Since 2020, Implementing partners under the Power to Youth program in Uganda and Malawi have applied Gender Transformative Approach, GTA in their work. According to Rutgers, GTA has six principles including using human rights as a basis for all interventions, analyzing and critically addressing power dynamics, harmful gender norms and values, gender, and diversity, focusing on empowerment of women and girls, and meaningful engagement of men and boys. Harmful practices such as Female genital Mutilation, child marriages, and teenage pregnancy faced by adolescent girls and young women are rooted in negative gender norms. GTA aims at transforming harmful gender norms and power imbalances to promote gender equality and justice in our societies.

In a bid to strengthen implementing partners, Sonke Gender Justice conducted GTA training for partners in Uganda and Malawi  on the 26th of April 2023, which resulted in trajectories being developed for the partners to support GTA inclusion in programming. The training was centered around understanding the importance of GTA in programming. This was followed by the development of action plans to ensure the integration of GTA in the implementation of activities. The participants were also provided with monitoring and evaluation tools to measure progress.

Participants in the session shared their experiences, best practices, challenges, and lessons learned, as well as strengthened collaboration and synergy among the Malawi PTY implementing partners. These discussions helped to identify key areas for improvement and provided valuable insights on how to implement the program more effectively. The session provided a platform for the implementing partners to build strong partnerships and collaborate on joint initiatives. They also provided a space for the partners to share resources and knowledge to ensure the success of the program. Participants included CSOs, CBOs, youth, religious leaders, cultural leaders, implementing partners, men and boys involved in implementation, as well as other stakeholders.

During the session Uganda shared a video on how the program is engaging men and boys in Bukwo District to tackle harmful practice like Female Genital Mutilation. While Malawi shared a video on how the program is engaging men and boys in Mizinga to tackle harmful practice like SGBV. By the end of the session, the team developed recommendations to boost the application of GTA during the PTY program implementation.

The recommendations are as follows:

  • There is a need for more research into GTA and its applicability. Implementing partners need to perform operational research to inform their implementation.
  • There is a need to engage young people, mostly boys and girls at a young age to cause sustainable transformation.