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Strengthening
women’s voices in
public and private
governance
Lessons from Tanzania, Senegal and Ghana
Philippine Sutz, Emilie Beauchamp, Anna Bolin
12 April 2021
Our vision
“We work together to strengthen people’s
voices in the decision-making arenas that affect
them — from village councils to international
conventions.”
--Andrew Norton, Director, IIED
Why do local
women’s voices
in private and
public
governance
matter?
Women in Senegal attending a forum on
women’s land rights (Photo: Copyright Philippine Sutz)
Philippine Sutz Emilie Beauchamp Anna Bolin / @IIED
• Voice /participation key for gender equality and women’s
empowerment;
• Local women’s voices underrepresented in public and private
governance;
• Need for better integration into projects, programming and
policies, but how?
• Limited evidence of what works, and how in promoting
women’s voices across sectors
• Decided to undertake a cross-sectoral analysis to identify in our
work factors that enable or constrain local women’s voices and
participation in public and private governance
4
Philippine Sutz Emilie Beauchamp Anna Bolin / @IIED
• Voice /participation key for gender equality and women’s
empowerment;
• Local women’s voices underrepresented in public and private
governance;
• Need for better integration into projects, programming and
policies, but how?
• Limited evidence of what works, and how, in promoting
women’s voices across sectors
• Decided to undertake a cross-sectoral analysis to identify in our
work factors that enable or constrain local women’s voices and
participation in public and private governance
5
Philippine Sutz Emilie Beauchamp Anna Bolin / @IIED
• Voice /participation key for gender equality and women’s
empowerment;
• Local women’s voices underrepresented in public and private
governance;
• Need for better integration into projects, programming and
policies, but how?
• Limited evidence of what works, and how in promoting
women’s voices across sectors
• Decided to undertake a cross-sectoral analysis to identify in our
work factors that enable or constrain local women’s voices and
participation in public and private governance
6
Case studies
Philippine Sutz Emilie Beauchamp Anna Bolin / @IIED 8
Tanzania: bringing the law home through
village by-laws
Women discussing draft by-laws at the Women’s Forum in Msanga ward, Kisarawe district in Tanzania
(Photo: Copyright Kennedy Rwegarulila)
Philippine Sutz Emilie Beauchamp Anna Bolin / @IIED
TAWLA’s Approach
• supporting adoption of gender-
sensitive village by-laws
 Participatory
 community dialogue
 Promoting local ownership
9
Outcomes
• Implemented in 6 districts
• Women are more present and
vocal in village meetings
• Women have an increased
knowledge of their land rights
Approach and outcomes
Philippine Sutz Emilie Beauchamp Anna Bolin / @IIED
• Women’s quotas in national
legislation: an important
starting point
• Local rules: effective tool to
‘ensure that national
legislation is implemented
locally
10
• Having community members
in the driving seat is
paramount
• Collaboration with local
authorities also key
• Local rules that provide
community-wide benefits
contribute to local ownership
Lessons learnt
Philippine Sutz Emilie Beauchamp Anna Bolin / @IIED 11
Senegal: inclusion in local climate investment
decisions
Devolved Climate Finance
mechanism:
• Implemented over 284
community-prioritised
resilience investments in four
countries in the Sahel
• Core component of
mechanism is community-
centered planning
DCF investments in Senegal: a
rice cultivation project, a well, and
a school where toilets for girls were
constructed (Photo: Emilie
Beauchamp)
Philippine Sutz Emilie Beauchamp Anna Bolin / @IIED 12
Approach
• Social inclusion of
different social group
groups (including women)
is critical for sustainable
outcomes
Gender-positive actions:
• Community involvement
• Quotas in communal
decision committees
Soanes et al. 2019. https://pubs.iied.org/pdfs/G04424.pdf
