This essay presents the historical overview of the focus of women, gender and development. The essay will first define the concepts gender equality and women empowerment while also looking at their historical context in terms of their approaches. I will also explain the different approaches to the critical role that gender mainstreaming and gender analysis play in gender empowerment and equality.
The focus on women gender and development started many decades ago
The first thing to look at when we want to talk about the gender mainstreaming is to look at its definition which many scholars described it as the process of assessing the suggestions for women and men of any arranged activity, including legislation, approaches or projects in all territories and all dimensions. It is a methodology for making women’s problem and encounters as well as men an indispensable element of the plan, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of approaches and projects in all political, monetary and societal circles with the goal that women and men advantage similarly and imbalance is not propagated.
A definitive objective is to accomplish sex fairness. It means policy processes are developed, re-organized, improved, monitored and evaluated so that the perspective of gender equality are incorporated in all levels by parties involved in policy making (Strasbourg,1998) . If we want to solve issues like gender discrimination in a workplace the only solution that we currently have is gender mainstreaming. This strategy is not new it has been there for decades but it was first emphasized when it was mandated in 1995 at Fourth World Conference on Women by the Beljing Platform for Action as an international strategic approach that seek to archive gender equality and equal rights for both both men and women (Hannan 2003:ii).
The emergence of gender mainstreaming approach or strategy came after growing concerns around the world where it was becoming clear that previous approaches to narrowing gender gaps were not going to solve the problem of gender inequality.
Gender mainstreaming is not necessarily a goal but is a strategy to archive a goal which in this case is equality between women and men and it plays a critical role in private and public institutions. It makes the social issues of gender disparity evident and clear for everyone to see. Furthermore, it shows the organization’s staff the different impacts of women and men’s contribution. It also improve straightforwardness and vital basic leadership inside the organization. Gender mainstreaming will make any organization to begin on assessing their organization and its excersice based on sex approach which will then force the organization to understand the gaps between gender and the causes of gender segregation.
To understand the critical role that gender analysis plays in empowerment and equality, it will be important to start off by looking at the definition of gender analysis and to understand gender analysis in historical context. A gender analysis highlights the differences between among women,men,girls and boys of their relative distribution of resources, opportunities, constrains and power in a given context. ( Reeves and Baden, 2000 as cited in Study Guide 2017: 11) gender analysis is a valuable descriptive and diagnostic tool for development planners and crucial to gender mainstreaming efforts.
Over the years the issue of gender empowerment and equality has been a call of concern around the world particularly in the developing countries. Gender equality and women empowerment started to be well known in the 1980s and 1990s when gender activists started to advocate for women’s rights to be part of international development agenda (Cornwal & Rivas, 2015 as cited in Study guide 2018).
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