Over the years, development efforts to improving gender equity have sought to advance women’s empowerment. Aid actors have funded interventions that work towards improving women’s political engagement by providing funding and technical resources, developing capacities from individual to movement levels, supporting policy dialogue that creates space for women’s empowerment, and building relationships, for instance between state, civil society actors and feminist activists.
While great gains have been made, the success of these efforts have depended on the quality of programming, how well supported partners have been able to navigate their political context, and wider political, social, economic, and cultural conditions. Improving women’s and girls rights and lives continues to be an ongoing challenge.
Here are some considerations when developing gender-inclusive program, research or policies:
- Understanding the gender barriers that prevent men and women from engaging with development projects. Addressing the underlying norms and structures that perpetuate gender based inequities, can transform gender relations.
- Gender transformative approaches seek to address the root causes of gender inequality in order to effect structural transformation. It seeks to understand the specific contexts that shape power dynamics, and the intersection of gender and social identities that structure inequalities.
- Engaging boys in gender equity efforts from a young age can improve their development outcomes, while reducing resistance and challenging the gendered stereotypes and sexist gender roles. Men can participate in the redistribution of power and leverage their influence as gender equity advocates.
- Intersectional approaches are vital for gender equity and inclusion because women and girls experience inequality differently. Women and girls with disabilities face distinct experiences of exclusion based on the interaction between gender and disability.
- As well as addressing gender inequalities in the communities they work with, development practitioners also need to address their own biases and discrimination in development organisations. Feminist theories have exposed the need for development organisations to address their own structures and processes of power so that they don’t recreate oppressive forms of leadership.
Read the full articles:
- Effectiveness of aid interventions to strengthen collective action that facilitate women’s political empowerment (Research summary, 10 mins, PDF 402KB)
- Gender equality is not just a women’s issue (Blog, 10 mins)
- Transforming gender relations: insights form IDRC Research (Report, 1 hour, PDF 3.85MB)
- Why male inclusion in female advancement matters in international development (blog, 10 mins)
- Using research for gender transformative change: Principles and Practice (Report, 1 hour, PDF601KB)
- Leadership for Inclusive Development: Dismantling myths and transformating practice (Speech, Video, 50 mins)
- Gender barriers: what stops women or men participating (PDF poster; 960.08KB)
- Disability and Gender Equality (report; PDF; 2.96MB)
- CBM Disability & Gender Toolkit (Toolkit; PDF; 2.38MB)