A Gender and Development Seminar Series event
Sexual and reproductive health and rights are important ends in themselves and can have invaluable benefits for women’s own health and nutrition, education and livelihoods and for the well-being of their families. Yet globally we see large numbers of women and girls with unmet need for contraceptives, high numbers of unintended pregnancies and large gaps between actual and expressed ideal family size.
High maternal mortality and high rates of HIV/AIDS among young women – HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death globally among women of reproductive age – are some of the manifestations of women's and girls' lack of sexual and reproductive agency. Gendered social norms around sexuality are learned by boys and girls from their families and communities and affect the choices made in adult life, and so increasing women and girls' agency over their sexual and reproductive health requires more than provision of family planning services – it requires a major shift in societal attitudes and knowledge.
The Population Media Center uses a theory-based approach to behavior change communications to encourage the adoption of healthier attitudes and behaviors to benefit individuals and societies. They focus on reproductive health and emphasize the rights of women and girls. PMC specializes in creating long-running serialized dramas, also known as soap operas, on radio and television. In the dramas, key characters evolve into role models for the audience, resulting in positive behavior change. In this presentation, PMC Chairman of the Board and CEO Bill Ryerson will present examples of PMCs work, illustrating how programs are designed to elicit positive behavior change, and discuss evaluations of the results achieved.