Adapting and Validating the G-NORM (Gender Norms Scale) in Nepal: An Examination of How Gender Norms Are Associated with Agency and Reproductive Health Outcomes

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Studies in family planning




Research calls for the sexual and reproductive rights field to prioritize gender norms to ensure that women can act on their reproductive rights. However, there is a gap in accepted measures. We addressed this by including important theoretical components of gender norms: differentiating between descriptive and injunctive norms and adding a referent group. Our team originally developed and validated the G-NORM, a gender norms scale, in India. In this paper, we describe how we subsequently adapted and validated it in Nepal. We administered items to women of reproductive age, conducted exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, and examined associations between the subscales and reproductive health outcomes. Like the original G-NORM, our factor analyses showed that descriptive norms and injunctive norms comprise two distinct scales which fit the data well and had Cronbach alphas of 0.92 and 0.89. More equitable descriptive gender norms were associated with higher decision-making scores, increased odds of intending to use family planning, disagreeing that it is wrong to use family planning, and older ideal age at marriage. Injunctive gender norms were only associated with disagreeing that it is wrong to use family planning. Findings offer an improved measure of gender norms in Nepal and provide evidence that gender norms are critical for agency and reproductive health outcomes.


Prevention and Community Health