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The Next GENDERation Initiative
January 28, 2016Jamaica

Do gender norms and stereotypes affect our actions and reactions?

The Next GENDERation Initiative aims to contribute to reducing violence in Jamaica by promoting a positive dialogue around gender roles and raising awareness of the link between gender stereotypes and violence among youth.

The campaign draws on the World Bank's gender-focused research on youth and violence, globally and in Jamaica, and includes a national awareness raising campaign. Research shows that public awareness campaigns that promote agency -- the ability to choose how one thinks and acts -- and that have high levels of participation can be effective in changing norms and stereotypes that affect how people act and react in potentially violent situations.

The Initiative is a partnership between the Bureau of Gender Affairs and the Planning Institute of Jamaica; the Ministries of Youth and Culture, Education and National Security; the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank.

What problems is the campaign trying to address?

There is a clear gender aspect to the challenging youth indicators in Jamaica, specifically as they relate to violence:

  • Adolescent fertility rate of 71/1000 is higher than the world average of 48.
  • 1 out of 5 women experiences physical or sexual violence by a partner; youth are most vulnerable.
  • 34% of Jamaican youth are unattached, excluded from the economic activity and society.
  • Young men age 16-30 are the main perpetrators and victims of violent crime.
  • Youth (15-29) homicide rate is extremely high for males at 188/100,000; compared to 14.8/100,000 for females.

How do I participate?

Get in contact!

Twitter: @NextGENDERation | #NextGENDERation

Kellie Magnus, Next GENDERation Coordinator:  kmagnus@worldbank.org | +1 876 470 8232

Jonna Lundwall, Task Team Leader: jlundwall@worldbank.org | +1 202 473 0373

 

The national awareness raising campaign promotes the messages and ideas of the Next GENDERation through social media, features in mainstream media, direct outreach via schools and Youth Information Centres, presence at youth events and conversations with relevant industry sectors. The campaign also encourages creative artists to develop original pieces that reflect the campaign messages. The campaign focuses on agency – the power of the individual – and highlights best practices in violence prevention in four key areas (sexual violence, intimate partner violence, gang/crew violence and bullying). 

From May 1 to November 30, 2015 the #nextGENDERation campaign will reach out to individuals across Jamaica via:

Mass Media:

Features in the print and electronic media

Interviews with representatives of the Steering Committee and partner agencies (working in youth, gender and violence prevention)

Events:

Presence at partner events (hosted by steering committee and stakeholder agencies)

Presence at youth events

Hosted events including sector roundtables (creative industry, advertising, music)

Original Content Development:

Creation of a NEXT GENDERation toolkit including resources used by stakeholder agencies and original pieces created for the campaign

Development of animated pieces reflecting violence scenarios and appropriate alternatives

Development of creative pieces (poetry, drama, music, art) reflecting campaign themes

Direct Youth Outreach:

Orientation and integration with activities of the National Youth Ambassadors

National youth creative arts competition

Dissemination of information through Youth Information Centres

Partnerships with youth-oriented debate teams

Social Media:

Promotion of campaign content and content from partners

Infographics of relevant statistics and research findings, case studies, best practices

Youth-generated content and photos/videos

Four social media town halls and coverage of relevant events

Who are the Next GENDERation?

Youth who have manifested their support to the Next GENDERation Initiative include members from the National Secondary Student Council, National Youth Service, National Center for Youth Development, Youth Opportunities Unlimited, and the National Youth Ambassadors, among others. The young Jamaican men and women of the Next GENDERation pledge to be are committed to promoting more equitable gender norms as a means to reach a less violent society built on self-awareness, respect and solidarity. The Next GENDERation Jamaicans understand and reflect on the norms and stereotypes that affect the way young men and women react and act in potentially violent situations. Members of the Next GENDERation challenge and reject these stereotypes, stop and think about their behaviour and choose positive alternatives to violence.

What does the initaitve hope to achieve?

The Next GENDERation Initiative started in 2013 with the development of a conceptual framework; focus groups to validate and inform the conceptual framework; consultations with the youth to identify problems and solutions to reduce the incidence and acceptance of violence among the youth; and collaboration with Kingstoon for the organization of training in animation, using the Next GENDERation content.

The current phase of the Initiative focuses on activities under three pillars: (i) National Awareness Campaign: a participatory youth campaign,; (ii) Multi-sectoral Dialogue on gender roles, gender equality, agency and their impact on violence among young people, through round table discussions and the Steering Committee interactions; (iii) Development of a Note on gender social norms and youth violence in Jamaica based on analytical underpinnings, research, broad-based dialogue and good practices.

In addition to the members of the Steering Committee, the Initiative seeks to integrate additional partners with the objective to facilitate ongoing communication and coordination of efforts to allow for continuous feedback, wider participation and it will also minimize the risk of duplicating efforts. Partnerships may include collaboration on the hosting of events as well as production of co-branded resource and promotional materials. We are interested in working with agencies working in youth, gender and violence prevention as well as media houses and representatives of the creative industries. Some of the key partnerships at this point include:

  • The renowned Capilano University (Canada) for the participatory development of the animation pieces; in collaboration with Jamaican animation training institutions SkyRes Studios and HEART Trust NTA
  • Youth Ambassadors (Ministry of Youth) have been oriented to be able to be spokes persons for the Initiative.
  • Representatives of the creative industries who will create/perform gender-based pieces reflecting the objectives of the campaign, including writers A-dZiko Simba Gegele, Tanya Shirley, Mel Cooke; writer and actor Fabian Thomas; Youth activist and dub poet, Randy McLaren and his team, Articulet Edutainment have developed original performance pieces incorporating the Next GENDERation campaign themes.
  • Next GENDERation is collaborating with other relevant campaigns including Unite for Change and Respect Jamaica.