Gender micro-planing to address social norms affecting women & adolescent girls' health & nutrition

Micro-planning meetings were conducted with 18 village organisations (VO) across Ghotiya Cluster, a model Cluster Level Federation (CLF) at Bastar block, Chhattisgarh. This was part of ongoing support to the State Rural Livelihoods Mission (BIHAN). BIHAN seeks to enhance the gender responsiveness of its Swabhimaan Programme which is led by BIHAN’s women collectives to enhance the health and nutrition status of women and adolescent girls.

Micro-planning is a process that is at the heart of Swabhimaan implementation. Through micro- planning, the community identifies and prioritises various problems impacting health and nutrition outcomes in the community, decides on actions and allots budgets to solve the identified problems. 
The gender micro-planning meetings were led by BIHAN’s gender resource persons and sought to identify specific gender norms that affecting women’s health. These were conducted with the Village Organisation executive committee members in the locally spoken Halbi language.

The cumulative decision of the 18 VOs has resulted in husbands, mother-in-laws and traditional midwives being chosen as secondary target groups for behaviour change initiatives. While most social behaviour change strategies for positive behaviours related to women’s health and diet diversity, often make women themselves primary targets, they fail to address power dynamics within the household and patriarchal norms that influence women’s dietary decisions. Engaging other stakeholders will help create an enabling environment for women and girls to practice positive nutrition, health and WASH behaviours.