Philippine Sutz Emilie Beauchamp Anna Bolin / @IIED
• Women’s priorities seen
reflected in the types,
locations, designs of
investments
• Although women’s priorities not
systematically integrated
• Women’s participation varied
highly between villages
13
Outcomes
Women using DCF investments in Senegal: top – an irrigated
garden, bottom a well. (Photo: Daouda Cissé)
Philippine Sutz Emilie Beauchamp Anna Bolin / @IIED
• Gender lens and active
engagement of women
needed at all stages of
planning
• Engaging with “all relevant
groups” requires power
dynamics assessments
throughout project
14
• Education/skills and
social networks, and
recognition of women’s role
were key factor
• Participation occurred
across intersecting identities
& influenced by
intrahousehold dynamics
Lessons learnt and reflections
See papers:
Djohy. 2019. Social inclusion in the DCF mechanism in Senegal & Mali
Patnaik. 2021. Gender and participation […]: Evidence from the decentralized climate funds project in Se
Philippine Sutz Emilie Beauchamp Anna Bolin / @IIED
Ghana: strengthening individual and
collective agency through enterprise
15
Women shea nut collectors and processors in the Tele-Bere region, northern Ghana (Photo: © Tele-Bere VSL Association)
Philippine Sutz Emilie Beauchamp Anna Bolin / @IIED
National Executive
Committee (NEC)
Forest Zone
Working Group
(BIT & Women’s coaches/
advocates/mentors)
National Working Group
Savanna Zone
Working Group
(BIT & Women’s coaches/
advocates/mentors)
Transition Zone
Working Group
(BIT & Women’s coaches/
advocates/mentors)
FFPO FFPO FFPO
FFPO FFPO FFPO FFPO FFPO FFPO
Producers
Producers
Producers
Producers
Producers
Producers
Producers
Producers
Producers
General Assembly
Business Incubation
Team (BIT) & Women
Champions Wing
Ghana Federation
of Forest and Farm
Producers
Philippine Sutz Emilie Beauchamp Anna Bolin / @IIED
• Protection of ‘open-access’
Baobab and Shea trees
• Formalise village savings
and loans association
• Critical mass of women at
local and zonal platforms
• Joint solutions identified with
key stakeholders
17
Moving away from “women’s issues” to
common challenges and solutions
Members of one of the cooperatives in the Savanna zone
processing shea nuts into butter to be sold to the Savanna
Fruits company in Tamale (Photo: © Sophie Grouwels,
FAO Rome)
Enabling
factors
Philippine Sutz Emilie Beauchamp Anna Bolin / @IIED
An enabling institutional and
legislative framework:
 Decentralised and participatory
 Mechanisms in place to identify and
prioritise needs
 Progressive laws, gender part of a
strategic vision and operational plan
Community and household:
 Meetings - timing, place, notice
 Engaging men and leaders on
gender roles and division of labour
19
A supportive environment
Members of a Tenun Ikat Sikka weaving cooperative in
Flores, Indonesia, discuss the design of a new financial
mechanism (Photo: © Anna Bolin, IIED)
Philippine Sutz Emilie Beauchamp Anna Bolin / @IIED
• Women’s groups and
networks:
o amplify current voices
o support new voices
o create role models
20
• Basic education & skills:
ability and confidence to
speak in public;
• Legal and technical
knowledge on relevant
issues (land, agriculture
etc..)
Individual & collective capabilities are both
needed…
Philippine Sutz Emilie Beauchamp Anna Bolin / @IIED
• Working horizontally & vertically –
not just a gender lens
• Work on short and long-term
pathways for critical mass
• Shifting social recognition of
women’s role
21
… to build critical mass so voices are heard at
scale
Exchange visit and training of Nepalese women entrepreneurs to
the Self-Employed women’s Association in India (Photo : Amit Poudyal)
Philippine Sutz Emilie Beauchamp Anna Bolin / @IIED
New challenges:
• How gender intersects
with other identities
• Need new approaches
to address power
dynamics
22
Challenges
Known challenges:
• Social norms
• Limited access to
resources
• Few examples of
leadership
• Project duration &
learning
Next steps?
