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Gender Transformative Approach

A gender transformative approach (GTA) actively examines, questions, and changes rigid gender norms and imbalances of power. By transforming harmful, inequitable gender norms and values into positive ones, we improve the sexual and reproductive rights and health (SRHR) of all, prevent gender-based violence (GBV), and increase gender equality.

Transforming harmful norms and values

To improve SRHR outcomes for all and to prevent GBV, we must address negative sexual and gender norms and transform them into positive ones. Harmful gender norms and values are root causes of gender inequality and, therefore, also of poor SRHR outcomes. Addressing these norms at the individual, institutional and societal level improves inequalities and facilitates sustainable social change.

GTA programmes and policies transform gender relations through:

  • Encouraging critical awareness of gender roles and norms
  • Questioning the costs of harmful, inequitable gender norms in relation to SRHR and making explicit the advantages of changing them
  • Empowering women, girls and people with diverse gender and/or sexual identities or orientations
  • Engaging boys and men in SRH and gender equality

Rutgers’ toolkit aims to end gender inequality

Rutgers developed an innovative and comprehensive toolkit for implementing GTA, which has proven to lead to better SRHR outcomes. It aims to end gender inequality, which is ingrained in the norms and values of all people. This toolkit is used in programmes to engage girls and women, boys and men, and people with diverse gender and sexual identities to improve SRHR and prevent GBV. This toolkit is now available for free and can be implemented in existing and future SRHR and GBV prevention programmes. Human rights underpin Rutgers’ gender transformative approach. Accountability, participation, non-discrimination, equality and transparency are key elements.

What makes our approach stand out?

Rutgers considers all individuals gendered. Men, boys and people with diverse gender identities and sexual orientations, have often been left out of traditional gender mainstreaming – as well as gender and development approaches – even though they have vital roles to play in the process of gender equality. What makes our GTA different and more effective than other approaches, is the interconnectedness the following critical strands:

  • Power dynamics in relationships
  • Gender and sexual norms and values
  • Women and girls’ empowerment
  • Gender and sexual diversity
  • Engagement of men and boys


Discover what makes our gender transformative approach unique, in this factsheet.

Knowledge File

A comprehenise overview of Rutgers' research and vision on gender transformative approaches can be found in our knowledge file on this subject.

Knowledge File Gender Transformative Approaches