During the International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) in Kigali, Rwanda, today, Rutgers launches its toolkit on gender transformative approaches (GTA). A first edition was handed to Renet van der Waals of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs by Ton Coenen, Executive Director of Rutgers. The new GTA toolkit will help professionals implement Rutgers’ evidence-based way of working in existing programmes to improve the sexual health and rights of all, and end gender-based violence.
To ensure sexual and reproductive health and rights for all and to prevent gender-based violence, we must address negative sexual and gender norms and transform them into positive ones. To achieve this, we work with girls and women and boys and men and we are inclusive of gender and sexually diverse communities.
“I’m very pleased to launch Rutgers’ toolkit on gender-transformative approach”, says Ton Coenen, Executive Director at Rutgers. “It enables professionals in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights to implement an approach that addresses the root causes of the problems we face.”
During the launch, attendees experienced the effects of the approach in practice, when Rutgers-trained Vilmer Bonareri Nyamongo, from Kenya, facilitated a real-life GTA exercise from the new toolkit. “When we do the power walk during our trainings, it’s a real eye-opener for everyone, regarding the intersectionality between gender, power, age, sexual orientation, etc.”
The new toolkit builds on Rutgers’ evidence that GTA works. Research done in programmes using GTA shows a reduction in the use of violence, a higher uptake of modern contraceptive use and a greater involvement of women in household decision-making. Unique to Rutgers’ approach is the weaving together of power dynamics, norms and values, women and girls’ empowerment, gender and sexual diversity, and the engagement of men and boys.