Meeting of the Women’s economic group in Darou
Khoudoss, Senegal (Photo: Mamadou Fall)

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Strengthening women's voices in governance

  • 1. www.iied.org @IIED Strengthening women’s voices in public and private governance Lessons from Tanzania, Senegal and Ghana Philippine Sutz, Emilie Beauchamp, Anna Bolin 12 April 2021
  • 2. Our vision “We work together to strengthen people’s voices in the decision-making arenas that affect them — from village councils to international conventions.” --Andrew Norton, Director, IIED
  • 3. Why do local women’s voices in private and public governance matter? Women in Senegal attending a forum on women’s land rights (Photo: Copyright Philippine Sutz)
  • 4. Philippine Sutz Emilie Beauchamp Anna Bolin / @IIED • Voice /participation key for gender equality and women’s empowerment; • Local women’s voices underrepresented in public and private governance; • Need for better integration into projects, programming and policies, but how? • Limited evidence of what works, and how in promoting women’s voices across sectors • Decided to undertake a cross-sectoral analysis to identify in our work factors that enable or constrain local women’s voices and participation in public and private governance 4
  • 5. Philippine Sutz Emilie Beauchamp Anna Bolin / @IIED • Voice /participation key for gender equality and women’s empowerment; • Local women’s voices underrepresented in public and private governance; • Need for better integration into projects, programming and policies, but how? • Limited evidence of what works, and how, in promoting women’s voices across sectors • Decided to undertake a cross-sectoral analysis to identify in our work factors that enable or constrain local women’s voices and participation in public and private governance 5
  • 6. Philippine Sutz Emilie Beauchamp Anna Bolin / @IIED • Voice /participation key for gender equality and women’s empowerment; • Local women’s voices underrepresented in public and private governance; • Need for better integration into projects, programming and policies, but how? • Limited evidence of what works, and how in promoting women’s voices across sectors • Decided to undertake a cross-sectoral analysis to identify in our work factors that enable or constrain local women’s voices and participation in public and private governance 6
  • 8. Philippine Sutz Emilie Beauchamp Anna Bolin / @IIED 8 Tanzania: bringing the law home through village by-laws Women discussing draft by-laws at the Women’s Forum in Msanga ward, Kisarawe district in Tanzania (Photo: Copyright Kennedy Rwegarulila)
  • 9. Philippine Sutz Emilie Beauchamp Anna Bolin / @IIED TAWLA’s Approach • supporting adoption of gender- sensitive village by-laws  Participatory  community dialogue  Promoting local ownership 9 Outcomes • Implemented in 6 districts • Women are more present and vocal in village meetings • Women have an increased knowledge of their land rights Approach and outcomes
  • 10. Philippine Sutz Emilie Beauchamp Anna Bolin / @IIED • Women’s quotas in national legislation: an important starting point • Local rules: effective tool to ‘ensure that national legislation is implemented locally 10 • Having community members in the driving seat is paramount • Collaboration with local authorities also key • Local rules that provide community-wide benefits contribute to local ownership Lessons learnt
  • 11. Philippine Sutz Emilie Beauchamp Anna Bolin / @IIED 11 Senegal: inclusion in local climate investment decisions Devolved Climate Finance mechanism: • Implemented over 284 community-prioritised resilience investments in four countries in the Sahel • Core component of mechanism is community- centered planning DCF investments in Senegal: a rice cultivation project, a well, and a school where toilets for girls were constructed (Photo: Emilie Beauchamp)
  • 12. Philippine Sutz Emilie Beauchamp Anna Bolin / @IIED 12 Approach • Social inclusion of different social group groups (including women) is critical for sustainable outcomes Gender-positive actions: • Community involvement • Quotas in communal decision committees Soanes et al. 2019. https://pubs.iied.org/pdfs/G04424.pdf
  • 13. Philippine Sutz Emilie Beauchamp Anna Bolin / @IIED • Women’s priorities seen reflected in the types, locations, designs of investments • Although women’s priorities not systematically integrated • Women’s participation varied highly between villages 13 Outcomes Women using DCF investments in Senegal: top – an irrigated garden, bottom a well. (Photo: Daouda Cissé)
  • 14. Philippine Sutz Emilie Beauchamp Anna Bolin / @IIED • Gender lens and active engagement of women needed at all stages of planning • Engaging with “all relevant groups” requires power dynamics assessments throughout project 14 • Education/skills and social networks, and recognition of women’s role were key factor • Participation occurred across intersecting identities & influenced by intrahousehold dynamics Lessons learnt and reflections See papers: Djohy. 2019. Social inclusion in the DCF mechanism in Senegal & Mali Patnaik. 2021. Gender and participation […]: Evidence from the decentralized climate funds project in Se
