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Gender Mainstreaming from theory to praxis. Overview Changing thinking and practice on women, gender and development –‘WID’, ‘WAD’ and ‘GAD’ –Rise and.

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Presentation on theme: "Gender Mainstreaming from theory to praxis. Overview Changing thinking and practice on women, gender and development –‘WID’, ‘WAD’ and ‘GAD’ –Rise and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gender Mainstreaming from theory to praxis

2 Overview Changing thinking and practice on women, gender and development –‘WID’, ‘WAD’ and ‘GAD’ –Rise and fall of gender mainstreaming Understanding gender mainstreaming –Defining the terms –Moving forward with change in organisations

3 Changing Thinking and Practice on Women, Gender and Development

4 Theory and Policy: ‘WID’, ‘WAD’ and ‘GAD’ ‘Women in Development’ –Rooted in modernisation theory and liberal feminist ideas on equality –Economic change = empowerment –Rise of micro-credit policies and the recognition of women in productive economy

5 Theory and Policy: ‘WID’, ‘WAD’ and ‘GAD’ ‘Women and Development’ –Rooted in dependency theory and Marxist feminist ideas –Economic change = empowerment –Advocated no real policy change around involving women in the development process

6 Theory and Policy: ‘WID’, ‘WAD’ and ‘GAD’ ‘Gender and Development’ –Rooted in post-development theory and post-structuralist critiques in feminism –Economic change ≠ empowerment (e.g. micro credit) –Refocus on ‘gender relations and roles’ above ‘women’ as a category –Gender ≠ women –Effective poverty reduction is gender aware

7 ‘GAD’ Ideas and Concepts Equality vs. inequality Roles, identity and value Empowerment and power Beyond household analysis Practical vs. strategic interests Double burden Men and masculinities Gender mainstreaming

8 Where are we today? Rise of gender mainstreaming as ‘solution’ to global gender inequality and poverty Disillusionment with gender mainstreaming as ‘solution’ Re-emergence of ‘women’s rights’ as focus in development policy –Tempered by GAD thinking Dual approach adopted in organisations Gender mainstreaming is still important

9 Understanding Gender Mainstreaming

10 “the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programmes, in all areas and at all levels. It is a strategy for making women’s as well as men’s concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in all political, economic and societal spheres so that women and men benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated. The ultimate goal is to achieve gender equality.” (ECOSOC 1997/2)

11 “an organisational strategy to bring a gender perspective to all aspects of an institution’s policy and activities, through building gender capacity and accountability. […] With a mainstreaming strategy, gender concerns are seen as important to all aspects of development; for all sectors and areas of activity, and a fundamental part of the planning process. Responsibility for the implementation of a gender policy is diffused across the organisational structure, rather than concentrated in a small central unit.” (Baden and Reeves, 2000: 9)

12 All clear now? Perhaps not… Three point definition: –Process – organizational change –Output – gender aware policy and practice –Goal – gender equality in society Lack of ‘process’ element is the short fall of current definitions and actions Confusion over means with ends

13 Moving forward… Understanding institutional vs. developmental politics Creating institutional change around GAD is not just a technical process Need to tackle ‘norms’ and ‘values’ – move beyond organisational imperatives to staff and their beliefs

14 Creating change involves… ‘Norm’ change: –Organisational structures, policies, checks and balances ‘Value’ change: –Creating desire (challenging beliefs) –Building capacity –Raising confidence

15 Mentoring on Gender Pilot project in Commonwealth Education Fund programme (4 out of 16 countries) Promoted a long term ‘process’ approach to gender mainstreaming Mentor responsible for supporting staff in partner organisations on gender Provided formal training workshops on issues relevant to them but also work with them after meetings The mentor helped the staff work through issues not provide the answers or technical advice The impacts were substantial on the way staff in the organisations embraced gender and carried out their work

16 Further reading Chant, S (2000). From “'Women-blind' to 'Man-kind': Should Men have More Space in Gender and Development”. IDS bulletin 31(2). Cornwall, A, E Harrison and A Whitehead (2007). Feminisms in Development: Contradictions, Contestations and Challenges. London, Zed. Piálek, N (2008). “Is this really the end of the road for gender mainstreaming? Getting to grips with gender and institutional change” in The challenge of development alternatives: Can NGOs make a difference? edited by S Hickney, A Bebbington, and D Mitlin. London: Zed Books. Sweetman, C (2005). Gender and Development: Mainstreaming - A critical review 13(2).

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