Thinking About Women and Girls Makes Development Work Better for Everyone

April 06, 2017 - 10:10am

While development programming is increasingly politically savvy, and women and girls are high on the agenda, it’s bizarre how often gender is overlooked as one of the key determinants of who gets what in the world.

In our research we’ve been looking at what happens when gender analysis is placed more squarely at the heart of governance work. For example, can it improve our ability to understand how change happens?

There is a growing movement to do development differently by working in more politically informed ways in order to deal with the world as it is, and not as we’d like it to be.

That means asking who gets to set the rules, who has power and who is excluded. It means thinking about how social groups mobilise and how coalitions of civil society organisations, for example, successfully achieve the change they seek. This is how governance really works.

Meanwhile, advocating for women and girls within development is pretty popular right now. The UK women and equalities minister, Justine Greening, stated last International Women’s Day that “the world cannot wait for women’s empowerment”, while Australia’s minister for women’s affairs, Julie Bishop, pledged to put gender equality and women’s empowerment at the heart the country’s aid and trade strategies. Similarly, the folks at Davos, the World Bank and World Economic Forum are all putting gender on their agendas. Recently, even the Economist magazine has been waxing lyrical about gender budgeting.

While this is all great news, development programming often has a tendency to be either politically informed or gender sensitive, rather than doing both.

Read more here via 'The Conversation.'

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