  • 15. Philippine Sutz Emilie Beauchamp Anna Bolin / @IIED Ghana: strengthening individual and collective agency through enterprise 15 Women shea nut collectors and processors in the Tele-Bere region, northern Ghana (Photo: © Tele-Bere VSL Association)
  • 16. Philippine Sutz Emilie Beauchamp Anna Bolin / @IIED National Executive Committee (NEC) Forest Zone Working Group (BIT & Women’s coaches/ advocates/mentors) National Working Group Savanna Zone Working Group (BIT & Women’s coaches/ advocates/mentors) Transition Zone Working Group (BIT & Women’s coaches/ advocates/mentors) FFPO FFPO FFPO FFPO FFPO FFPO FFPO FFPO FFPO Producers Producers Producers Producers Producers Producers Producers Producers Producers General Assembly Business Incubation Team (BIT) & Women Champions Wing Ghana Federation of Forest and Farm Producers
  • 17. Philippine Sutz Emilie Beauchamp Anna Bolin / @IIED • Protection of ‘open-access’ Baobab and Shea trees • Formalise village savings and loans association • Critical mass of women at local and zonal platforms • Joint solutions identified with key stakeholders 17 Moving away from “women’s issues” to common challenges and solutions Members of one of the cooperatives in the Savanna zone processing shea nuts into butter to be sold to the Savanna Fruits company in Tamale (Photo: © Sophie Grouwels, FAO Rome)
  • 19. Philippine Sutz Emilie Beauchamp Anna Bolin / @IIED An enabling institutional and legislative framework:  Decentralised and participatory  Mechanisms in place to identify and prioritise needs  Progressive laws, gender part of a strategic vision and operational plan Community and household:  Meetings - timing, place, notice  Engaging men and leaders on gender roles and division of labour 19 A supportive environment Members of a Tenun Ikat Sikka weaving cooperative in Flores, Indonesia, discuss the design of a new financial mechanism (Photo: © Anna Bolin, IIED)
  • 20. Philippine Sutz Emilie Beauchamp Anna Bolin / @IIED • Women’s groups and networks: o amplify current voices o support new voices o create role models 20 • Basic education & skills: ability and confidence to speak in public; • Legal and technical knowledge on relevant issues (land, agriculture etc..) Individual & collective capabilities are both needed…
  • 21. Philippine Sutz Emilie Beauchamp Anna Bolin / @IIED • Working horizontally & vertically – not just a gender lens • Work on short and long-term pathways for critical mass • Shifting social recognition of women’s role 21 … to build critical mass so voices are heard at scale Exchange visit and training of Nepalese women entrepreneurs to the Self-Employed women’s Association in India (Photo : Amit Poudyal)
  • 22. Philippine Sutz Emilie Beauchamp Anna Bolin / @IIED New challenges: • How gender intersects with other identities • Need new approaches to address power dynamics 22 Challenges Known challenges: • Social norms • Limited access to resources • Few examples of leadership • Project duration & learning
  • 23. Next steps? Meeting of the Women’s economic group in Darou Khoudoss, Senegal (Photo: Mamadou Fall)

Editor's Notes

  1. Philippine: Together with Anna and Emilie, we are going to present some recent work that we have done to identify factors that enable women’s voices in decision making processes in public and private gov
  2. Philippine I would like to start the presentation with this quote from our director Andrew Norton which nicely sums up our work and highlights how voices + decision making are core to what IIED does Although IIED’s reseach groups focus on specific and diverse issues - governance of NR / Climate Change/ Sustainable Markets; and making cities work for people and the planet – all our projects are characterised by a similar approach :  We work 'bottom up' to amplify marginalised voices
  3. Philippine Why did we decide to focus on local women’s voices in public and priv governance and why does it matter?
  4. Women make half of the world’s population. They should be able to actively participate and express their preferences and views everywhere decisions are made. Women’s voices in private, economic and public life should be a key component for gender equality and women’s empowerment; women’s participation in decision-making processes is a target under SDG 5 ; it was also the focus of the last session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). In our work at the community level, we have noticed that local women’s voices are consistently underrepresented in governance bodies and processes. This relates to public gov - such as local councils and committees making decision on the use of NR - but also private governance bodies, like in the case of producer organisations and cooperatives. Our work shows that decision-making bodies in sectors such as land, climate change, conservation or forest entrepreneurship are consistently dominated by men and that women’s needs and interests are rarely taken into account.
