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  Ideas wall

  • There is a need to engage with government in a constructive way.
  • The existence of laws passed by the government is crucial:
o It opens a space for dialogue to demand improvements.
o It is the basis to seek justice.
o People do not want to be labeled as criminals and will refrain from adopting behaviors prohibited by the laws.
o It generally creates an enabling environment for change.
  • Governments need to be made accountable on the basis of existing laws (implementation gaps).
  • Several challenges need to be addressed by governments such as the independence of the judicial or the accessibility of justice.
  • Government are not monolithic and change can happen. We need to find different avenues and in-roads at different levels. Working with local government can often prove to be effective.
  • Having the government passing a law is a starting point for civil society’s work, especially on calling for effective implementation of the law.
  • Challenging laws and policy implementation requires us to collaborate with government and civil society.
  • Strategies to end gender-based violence need to have governments involved from the start to ensure ownership and accountability (including monitoring of implementation).
  • Remember that governments are composed of individuals who themselves have their own attitudes and who are influenced by families and communities. 
  • Legislation and policies are representations of social norms and can reinforce either positive or negative social norms.
  • We expect change to come from political leadership and yet political leadership usually relies on/is enabled by change in society (“people’s permission”).
  • We must work on the relation between governments, individuals, institutions and society when creating change.
  • There is a difficult relationship to work on between tradition laws and government laws.
  • Oxfam in Pakistan on working with government:
o Support government’s initiatives to have its laws prevail (on religious and tradition laws especially).
o Deploy gender focal points at decision-making levels in government structures.
  • The Bangladesh experience spoke about working with government – can learn from their experience, especially on services
  • Expense of legal recourse
  • Alternate dispute resolution and interaction with court system


  • There is a need to work on internal change before working on external change while working with government: should we working on capacity building related to violence against women to help overcome “tokenistic” agreement and remove internal blocks within governments?
  • How do we engage with states (or do not), including militarized states?
  • In what instances/contexts is it perhaps more effective to be confrontational (or not) when working with government actors?



Joselyn Bigirwa.
Marketplace.  “Multi-stakeholder”

Joselyn Bigirwa_Multistakeholder program Uganda_P2P

SVRI.  “Conceptual framework”

Laura Haylock - Oxfam's Conceptual Framework on Changing Social Norms - SVRI and P2P

Abul Hossain. 
Skills Building, “Psychosocial counselling”.
Pumla Gqola. 
Panel.  “What do we mean by ANB”.  
Brigitte Topinanty. 
Think Tank.  “Theatre for advocacy with traditional leaders and government”. 
Saleema Munir.
Think tank.  “Aligning formal and informal laws and norms”.