Some gender concepts Jemimah Njuki Team Leader: Poverty, Gender and ImpactFAO-ILRI Workshop on Integrating Gender in Livestock Projects and Programs, ILRI, Addis Ababa, 22-25 November 2011
Key ConceptsGender• Refers to the socially constructed roles and status of women and men, girls and boys. It is a set of culturally specific characteristics defining the social behaviour of women and men, boys and girls, and the relationships between them.• Gender roles, status and relations vary according to place (countries, regions, and villages), groups (class, ethnic, religious, caste), generations and stages of the lifecycle of individuals.• Gender is, thus, not about women but about the relationship between women and men.
Gender equality• Entails the concept that all human beings, both men and women, are free to develop their personal abilities and make choices without the limitations set by stereotypes, rigid gender roles, or prejudices.• Gender equality means that the different behaviours, aspirations and needs of women and men are considered, valued and favoured equally.• It does not mean that women and men have to become the same, but that their rights, responsibilities and opportunities will not depend on whether they are born male or female.
Gender equity• Means fairness of treatment for women and men, according to their respective needs.• This may include equal treatment or treatment that is different but considered equivalent in terms of rights, benefits, obligations and opportunities.• In the development context, a gender equity goal often requires built-in measures to compensate for the historical and social disadvantages of women.
Gender analysis• Is a tool /set of tools to assist in strengthening development planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and to make programmes and projects more efficient and relevant.• Gender analysis should go beyond cataloguing differences to identifying inequalities and assessing relationships between women and men.• Gender analysis helps us to frame questions about women and mens roles and relations in order to avoid making assumptions about who does what, when and why.• The aim of such analysis is to formulate development interventions that are better targeted to meet both womens and mens needs and constraints.
Empowerment• Implies people – both women and men – taking control over their lives by setting their own agendas, gaining skills (or having their own skills and knowledge recognized), increasing their self- confidence, solving problems, and developing self-reliance.• It is both a process and an outcome.• Empowerment implies an expansion in womens ability to make strategic life choices in a context where this ability was previously denied to them.
Gender mainstreaming• Is a strategy for making womens, as well as mens, concerns and experiences an integral dimension in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in all political, economic and social spheres so that women and men benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated.• The ultimate goal is to achieve gender equality
Approaches• Gender-neutral approaches do not account for the differences between women and men and do not consider how women and men may be marginalized and harmed or may not benefit from research, programs and policy.• Gender aware (or responsive) approaches are designed to meet both women’s and men’s needs. These approaches ensure that both women and men will benefit, and neither will be harmed by research, programs and policy, such as, for example, by exacerbating their work burdens.• Gender transformative approaches actively strive to examine, question, and change rigid gender norms and the imbalance of power as a means of achieving development goals as well as meeting gender equity objectives. These research, programmatic and policy approaches challenge the distribution of resources and allocation of duties between men and women.
Why Gender: The Business Case for Gender Mainstreaming• Consistent gender disparities in access to and benefits from technologies, services and inputs across developing countries.• Participation in and benefits from markets: Low female membership in agricultural marketing cooperatives, lack of important information on prices for marketing systems etc.• Men and women are impacted differently by technologies, interventions and other emerging threats such as climate change, HIV/AIDs on women.• Focus on gender can increase the productivity of agriculture and livestock systems, and improve food security and nutrition.
The Business Case for Gender Mainstreaming• Findings have shown the importance of the explicit focus on gender in promoting household poverty reduction.• Meaningful representation in both men and women decision making and policy bodies, in management positions, in research and development is an important component of reducing gender inequalities.• The participation of men and women in agriculture research and development leads to better decision outcomes, better performance, creativity and innovation and this has been shown in a variety of settings, occupations, and organizations (Pelled et al, 1999; Hamilton et al, 2003).
The potential gains from reducing gender disparities• If women had the same resources as men, they could increase yields on their farms by 20-30% – raise agricultural output by 2.5-4% and reduce hungry people by 100-150 million (FAO, 2011)• There is evidence that income under the control of women is more likely to be used to improve family welfare – women spend upto 90% of their income on their families, while men spend 30-40% – strengthening marital bargaining power and "voice" within the household decision-making Extent of gender mainstreaming /integration in agriculture research and development programs remains adhoc – There is no evidence on what potential entry points bring the most benefits or catalyse change