Understanding Norms around the Gendered Divisions of Labour: Results from focus group discussions in the Philippines

Publication date

28 Oct 2019

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Social norms refer to the shared expectations held by a given community. They are often held in place by social approval or rewards for conformity, and by disapproval or sanctions for transgressions. Understanding how and why social norms hold sway can provide a powerful means for understanding the gendered division of work that prevails in many communities and inform strategies aimed at promoting change.

This report summarizes the main findings from the qualitative research conducted as part of the WE-Care (Women's Economic Empowerment and Care) programme in the second half of 2017 to support on the identification of the main social norms related to unpaid care and domestic work. The research was undertaken in 27 focus groups in five rural areas in the Philippines (Maguindanao, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Eastern Samar and Leyte), and served to identify who the leaders are that communities look up to in order to validate social norms change. It helped to identify nascent opportunities for changes in the gendered division of labour, and what the implications are of the findings for planning and practice in addressing inequalities on unpaid care and domestic work.