What is Gender Mainstreaming?
Gender mainstreaming is a strategy for developing
policies, legislation, programs, projects, society and
community’s development plans from gender equality
perspective in order to benefit both women and men.
What is Gender Mainstreaming?
• Is a strategy for achieving gender equality
• Strategy to end gender blindness in development
• Ensures women & men, girls & boys have equal
access to & control over resources, opportunities &
benefits at all levels.
Women’s Empowerment vs Gender
Women’s empowerment – actions that are targeted
specifically towards women. Aimed at redressing the
historical exclusion and power imbalance from which
women and girls have suffered
eg. Support to female entrepreneurs, training for
female parliamentarians, action against gender
• Looking at all programmes/actions through a
- ie considering the differential impact of our
actions, systems, processes on men and
women (boys/girls). Taking a gender
perspective on everything from employment
law to budgeting processes to infrastructure
What is Sex?
• Is the biological differentiation between
women and men
• Is Natural
• Is Permanent
• Is determined by genetics
What is Gender?
• Is the social construction of roles,
responsibilities and behaviour patterns
assigned to men and women, boys and girls in
a given society in time.
• Through process of socialization society
provides gender identity to males and females
• Differs from culture to culture
• Changes in time
Refers to equal chance for women, men, girls and
boys in allocation and access to resources and
G/E is measured in terms of equality of
opportunities and equality of results or reward for
Exists where sex-based discrimination is nonexistent
Is necessary for achievement of other devt goals
i.e. poverty reduction ( ref. MDGs)
Women’s empowerment is important so that they
can influence this distribution by participating in
decision making at all levels.
Refers to fairness, where fair treatment is accorded
to both men and women. Equity sometimes calls
for affirmative action to allow fair play, especially
where two groups are competing for same
resources and one has an advantage over the
other. Example in a mining industry where
employees are digging a mine within a given
timeframe, it would be fair to allow women more
time to complete their task. They are biologically
weak in strength as compared to men.
Are specific consequences of inequality, inequity and
differential treatment between women and men.
Include biases or discriminatory behaviour towards
individuals on basis of sex or social roles attached to
them i.e denial of a girl-child education in favour of
boy-child on grounds that a girl will get married & be
an investment to another family or increasing men’s
entry fees to an entertainment club on basis that they
are more financially empowered.
Gender issues affect women & men in society & have
an impact on development
Particular Economic and Social Roles which a
society considers appropriate for men and
Distinction made on the basis of gender roles
that prevents a person from enjoying full human
• Gender relations
• Social change
Recognizes that there are socially determined
differences between men and women based on
learned behavior which affect ability to access
and control resources
Is the ability to perceive existing gender
differences, issues and equalities and
incorporate these into strategies and actions
Is the failure to recognize that gender is an
essential determinant of social outcomes
Arise from situations of disparities or imbalances that raise
fear or worry that can not be ignored.
Many people react to disparities/discriminations, having
perceived them as unfair or undesirable at family
level,school,community and at national level.
When a gender imbalance does not cause anxiety in people
then it remains a gender disparity i.e early and forced
marriages are encouraged in some communities as much as
it is a gender issue. It becomes a concern when majority of
people in the community realize it is not good and should
Gender gaps / disparities
Refers to systematic differences in outcome that
men and women achieve in an individual sector.
It is imbalances/differences that arise due to social
assigned gender roles/issues i.e gap between the
number of enrolled male nurses vs women nurses;
number of female pilots vs male pilots; piloting is
viewed as masculine and not meant for women.
Are common perceptions or assumptions
about the characteristics of a person based
on false and unproven hypothesis
statements like women’s place is in the
kitchen, women cannot make leaders, men
do not cry etc are stereotyped.
Refers to taking into account gender gaps
and gender issues to inform plans,
implementation and design of any processes
A gender responsive budget would require
an analysis of actual expenditure and
revenue of men vs women and adjusted
appropriately to address any gender
Is the systematic effort to research, document and
understand the roles of women and men within a given
context, and how a particular activity, decision or plan will
specifically affect women or men.
G/A makes visible the advantages and disadvantages
experienced by men or women, in relation to an issue
Provides the basis for taking steps to address disadvantages,
and for devising remedial/ preventive interventions.
G/A allows for more just and equal representation of all
men and women in shaping human society.
Gender Responsive Budgeting
• Refers to process that responds to specific needs of women,
men, girls and boys in setting priorities in allocation of
• Gender Responsive Budgets highlight the differential impacts
of resources allocation in various sectors as well as enable
dialogue on ways to address these gaps. Gender budgets do
not only look at monetary numbers but also policy analysis,
implementation and M&E of programmes and the impact
• Gender Responsive budgeting goes to the heart of
mainstreaming gender in government activities.
Gender and Development (GAD)
• GAD aims at meeting women and men’s practical and
strategic gender needs.
• Should be considered across all sectors and at all levels of
broad devt policies
• Challenges the existing division of labour and power
• Looking at only women is half the problem solved
• Looking at women in relation to men and the way in which
relations between the two are socially constructed is fully
solving the problem.
• GAD is more confrontational approach based on the premise
that if women have to be part of mainstream; men have to be
part of the change.
Three level of Gender Mainstreaming
- At legislation, policies, strategies level
- At organization, department level
- At household, family level
GM is Very Simple…
Make sure the “people” are disaggregated
sufficiently to gain each from the revolution:
As Agents: Do they participate?
As beneficiaries: Do they gain?
• If not, WHY NOT?
Steps in GM
• The steps to gender mainstreaming in a programme/sector:
1) Familiarize yourself with the key gender tools
2) Through analysis of data and information on a particular
area/sectos, identify the emerging gender issues to be addressed
3) Engage with the national partner, advocate as necessary to identify
the causes of the gender issue at stake
4) Work with the sector to identify the actions to address the issues,
develop a costed action plan and set a monitoring framework
5) Reflect the issues into the programme/project of your agency and
link up as necessary with other agencies for a holistic approach to
the gender issue