Gender equity: To compensate for women’s historical and social disadvantages. That is why sometimes programs target only women or women’s groups, specially in areas where women suffered significant disadvantage, like on the higher levels of value chains or access to markets
Gender equality is the goal, like ending poverty for example. But to get there we need to talk about power imbalances and negotiating that imbalance.
according to patterns that are acceptable in a particular place and time
Although the gender division of labour involves men and women undertaking different activities, it also entails an intricate and changing system of co-operation and exchange one that is potentially conflictual. from a social relations analysis perspective the gender division of labour is understood as a form of .social connection.. In assigning women and men to different responsibilities, activities and spheres, the gender division of labour also makes it essential for them to engage in relationships of co-operation and exchange
For example: in many countries men prepare the soil while women usually do the planting, weeding and post-harvest processing. Men sell the produce. Women are usually in charge of food production, men take care of large livestock and men of small livestock.
Gender relations refer specifically to those dimensions of social relations that create differences in the positioning of men and women in social processes.
For example: Some interventions address women’s economic empowerment by giving them small loans. It might be that even the resources are directly given to women only, these don’t really have any impact on the decision of how to invest the loan, or get any benefit from it because of the gender relations within the household. Women.s ability to retain control over resources allocated to them is mediated by the powerful social relations and gender ideologies that render them subordinate and not fully autonomous in the first place
Targeting and involving women does not automatically leads to more benefits or equitable relations. Nor does it guarantee the sustainability of potential benefits and changes
When talking about gender in research and development people immediately think about women and immediately after they think about the disparities, the inequalities experienced by women. But these are the symptoms of a deep and fundamental problem that is rooted on traditional norms and attitudes about what it means to be a women or a man in a given community.
further attention needs to be given to the process through which more equitable power-sharing between the genders is to be achieved.
Social relations are not static. The conflictual and collaborative aspects of gender relations involve men and women in a constant process of negotiation and re-negotiation.
The priority for those interested in improving women.s status, therefore, must be to provide women with greater bargaining power within this process.
Interventions that bring women to participate in traditionally men dominated activities/enterprises. Like oil palm expansion businesses. Or inviting women from different ethnic and religious backgrounds to participate in forest user groups and participate in decision making
PAR: Collective, reflective process that is directly linked to action, influenced by understanding of history, culture, and local context and embedded in social relationships. The process of PAR should be empowering and lead to people having increased control over their lives
Participatory research brings out the views of local people: their reality, their challenges, and their understanding of problems and solutions.
Their ideas may prove to be quite distinct from those in charge of formulating the policies that affect their lives.
Participatory research can therefore produce surprising insights for policy, and may challenge the assumptions on which policy frameworks are based
Purpose Participatory research is initiated for a variety of reasons. The purpose can be very functional – for example, to generate specific information on a particular theme for a new programme or policy – or might aim for the empowerment of communities. Whatever the purpose, it is important that participants are involved in both generating and analysing data, as it is during the analysis that much of the learning takes place
Representation Who are the ‘local people’ we talk about? In participatory research it is crucial to understand the make-up of local communities and the power relations within them, and to include members of different social groups who have different perspectives on their circumstances. Without due attention to difference, social inequalities can be reproduced in the research process and its outcomes.
Level of participation Local people experience different levels of participation in participatory research processes. In some, they set the agenda and objectives together with researchers, are fully involved in data collection and analysis, and can adjust the goals of the exercise and change research activities. The exact balance often depends on how much power is retained by the researcher or the organization that has initiated the research.
Risks associated to this level and how we are understanding participation. ‘Participation’ can mask manipulation, or the legitimation of interventions driven by more powerful actors in which citizens have no control.
Passive participation: People participate by being told what is going to happen or has already happened. It is a unilateral announcement by an administration or project management without listening to people’s responses. The information being shared belongs only to external professionals. This is more often the case for women and youth, especially in rural areas Participation in information giving: People participate by answering questions posed by extractive researchers using questionnaire surveys or similar approaches. People do not have the opportunity to influence proceedings, as the findings of the research are neither shared nor checked for accuracy. Participation by consultation: People participate by being consulted, and external people listen to views. These external professionals define both problems and solutions, and may modify these in the light of people’s responses. Such a consultative process does not concede any share in decision-making, and professionals are under no obligation to consider people’s priorities. Functional participation: People participate by forming groups to meet predetermined project objectives related to the project; which can involve the development or promotion of externally initiated social organizations. Such involvement tends to occur after major decisions have been made rather than in the early stages of project development. These institutions tend to be dependent on external initiators and facilitators, but may become self-dependent. Much on-farm research falls in this category, as farmers provide the fields but are not involved in the experimentation or the process of learning. people have no stake in prolonging activities when the incentives end. Interactive participation: People participate in joint analysis, which leads to action plans and the formation of new local institutions or the strengthening of existing ones. It tends to involve interdisciplinary methodologies that seek multiple perspectives and make use of systematic and structured learning processes. These groups take control over local decisions so people have a stake in maintaining structures or practices. Self-mobilization: People participate by taking initiatives independently of external institutions to change systems. They develop contacts with external institutions for resources and technical advice they need, but retain control over how resources are used. Such self-initiated mobilization and collective action may or may not challenge existing inequitable distributions of wealth and power
Nominal participation is often used by more powerful actors to give legitimacy to development plans. Less powerful people become involved in it through a desire for inclusion. But it is little more than a display, and does not result in change. Instrumental participation sees community participation being used as a means towards a stated end – often the efficient use of the skills and knowledge of community members in project implementation. Representative participation involves giving community members a voice in the decision-making and implementation process of projects or policies that effect them. For the more powerful, representative participation increases the chances of their intervention being sustainable; for the less powerful, it may offer a chance for leverage. Transformative participation results in the empowerment of those involved, and as a result alters the structures and institutions that lead to marginalisation and exclusion.
