Gender barriers to nutrition services: Lessons from the WINNN programme

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This brief is produced by the Operations Research and Impact Evaluation (ORIE) project, led by Oxford Policy Management (OPM), and it summarises the learning from the Working to Improve Nutrition in Northern Nigeria (WINNN) programme, a programme implemented in five states in northern Nigeria (Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Zamfara and Yobe).

Gender roles and relations can have a powerful effect on development processes and outcomes. WINNN successfully influenced some of the gender-related barriers in northern Nigeria in order to increase service use and behaviour change.

key messages

  • Nutrition-specific interventions are more effective in improving nutritional outcomes if they take context-specific gender roles and relations into account.
  • Understanding relations among women and men in households and communities can unlock effective strategies for service uptake and behaviour change.
  • Messages targeted directly at fathers can help to reduce resistance to the use of nutrition services.
  • Finding ways to reach adolescent mothers is especially important, given the low level of autonomy of young mothers in relation to their husbands and older women in northern Nigeria.

ORIE briefs are also available on the following themes:

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