Give Her Allies Description
#GETREEL runs from September 12 – October 24, 2017. Each week features important elements to PMC’s work to empower women and girls. If a specific theme speaks to you or those in your network, please use it at any point during the campaign.
Week Two: Give Her Allies
(September 19-26, 2017)
Video: Give Her Allies (Coming Soon!)
- Social norms include the daily habits, unwritten rules, and normalized behaviors that everyone in the community accepts, and to a large degree, expects. They can be good, bad, or indifferent. Unfortunately, many social norms are very damaging to women and girls around the world.
- To promote healthy changes in social norms pertaining to treatment of women and girls, a critical step is creating awareness that change is both possible and desirable in individuals throughout the society.
- This society-wide saturation is critical. If just a few people in the community have new visions for a good life, they won’t get very far. PMC’s work builds a critical mass of change agents across the spectrum of class, gender, education, and other cultural strata.
- PMC’s ability to reach across society, “at-scale” (i.e. millions of listeners/viewers to our shows) sets us apart from the field – we bring important information directly to mass audiences, creating efficiency relative to door-to-door counselling, for example.
- In addition to empowering individuals with new information and new ideas, PMC’s theory-driven dramas (we use a mix of communication, psychosocial, and psychological theories) go a step further – we engender emotional desires for change throughout a broad swath of society. We empower individuals while setting the stage for rapid social norm change.
Give Her Allies Theme
They say no man (or woman) is an island. That’s never truer than in the evolution of social norms: the largely invisible, unquestioned behavioral fabric of everyday life. Long-established and widely practiced social norms include the daily habits, unwritten rules, and normalized behaviors that everyone in the community accepts, and to a large degree, expects. If one person in a community has a new and better idea about how they might live their life, if it contradicts age-old social norms, they won’t get very far – unless they have additional support.
Social norms can be good, bad, or indifferent. In some places where PMC works, for example, it may be normal for a man to physically hit his wife for being late with dinner. It may be fully expected that adolescent girls, much younger than 18, will be forced to marry much older men. It may be accepted that girls will only be educated, fed, and cared for if there are resources left over after these needs have been met for the boys. To short-circuit oppressive norms like this, a key accomplishment is creating awareness that change is both possible and desirable.
Fortunately, good entertainment has universal appeal. In each society we work in, PMC’s dramas offer irresistible, scintillating stories – attracting audiences from across the spectrum of class, gender, education, and other cultural strata: men and women, boys and girls, teachers and students, bankers and brick-layers. These diverse audiences now share an important common denominator: they have all been exposed to new ideas and possibilities. Some will be motivated to implement these new ideas in their real lives.
An aspiring 11-year-old girl now knows she deserves a chance to be educated – and at least a few of her 11-year-old male peers realize this too. One of her parents may now stop and think – is it really such a bad idea that a girl gets an education instead of working in the fields? What would be the implications for the family? How could we make this work? The village teacher might question his old beliefs and admit a girl has just as much potential as the boys.
The door to social change has been cracked open, with newly minted agents of social change in all segments of society who are emotionally committed to pushing them wide open – or at least won’t stand in the way if someone else pushes that door open. It is amazing what the power of suggestion and role-modeling can do.
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