social cohesion front coverGender, masculinities and social cohesion (PDF 1.5 MB)
A research report exploring the role of religion and religious communities in shaping norms and understanding in Plateau state, Nigeria.


Exploring the linkages front coverExploring the linkages of gender, masculinities and faith (PDF 245 KB)
A qualitative research report on sexual and gender-based violence in Liberia.



Gender norms violence and masculinity report front coverGender norms, violence and concepts of masculinity (PDF 429 KB)
A qualitative research report on faith communities' perceptions and experience in Bangui, Central African Republic.
This report is also available in French (PDF 457 KB)


Transforming Masculinities English cover

Transforming Masculinities: social attitudes and practices of men in relation to gender (PDF 3.5 MB)
Summary report of qualitative research in the Great Lakes region.
This report is also available in French (PDF 2.9 MB)


DRC Country Report SV front cover

Democratic Republic of Congo: Masculinities, faith and ending SGBV (PDF 1.6 MB)
This is a summary report and is part of a series of qualitative research reports in the Great Lakes.
This report is also available in  French (PDF 495 KB)

Masculinities faith and ending SGBV -Burundi - front cover

Burundi: Masculinities, faith and ending SGBV (PDF 917 KB)
This is a summary report and is part of a series of qualitative research reports in the Great Lakes.
This report is also available in French (PDF 786 KB)


Masculinities faith and ending SGBV - Rwanda - front cover

Rwanda: Masculinities, faith and ending SGBV (PDF 1.1 MB)
This is a summary report and is part of a series of qualitative research reports in the Great Lakes.
This report is also available in French (PDF 433 KB)