Integrating gender into social marketing programs

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This conceptual paper highlights the importance of adopting gender-responsive approaches in social marketing programs. The paper addresses the lack of understanding of gender and what it entails by describing gender as a social construction and using practical examples from the health and international development areas. Drawing into intersectionality perspectives, the article underlines the need to understand the varied and particular experiences of individuals and groups within a specific context given their intersecting social-identity factors.  

The article also presents several approaches to integrate gender, that are commonly used by academics and global governance institutions: gender-unequal, gender-blind, gender-sensitive, gender-specific, and gender-transformative. The last two are considered gender responsive and are recommended to be adopted by social marketing programs. Lastly, the article also proposes pathways to integrate gender in the different phases of a social marketing program (research, social issue identification and participant selection, development and implementation, monitoring, evaluation and learning, reporting and dissemination) to make strategies and actions more gender-responsive.

Authors: Nathaly Aya Pastrana, Claire Somerville, L. Suzanne Suggs

Journal: Journal of Marketing Management

Year of publication: 2022

Recommended reference: Aya Pastrana, N.,  Somerville., C &  Suggs, L.S., (2022): Integrating gender into social marketing programmes, Journal of Marketing Management, DOI: 10.1080/0267257X.2022.2071964

Keywords: social marketing, gender, social programs.

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Stephanie Aya Pastrana, MSc
Adherent Member


Stephanie is an architect from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Cali with a master’s degree in Urban Strategies and Design from the University of Edinburgh. She has professional experience in the design and development of architectural projects of different scales, also developing research projects related to the quality of public spaces in Cali (Colombia) and sustainable construction. She currently works as a consultant and full-time professor at the Faculty of Creation and Habitat of the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Cali.