This theme questions how can existing norms around sexuality that constrain women’s empowerment, including marriage normativity, be unsettled in ways that enable women to empower themselves - including engagement with the media, religion and with the representations and influences that shape people’s experience of sexuality, particularly amongst youth? And what potential exists for using this to build alliances for change?

What does it take to turn private harms into matters for public concern, to make taken-for-granted violation and harassment of women something that is unacceptable? And how can norms that proscribe certain kinds of relationships and behaviour as unacceptable be transformed to permit greater recognition of sexual and reproductive rights?

How can a more positive approach to sexuality help promote well-being and safer sex as well as empower women and marginalised groups?

Listen to Charmaine Pereira, Changing Narratives of Sexuality theme convenor, discussing the relationship between gender and sexuality and exploring implications for mainstream approaches in development.

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