  5. There are Projects and programmes focusing on women’s participation but they remain an exception. We believe that local women’s participation should be integrated much more systematically into programming But how? Active and effective participation is complex . It requires multiple factors. limited evidence of what works to ensure that women’s voices are heard in decision-making across fields; We have decided to review some of our work from various sectors to better identify factors that enable or constrain local women to participate in governance. We’re hoping that this will pave the way for a more integrated approach to women’s participation governance. To that effect, we have selected 3 case studies from different areas of work which all had some level of focus on women’s participation in governance. one is from our land governance work in Tanzania; the other from DCF in Senegal and the last one from work on forest and farm producer organisations in Ghana.
  6. To that effect, we have selected 3 case studies from different areas of our work which all had some level of focus on women’s participation in governance. one is from our land governance work in Tanzania; the other from DCF in Senegal and the last one from work on forest and farm producer organisations in Ghana.
  7. Philippine - First present the 3 case studies then present the factors that we have identified as enabling or constraining to local women’s participation in public and private governance and make programmatic recommendations
  8. Philippine In Tanzania - as in many other parts of Africa, land is a key but pressured resource– it is affected by a variety of factors including large scale land investments When land given away to an investor – community can be negatively impacted - Women often more affected than men – including because they’re often not involved in DM processes This is despite the fact that Tz has a progressive legal framework on participation in local government bodies – which provides for a minimum number of women to be members - however poorly implemented - women members often do not attend meetings for a variety of reasons Pressures on land/ large-scale land acquisitions Poor participation of women in decision-making processes on land despite progressive legal framework
  9. Philippine Our partner TAWLA developed an approach to strengthen local women’s participation in decision-making processes on land by ‘bring the law home’ – this is done through the adoption of gender-sensitive village bylaws–: subsidiary rules enacted locally – regulate local life including use of NR – social and cultural relations Bylaws includes provisions on women’s participation Rationale: when adopting their own rules – villagers will know and implement them better The approach is participatory + it is based on extensive community dialogues and the promotion of local ownership Since 2016 – TAWLA implemented approach in 6 district across 4 regions in Tanzania A recent study in some of the villages where bylaws were adopted show that women were more present and vocal during meetings
  10. Philippine So what have we learnt from this process? Quotas and legislation on women’s participation–per se are not enough but an important starting point. They provide a legal ground for supporting approaches to strengthen women’s voices; this allowed TAWLA to replicate their approach in an important number of villages Local regulations such as bylaws: useful tool to ensure that national legislation – including on women’s participation – is implemented locally From a process prospective/more programmatic prospective, we have also learnt that what made the approach successful : -having community members in driving in seat + co leading the process collaboration with local authorities is essential – TAWLA worked closely with district and village authorities Local rules that provide community wide benefits contribute to local ownership – the fact that bylaws were also including other rules benefitting all community members was part of their success
  11. Thanks Philippine for presenting the experiences from Tanzania. I’m now going to share reflections from the Devolved Climate Finance, or DCF, mechanism piloted in Senegal. In a nutshell, DCF is an approach to adaptation planning and financing, that puts communities at the heart of decisions for investing in local climate resilient projects or infrastructures. So a core component of the approach is engagement and involvement of communities. To date, the DCF mechanism has been piloted in Kenya, Tanzania, Mali and Senegal and has channelled over £6 million of funding to create a total of 284 community-prioritised investments. Today, we’re going to look at lessons from Senegal more specifically, based on a DCF pilot that took place from 2015 to 2019 through the DFID funded programme Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED).
  12. The DCF approach works by devolving decision-making for investment in adaptation at the lower levels possible and directly include communities in the process. Inclusion of different social groups is critical to make sure the investments will truly respond to needs of those most vulnerable, including women and girls. Now I need to stress that DCF, unlike our two other examples, considers women’s participation on an equal step as other social groups – we used a gender lens, but this wasn’t targeted only or specifically to women. That said, gender positive actions were implemented at different key stages of the project process, for example to consult women and women’s groups separately when involving communities, and quotas were used to ensure a 50% representation of women in local and communal decision-making committees.