Gender and participatory research
Gender, participatory and
‘transformative’ approaches to
Ana Maria Paez Valencia - ICRAF
August 29 2017
Is the process of being fair to women and
men. To ensure fairness, strategies and
measures must often be available to
compensate for women’s historical and social
disadvantages that prevent women and men
from otherwise operating on a level playing
field. Equity leads to equality.
Refers to the equal enjoyment by women,
girls, boys and men of rights, opportunities,
resources and rewards. A critical aspect of
promoting gender equality is the
empowerment of women, with a focus on
identifying and redressing power imbalances.
It concerns the allocation of tasks and
responsibilities of women and men at
home, at work and in society. Entails
intricate relationships of cooperation
The ways men and women share or
compete for resources, bargain and
have power over each other. They
arise from the roles men and women
are expected to play and their
differences and inequalities
and seek to develop actions
that adjust to and often
compensate for them
No active strategy is used to
seek to change the norms
Ignores differences in
opportunities and resource
allocation for women and
men. Can reinforce gender-
Often constructed based on
the principle of being “fair”
by treating everyone the
Gender responsive research
Gender blind research
Transformative gender research
Involving men &
boys to encourage
Gender Transformative Approaches
Integrates efforts to address gender disparities in access and control over resources with
complementary actions to address underlying social norms and power relations
Household approaches to foster equitable
decision-making and relationships
Participatory action research (PAR) – to
build capacities and build social capital
Initiatives to foster behavioural change
Supporting collective action and networks
Adapted from World Fish 2015
Understanding Participatory Research
• Participatory research is
both a range of methods
and an ideological
• Its fundamental principles
are that the subjects of
the research become
involved as partners in the
process of the enquiry,
and that their knowledge
and capabilities are
respected and valued.
• Enables local people to articulate their views and express their
knowledge through describing and analyzing their own situation and
The purpose can be
functional or aim for
• Understand make-up
of local communities
and power relations
• Include members of
Levels of participation
• Depend on how much
power is retained by
• Different typologies
between more and less
Understanding Participatory Research
Adapted from Institute of Development Studies - IDS
Levels of Participation
what is going
to happen or
No influence in
Findings are not
ons based on
No share in
objectives or to
of externals to
•Often used to
•Means to an
•Use the skills
to serve a
Pretty et al. (1995)
White S. (1996)
Key principles of participatory
• Reflection and self-awareness - Listen, learn and respect
• Be prepared to unlearn stereotypes, personal cultural or
• There is an insider’s and an outsider’s perception of
• Act as facilitator, not an expert
• Recognize specific knowledge and perspectives of different
• Share knowledge, experience and analysis
• Combine local and professional knowledge
• Participatory research has the power to reveal multiple
Action-orientated •Be prepared to take action rather than just collect data
• What types of participatory projects have you been involved in? List them
and describe them to the group
• Do you have other examples of participatory projects and activities that
you have heard about? List them and describe them for the group
• For each of the examples discuss among the group on the following
– What was the purpose?
– Who was represented?
– What level of participation was achieved, and why?
– For the purpose of the project, was that level of representation and
– For those groups that were not represented, what obstacles to participation
did they face?
– What could be done to improve the representation and the level of
Activity: Empathy Mapping
• Discuss as a group your ‘ideal research participant’ or who your program is
intended to reach. Is this a young man in a rural community? A mother who
provides for her large family? Who are some of the most critical voices you and
your team need to hear from?
• Once you have decided upon a specific person, complete a point-of-view
statement that relates to agriculture, climate change and/or gender. Use the
following format to structure this statement.
E.g.: A young woman in this village must travel farther to get water during drought.
A married mother in this village is affected by domestic violence