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Gender analysis

Gender is a socially constructed definition of women and men. It is not the same as sex (biological characteristics of women and men) and it is not the same as women. Gender is determined by the conception of tasks, functions and roles attributed to women and men in society and in public and private life.

Source: Gender in practice
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation

The Gender approach s distinct in that it focuses on women and men and not on women in isolation. It highlights:

  • the differences between womens and mens interest even within the same household and how these interact and are expressed.
  • the conventions and hierarchies which determine womens and mens position in the family, community and society at large, whereby women are usually dominated by men
  • the differences among women and among men, based on age, wealth, ethnic background and other factors
  • the way gender roles and relations change, often quite rapidly, as a result of social, economic and technological trends

Source: Wijk and Francis, 1999

Gender equity requires equal enjoyment by women and men of socially valued goods, opportunities, resources and rewards. Gender equity does not mean that women and men become the same, but that their opportunities and life chances are equal.

Gender Analysis takes into account social and economical differences between women and men at each stage of policy development for the purpose of:

  • Revealing potential different impact of policy, program and law on women and men;
  • Ensuring equal results for women and men, boys and girls, in measures design and implementation

Source: CIDA

Selected bibliography