  13. What this means is that there were different stages where women’s priorities specifically were channeled, integrated and prioritized. This was reflected through decisions on the types of investments – for example one village’s decision to invest in building toilets for girls to be able to attend school; but also in the location and design of the investment. This is especially the case for water investments, for which women got more involved and vocal in specifying where the well, pump or trough should be to truly respond to their needs, or how to design a trough so that both households and animals could use it safely. However, women’s participation did vary a lot between villages – and women’s priorities were sometimes absent from investment decisions.
  14. A clear factor explaining not only how many, but also how much women were actively participating was education and skills, and this could be formal education but also skills from working at a market, counting and writing. Women who had experiences being recognized in their professional lives were the ones taking the stage. But even with education and skills, we saw that participation really occurred at intersecting identities – there were no villages where all educated women participated, or none. From interviews, we find that despite a women’s education and confidence to speak, if her husband or family doesn’t support it, then she likely won’t. That of course is not a new finding. What we really learned though was that sporadic engagement – even if it’s done in a structure way – is simply not enough to make sure planning decisions reflect women’s priorities, for climate investments or any other issues. And our very clear next steps the DCF project is to redress this gap and give women much more space, and time, to engage with the process.
  15. In our final case study we will turn to Ghana. Here a federation of forest and farm producer organisations is strengthening women’s individual and collective agency through their enterprise. This is part of IIED’s work with the Forest and Farm Facility, which is a partnership between the FAO, IIED, IUCN and Agricord. SIDA is a main donor of this 10-country programme and just over 60% of programme funding goes directly to producer organisations in the form of partner grants. Although gender equality is not a main focus, it is mainstreamed throughout and nearly 50% of in-country budgets now go directly to either women’s organisations or gender related activities.
  16. The Ghana Federation of Forest and Farm Producers – GHAPPFAP –is a mixed-gender organisation that have carefully built a structure to ensure women voices and interests are heard and acted upon from the grassroots to the national level. So how does this work in practice? GhaFFaP has set up a set of working groups at the national level and across the three ecological zones of Ghana, where members are based – these are the Forest-, the Transition – and the Savanna zones. Within the national working group, a Women’s Champions Wing have been set up to coordinate the organization of roundtables, networking and targeted skills development for women members. Roundtable discussions feed into dialogue platforms, that on a regular basis are organized by the Federation at national and zonal levels to communicate with stakeholders form the government and private sector. At a more hands-on level, the Women Champions wing coordinates activities with women advocates, coaches and business mentors at the zonal and local levels.  They do trainings and coaching in various areas ranging from leadership to business development. Collectively, these women champions have been put in place by GhaFFaP to ensure women’s interests are heard and that, at no point, women are lagging behind in the opportunities and benefits created through its work, which should equally benefit women and men producers.
  17. From this organisational set up, GhaFFaP have been able to identify strategic priorities of particular concern to their women members. One of them is the overexploitation and competition over the Shea and Baobab trees in the Savanna zone – this is creating all sorts of problems for women’s shea and baobab cooperatives in the region. To improve the protection of these resources, GhaFFaP members are working with local traditional chiefs, law enforcement agencies, and charcoal producers to integrate local by-laws with national level legislation, but also to create market incentives for sustainably produced charcoal. This is on-going work but will allow for stronger law enforcement and protection locally. Another identified priority was to support village savings and loans associations formalise into credit unions. These are common and most of the members are women. To their surprise GhaFFaP found that up to $ 300,000 a year is saved in these associations in one zone only and $ 4 million collectively across all members. Not only is there a need to keep such amounts in a safer place than the village cash box, but also this amount of savings should open opportunities for something more. By formalising into credit unions, members are more likely to be able to leverage investment from other sources, which is desperately needed for them to grow their businesses. What lessons can we draw from this so far? The integration of dialogues at local and zonal level helped build a critical mass of women and bring attention to these issues from a landscape and broader socio-economic perspective. The economic and social implications of these enterprises failing will have broader consequences for entire communities and potentially regions. In this way GhaFFaP have been able to move away from a tendency to treat issues as “women issues” but as common challenges that need a solution. This is further reinforced by its ability to convene and create incentives for each of the key stakeholders to buy into a joint solution to the problem.
  18. From these cases tudies, we have tried to identify factors enabling local women to actively participate and voice their concerns, needs and interests in public or private governance independently from the sector of focus. Here we will review the factors we have identified so far.
