New findings from a project in Mumbai, India show that small group education in schools brings greater positive changes around gender issues than just a campaign alone. The report shares evaluation results from the Gender Equity Movement in Schools (GEMS) program, which the International Center for Research on Women’s (ICRW) implemented from 2008-2011 in Goa, Kota, and Mumbai, India.
GEMS consisted of a week-long “campaign” and “group education activities” (GEA). The campaign was a week-long series of events designed in consultation with the students and involved games, competitions, debates and short plays. The GEA, conducted by trained facilitators, uses participatory methodologies such as role plays, games, debates and discussions to engage students in meaningful interactions on key issues.
Overall, students in GEA+ schools (group education + campaign) were more likely to have high gender equality scores, support a higher age at marriage (21+ years) and higher education for girls, and oppose partner violence. This report shows that while campaigns are essential to success, these must be combined with opportunities for young people to engage directly with new knowledge and behaviours.