MAISHA-Youth! Gender Equity and Empowerment to Prevent Violence among Adolescents and Young Adults in Tanzania
Intimate partner violence (IPV) affects 30% of adolescent girls and young women aged 15-24 globally, leading to severe and irreversible health consequences. The adolescent development stage is crucial for shaping attitudes toward gender roles and IPV and intervening during these formative years has the potential to prevent IPV for a lifetime. Research on IPV prevention in adolescents is limited, particularly in low-income countries. The MAISHA-Youth! project will adapt and pilot-test an evidence-based intervention, shown to improve attitudes and beliefs related to gender equity and decrease the experience of IPV among adult women, to be appropriate for adolescents and young adults of both genders in Mwanza, Tanzania.
To adapt and pilot-test the MAISHA-Youth! gender empowerment intervention to promote gender equity and prevent IPV among adolescents and young adults aged 14-24. We will measure participants’ change in attitudes and beliefs related to gender equity and acceptance of violence as well as experience of past-year IPV.
Phase 1: In 2022 we conducted formative research, in partnership with an adolescent and young adult advisory board, to adapt the MAISHA gender empowerment curriculum to be appropriate and acceptable to adolescents and young adults of both genders. We also worked with an adult community advisory board to adapt the curriculum for adult community members and community leaders of both genders. In collaboration with adolescents, young adults, and community members, we developed the 3-component MAISHA-Youth! intervention which includes: 1) the MAISHA-Youth! 8-session gender empowerment curriculum for adolescents and young adults aged 14-24; 2) a 3-session community workshop which abbreviated the gender empowerment curriculum to target adult community members; and 3) a 1-day training seminar focused on equipping community and religious leaders with supporting gender equity and violence prevention.
Phase 2: In 2023 we pilot-tested the 3-component MAISHA-Youth! intervention in two communities in Sengerema District. We measured attitudes and beliefs around gender equity and violence prevention, and experience of IPV among adolescents and young adults prior to participating in the MAISHA-Youth! gender empowerment curriculum and will conduct follow-up surveys to measure change in these outcomes 6-months after completion of the curriculum.
National Institute for Medical Research,Tanzania: Joyce Wamoyi; MITU, Tanzania/London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), UK: Saidi Kapiga; LSHTM, UK: Sheila Harvey; MITU,Tanzania: Elialilia Okello