The Transformative Potential of Positive Gender Socialization in Education for Peacebuilding: Uganda
The Gender Socialization in Schools programme pilot in Karamoja, Uganda, has demonstrated the value of a gender-transformative approach to addressing prevailing gender norms that have contributed to conflict –and which have the potential to be harnessed for peace –in the Karamoja region. The pilot program's accompanying impact evaluation shows that such a training intervention can have a positive impact on teachers’ knowledge of gender concepts and their relevance in the classroom. It also demonstrates the potential for shifting attitudes towards more progressive views of gender equality. While the research showed early indications of a shift towards gender equitable practices, teachers ultimately remained constrained by structural factors and the entrenched nature of the traditional views on gender roles held by the wider community. Qualitative findings indicate, however, that stronger reinforcement strategies and links to the community as part of a longer-term approach would likely result in a transformation of teacher practices. Support from multiple community stakeholders is essential if shifts in gender roles, power relations and conflict dynamics are to be achieved at the macro level.