Social Marketing can illustrate powerful stories of alternative and positive norms. These can take many forms:


Comic books are a popular format for promoting positive social norms through visual story-telling. Priya Shakti tells the story of a woman and Goddess Parvati coming together to end gender-based violence in India. Alongside the comic book, its creators are pulling together an exhibition for more stories and dialogues around gender-base violence, as well as a mural painting campaign. It is also working with a partner APNE AAP to share and discuss the story in schools:

The Meena Communication Initiative by Unicef, has produced a series of comic books and cartoons to discuss equal treatment of boys and girls. This has included topics such as child marriage, dowry, equal education and other topics (see a full set of topics on the UNICEF page). These materials have been shared in publc spaces across Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Bhutan, and have also been integrated into educational programming in some sites.

A review of the initiative found that participants were aware of the messages presented for fair treatment between girls and boys in the cartoon, though it was unclear whether this led to changes in community social norms. The review also noted that potential for social norms change could be leveraged where participants viewed Meena as part of their own community, beyond just a cartoon character (for a review of this initiative see "Reducing societal discrimination against adolescent girls" (Cooper and Fletcher).


CARE Sri Lanka created a series cartoons that challenge socially normative masculine behavior by illustrating alternative behaviors. You can find more stories on youtube under the channel careweunite:


Forum theater productions offer entertaining means to illustrate social issues and engage audiences in dialogue on understanding root causes of an issues and considering alternatives and solutions.

See a set of videos from CARE Sri Lanka's EMERGE Project on how they approached forum theater.


(See Raising Voices)


(See Raising Voices)