  19. The case studies show that a supportive environment starts with an enabling institutional and legislative framework: We see the positive relationship between a heavily decentralised institutional framework with clear structures and bottom-up processes and women’s ability to influence decisions. Decentralised governance allow for rules to be created and adopted locally, be-it for a village assembly or another representative body such as a producer organisation, and they are more likely to generate community-wide benefits and ownership. They also highlight the role a progressive laws, that promote gender-equality, or initiatives such as decentralised finance, that create space and target support to help women participate in decision-making processes. Within this context democratically governed members based institutions such as producer organisations, can also act as an important vehicle for change. Even if quotas or women’s intra-institutional committees and champions are not an end per se, they are a start. At the community and household levels there are also some basic steps that can be taken to create a more supportive environment. Women often have more constraints to attend meetings due to domestic work and childcare, or the need to get permission from their husbands. For this reason, it is good practice to ensure meetings are held at times that work for them and with forward warning so that childcare can be arranged. Of course women should be able to attend meetings without a male relative’s consent. But because this can be quite sensitive, it is also important to engage men and community leaders in conversations on gender roles and division of labour to create support and reduce tensions.
  20. Beyond a supportive environment, there are key ingredients needed to make participation occur and foster. First, there is the question of building individual skills of women. Across cases, we have found that skills and education play a huge role for women to participate in governance and decision processes. Whether it can be more basic skills like reading/writing, counting and managing small stands or business, up to graduate education. In short professional and personal individual experiences that give them confidence in speaking out We also found that legal and technical knowledge can elevate a woman’s confidence: women need to know their rights but also have technical knowledge of the issues at stake whether this relate to farming, seeds, land but also how institutions work. But individual skills alone are not enough: Women’s group and networks are key in not only amplifying the voices of women who already participate, but also support the engagement of new members - In short, networks give women support, agency, a common, amplified voice that is more likely to be heard, and role models for more participation.
  21. So individual and collective efforts are both needed at the same time…. In order to build critical mass so voices are heard AT SCALE Working horizontally & vertically is critical – as we’ve seen from the reach and influence of women in our Ghana case study. The work of DCF in Senegal shows it: a gender lens is simply not enough. - We need to work on women’s participation at devolved local levels, and at national policy level – and at every stage of the planning cycles Women are 50% of the world’s population, It’s time to stop treating gender as an add-on… it just doesn’t work to truly get critical mass. Doing this means focusing on both short and long-term pathways to get this critical mass. Changes are not going to happen overnight – but small steps taken now really help Bylaws and practical, power sensitive engagement can help immediately But we should never forget to working on long-term pathways of change, such as women’s education, which is what will help shape future generations Long-term pathways are needed to shifting social norms, and specifically get the recognition of women’s roles in society. These social changes need time to seep in, down to intra-household dynamics -
  22. Throughout this work we noted several known challenges… This is very surprising, considering most projects still address gender work is still done in siloes… It is great that we see more project specifically targeting women, but again – it’s not enough. Women, communities and societies won’t overcome these known challenges as long as we don’t start working in a more holistic way. Now, a new challenge we have encountered if the question of how to work with intersectionality: or in other words, how to really engage with the different identities that women and girls have. We know that women, people, don’t identify with just one social group... That said, we still engage and approach projects with very structured, delineated categories for social groups: we engage men, women, youth, elders, other marginalised groups… But what about educated girls from marginalised groups vs non marginalised groups? How different or similar are they in what they need to improve their participation? We don’t have the answer now, but part of our next steps is to look into how to first identify differential experiences of participation first, and then structure project activities accordingly. Here, better tools already exist and more application is needed (for example using power analyses that have ‘inductive’ and ‘deductive’ approaches at project inception – to avoid falling into classical categories – and the trap they represent.  
  23. These are initial findings and there is a need for more fine-grained and in-depth analysis in order to develop projects and programmes which address both the practical and structural constraints to women’s voices - context matters and there are no blanket solutions. But as a starting with we would really like to see women’s participation in decision-making becoming a high priority on national and international agendas. This was the case at CSW last month but we need to keep the momentum. to develop ambitious programmes which promote better and gender-sensitive governance in all sectors Governance and decisions making processes are everywhere – they are at the core of societies and communities and they shape the world of tomorrow. Thank you