PowerPoint One


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that reinforces or deepens their understanding of gender by stressing four key points: critiques of binary thinking; intersectionality of gendered identities; the way that institutions and social processes as well as people are gendered; the way that gender is sexualized (and sexuality gendered) – segue into the need to include men in gender equality projects

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PowerPoint One

  1. 1. Gender Equality • development work, regardless of sector, is now required to ‘engender’ development • a contemporary example is Millennium Development Goals
  2. 2. Conventional Approach: <ul><li>SEX: our biological make-up; emphasis is given to reproductive physiology; the term ‘female’ is used to designate women’s capacity to bear children; ‘male’ is used to designate the physical characteristics of men </li></ul>
  3. 3. Conventional Approach <ul><li>GENDER: the social dimensions of being ‘women’ and ‘men’; these dimensions include learned attitudes and behaviors that mark us as being either ‘feminine’ or ‘masculine’ </li></ul>
  4. 4. Biological Determinism <ul><li>A way of thinking that sees the social world as a result of our ‘genes’ rather than how we organize to reproduce life on a daily and intergenerational basis </li></ul>
  5. 5. Gender under Question
  6. 6. Lessons: <ul><ul><ul><li>1 the variability of human biology (that is ‘sex’) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>2 the political nature of categories that organize our thinking about gender </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>3 how our thinking can limit our understanding of human experience </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Heterosexual Matrix <ul><li>• a dominant model of binary gender identities that makes sense when sexed bodies are expressed through a gender that is oppositionally and hierarchically defined through the practice of heterosexuality as the only socially approved form of sexuality </li></ul>
  8. 8. Lesson <ul><li>• 4 a heterosexual matrix anchors our feelings of being gendered Subjects in our sexualized body </li></ul>
  9. 9. Gender is Sexualized <ul><li>• in short; gendered identities are sexualized in order to ‘make sense’ </li></ul><ul><li>• ‘ feminine’ women are sexually submissive, chaste </li></ul><ul><li>• ‘ masculine’ men are sexually dominant and express a strong sex drive </li></ul>
  10. 10. Gendered Thinking … <ul><ul><ul><li>• gender is a relationship ; studying only women cannot explain everything; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>gender is interlocked with class, caste, race, ethnicity, age and other hierarchical social relations ; differences among women (and among men) may be as important as differences between women and men; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>gender differences are hierarchical , although to different degrees in different cultures; gender complementarity does not exclude hierarchy; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>More … </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Gendered Thinking … <ul><ul><ul><li>gender relations are more than definitions – they have a material base (access to and control over resources) – changing culture (ideas and beliefs) is not enough; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>gender relations are dynamic, historically changing ways of obtaining and distributing social resources – they are sites of political contestation in both the personal and the public sphere; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>inequalities in gender relations are universal, but the nature of these inequalities is context specific; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>More … </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Gendered Thinking … <ul><ul><ul><li>gender identity is related to, but distinct from, sexuality. Cultural norms deem some sexual behaviours feminine (sexual submission) and other sexual behaviours masculine (sexual dominance); </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>gender is a characteristic of more than people – it is a characteristic of social structures and symbolic systems ; studying gender involves much more than studying people. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Question your gender definitions: <ul><ul><ul><li>When I use the terms ‘women’ or ‘men,’ which women or men do I have in mind? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>When I use the term ‘women’ and ‘men’ which women and men do I have in mind? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>When do I need to use the term ‘girl’ or ‘boy’ so that female or male children are not neglected as a distinct gender group? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Question your gender assumptions: <ul><ul><ul><li>What kinds of assumptions inform my personal understanding of gender relations? Of human sexuality? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What am I taking for granted when I claim that project activities will be ‘inclusive’? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Am I assuming that marginalized groups will be able to participate in project activities? What might need to happen to enable them to participate? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>More … </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><ul><ul><li>Am I assuming that marginalized groups will want to participate in project activities? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If I design activities for women, have I thought of the repercussions that these activities might have on women after these activities? If activities for men, have I thought of the repercussions that these activities might have on women after these activities? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Question your point of view: <ul><ul><ul><li>How have I come to understand the gender dynamics of community participants? Have I listened to everyday people </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>about their situation, or have I talked only to community leaders? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If I look at the project from the point of view of community participants, what would the benefits of the project look like? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If there are activities that target women, how might men interpret these activities and the women who participate in them? </li></ul></ul></ul>