Terms Of Reference For Developing a Paper Analyzing the Impact Of Covid-19 on Social Norms and Violence Against Women and Girls


With the fast spreading Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many gender inequalities have already been intensified as existing discriminatory and harmful social norms continue or worsen in the face of change such as violence against women, which has intensified globally under lockdowns and in the face of economic stress.There has been a relationship between pandemics, conflict situations, outbreaks and how they affect men and women differently. Conflicts, pandemics usually test patience of the people, the fear and uncertainty provides an enabling environment that may exacerbate or spark diverse forms of violence against women and girls. When the COVID-19 pandemic spread, and as security, health and financial situations worsened, violence against women increased exponentially. Between 30th March 2020 and 28th April 2020, a total of 3,280 cases of Gender Based Violence (GBV) were reported to police[1]. On 31st March 2020, Michael Opio, a resident of Kaberamaido District was reported to have bitten off the wife’s lip over 200 Uganda Shillings[2]. This stressful period is recreating toxic masculinity exacerbated by the negative social norms. Due to the lockdown, men and boys feel their power questioned as they cannot provide and are not able to leave home to engage in productive and economic activities.Since everyone is focused on their survival, even the neighbors/by standers are not concerned about intervening is cases of violence.

There is therefore need for Oxfam and her partners to undertake an analysis to establish the connection between social norms, pandemics and violence against women and girls.


  1. To understand the unique dynamics and impact of pandemics such as COVID-19 on reinforcement of social norms that normalize or contribute to the increase in violence against women and girls
  2. To map out the negative and positive social norms that have become prevalent during COVID-19 for evidence based advocacy and influencing (towards approaches that seek to combat harmful social norms and address the root causes of violence and discrimination)
  3. To understand the leverage points for changing different inequitable gender norms and harmful social norms

Research questions

  1. Which social norms perpetuating violence against women and girls have emerged (and/or changed) as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic?
  2. Who are key reference groups in reinforcing social norms that justify violence during pandemics
  3. What type of sanctions and rewards have been observed
  4. What type of violence, reference group that is holding the particular social norm in place, and what are the sanction for going against the norms and what are the rewards for observing the norms.
  5. How has COVID-19 impacted gendered roles at the family level? How have men and women been impacted and what is the relationship between a shift/change in gendered roles and VAWG ( in the home?)
  6. How have the social norms re-enforced societal positions of men and women during the covid-19 pandemic?
  7. What safety nets and social protections have been established to respond to increased violence during Covid 19 pandemic ?

The consultant should provide examples where norms have changed to support gender equality, to create an understanding of how change is already happening at community level.


The execution of this assignment will be highly participatory, consultative and qualitative in nature. The resource person will review literature on social norms, VAWG, and related reports. He/she will interview some community members (men, women, girls and boys) who have been affected by the pandemic and how this has shifted/changed/reinforced social norms that justify or excuse violence. The resource person shall also hold interviews with key stakeholders in the women’s movement working on social norms for instance Uganda Women’s Network, Raising Voices, Centre for Domestic Violence Prevention, Action Aid, Care International, School of Women and Gender studies, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Media Agencies to mention but a few.


This will be a desk review, the findings will be triangulated through information obtained from interviews with men, women, girls and boys. Key organisations will also be interviewed to provide expert opinion. Police, health records need to be checked for increase/decrease in cases of violence during the pandemic


A comprehensive paper showing the impact of the pandemic on social norms and violence against women and girls. This paper should also indicate trends in GBV cases during the pandemic. It should also provide programmatic and policy recommendations on social norm change to end VAWG. This paper would help Oxfam and partners on campaigning against negative social norms

Key qualifications and skills

  1. Minimum of a degree in gender studies and social sciences, social development.
  2. Strong feminist or gender research strategies
  3. Skills in feminist participatory action research
  4. Experience in women’s rights programming (VAWG / GBV programming)
  5. Experience in writing similar research papers
  6. Good analytical and conceptualization skills.
  7. Good understanding social norm change to end VAWG as a desirable skill.
  8. Ability to synthesize documents and with good writing skills. The consultant should provide previous work samples

Application Process and Timelines

If you are interested and meet the criteria above please submit your application, both narrative and financial proposal to ugandalogistics@oxfam.org. Deadline for proposal submission is 14th October 2020 The assignment is expected to commence by 19th October 2020.