Levers for Change

Challenging stigma and discrimination 

Levers for change

Challenging stigma and discrimination  - Levers for change

The following are examples of possible entry points to achieve more positive outcomes around stigma and discrimination, based on our Theory of Change. This is not an exhaustive list but can be considered illustrative of the types of activities that could be included in successful proposals for funding under the Stigma and Discrimination priority.

Challenging stigma and discrimination - Levers for change

Outcome: Increased individual awareness of sexual and reproductive health and rights as human rights

Possible entry points for action:
  • Empowerment of communities and individuals facing stigma, working through existing community organisations and networks to ensure they know what their rights are under national legislation and also international conventions.
  • Developing individual and community resilience to give strength to those experiencing stigma, for example peer support groups, counselling and involvement in advocacy to improve the situation.
  • Showing ‘proof of concept’ for extended service provision (e.g. more appropriate opening hours, or outreach services) to reach hard-to-reach or stigmatised communities.
Challenging stigma and discrimination - Levers for change

Outcome: Access to sexual and reproductive health and rights resources, information and services

Possible entry points for action:
  • Supporting legal protection for groups stigmatised on the basis of their sexuality (e.g. LGBTI groups) or transphobia through legal awareness schemes and creating links with human rights protectors such as legal professionals.
  • Gathering evidence of where stigma and discrimination prevents access to sexual and reproductive health services and where rights are abused. For example monitoring the effects of where girls whose families resist FGM or early marriage have continued to live within that community.
  • Capacity building with service providers to foster greater awareness of the links between mental health and stigma and discrimination, strengthening referral networks and cross-sector collaboration.
  • Development and implementation of a training package for health care workers on human rights in relation to health, including more awareness of their own ingrained ideas and beliefs, and how that affects their quality of care.
  • Collaboration with the education sector to review and update school curricula to ensure comprehensive sexuality education which includes a module on menstruation and menstrual hygiene, for both boys and girls, complemented by reviews of school toilet facilities to ensure adequate female-only facilities with appropriate menstrual management features.
Challenging stigma and discrimination - Levers for change

Outcome: Transform social norms

Possible entry points for action:
  • Challenging homophobia/ transphobia by working with both traditional-and digital-media platforms to ensure correct use of terms and to give space to positive stories involved stigmatised groups.
  • Development of leadership amongst stigmatised groups - giving space and support to emerging leaders.
  • Ensuring that violence against marginalised individuals (often called ‘hate crimes’) is recorded and penalised in the same way as other similar crimes.
Challenging stigma and discrimination - Levers for change

Outcome: Change policies and laws

Possible entry points for action:
  • Implementation of current laws that protect against discrimination.
  • Making the case for the review of legislation that discriminates particular groups. Sharing evidence and building support for change among parliamentarians, government ministers (e.g. Justice, Health, Women), officials (civil servants and law enforcers) and policy makers.
  • Working to ensure the legal recognition of diverse gender identities.