Voices for Change
Voices for Change, V4C (Nigeria, 2013-2017) was a program which worked to strengthen the enabling environment for gender equality in Nigeria. The program targeted young women and men aged 16–25 years old and operated in four states in Nigeria: Enugu, Kaduna, Kano and Lagos. For some activities it operated at the federal level.
V4C is a unique example of a program applying social norms theory at scale and addressed the structural barriers to gender equality. In particular, it addressed discriminatory and harmful attitudes, behaviors and social norms. The three normative areas that V4C sought to change were women’s voice and leadership, women’s role in decision-making and violence against women and girls.
V4C was distinct from many other programs aiming to transform gender norms in placing communications and social marketing at its heart. A key reason for using a social marketing approach was to bring about change at scale.
The components of the approach to shifting discriminatory gender norms using social marketing were as follows:
- Create a youth-focused brand: this allows you to talk to your audience in their own language, using music, fashion and media which appeal to them.
- Place the audience at the center: it is essential to understand the lifestyles, aspirations and attitudes towards gender equality among your audience.
- Promote the message in an attractive way: identify how gender equal behavior will benefit your audience and place these benefits at the heart of your communications. V4C promotes gender equality using messages around self-fulfilment, romantic relationships and career success, as well as human rights.
- Use an integrated marketing strategy: make use of the full range of marketing tools to engage your audience.
- Measure impact: ensure you have robust monitoring and evaluation systems including baseline and endline surveys to evaluate the effectiveness of your communications
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