Research that promotes actionAs gender mainstreaming becomes an increasingly central issue, different interpretations create the risk that it drifts from its original target of transforming societies and securing the rights and freedoms of both women and men. KIT Gender draws on both theory and practice to re-invigorate gender work in development by remaining focused on its transformatory potential. For the last 15 years, KIT Gender has developed strong and principled knowledge-building traditions: First, our work and publications aim to be empirically sound while embedded in accepted theory. Second, we have consistently tried to show the difference between ‘doing gender’ (applying checklists, tools, model strategies) and actually using gender relations as an analytical tool to identify the inequalities and build strategies to solve them. Third, much of our knowledge building work is based on action research. It is therefore is better suited to informing policy and practice and in generating social action. These knowledge projects are conceived alongside - and implemented in partnership with - southern and northern development organisations, research and practice institutions. Through our knowledge work we hope to maintain the integrity of gender work worldwide, thus preserving its power for promoting social equity and gender justice." ["post_title"]=> string(16) "Gender knowledge" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(16) "gender-knowledge" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2014-05-22 14:28:42" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2014-05-22 14:28:42" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(371) ["guid"]=> string(37) "http://www.kit.nl/gender/?page_id=380" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "page" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" }
“There is nothing more practical than a good theory” (Lewin, 1952: 169)
KIT Gender’s knowledge work makes the evolving debates around gender accessible, so others can critically examine their own thinking and practice.
We facilitate opportunities for researchers and practitioners to critically engage with and reflect upon the state of gender knowledge in development. By doing so, we are…see all about Gender knowledge
A fresh approach to mainstreamingKIT aims to connect institutionalised gender work with the real experiences of disenfranchisement women face on a daily basis. We begin with visualising the attainment of women’s rights, and then work back towards actions that development agencies can take to realise them. We undertake gender analyses that inform the design and implementation of programmes. We also address issues of accountability, resourcing and policy making that can be both a help and a hindrance to the realisation of women’s rights and gender equality. Gender mainstreaming that results in real gender equality outcomes requires a detailed examination that informs the strategic transformation of programming and organisational practice. Accordingly, our approach focuses on facilitating change through three interrelated strategies: advisory support, capacity development, and research. Our methodology is participatory, learner-centred and designed to achieve and sustain incremental steps towards development working for both women and men. Our work involves operational staff as well as decision makers and managers working equally in the field as well as in the boardroom." ["post_title"]=> string(20) "Gender mainstreaming" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(20) "gender-mainstreaming" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2015-08-13 13:49:28" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2015-08-13 13:49:28" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(371) ["guid"]=> string(37) "http://www.kit.nl/gender/?page_id=378" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "page" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" }
Gender mainstreaming has been a central pillar of development work for the last 20 years. Development agencies have had varying degrees of success in their efforts to equalise the gender balance.
Since 2007 KIT has been involved in dialogue with development activists about effective approaches to gender mainstreaming.
A fresh approach to mainstreaming
KIT aims to connect…see all about Gender mainstreaming
Why the frameworkThis framework was developed in response to three problems that gender and development practice has encountered: first, that gender mainstreaming in development has neither retained its transformatory potential nor obliged institutions to respond to and correct gender inequalities; second, a focus on rights in development has not automatically furthered women’s rights and promoted greater equality; and finally, despite the global rights talk there has been consistent failure of rights implementation through development.
What is the frameworkRights are justified claims that one person has over others – other people, groups, organisations, states - and ‘human rights express the bold idea that all people have claims to social arrangements that protect them from the worst abuses and deprivations – and that secure the freedom for a life of dignity.’ (UNDP, Human Development Report 2000, p 2). However, not all people are recognised as rights claimants by those institutions responsible for development resources. The Gender, Rights and Development approach is premised on the conceptual understanding that peoples’ ability to be recognised as rights claimants and make claims for distribution of development resources (as for example health, education, agricultural and financial services) is affected by their social position. Gender as a social relation positions girls/ women and boys/ men in hierarchical relations produced by the perceptions of their relative worth and treatment by families, communities, state and market institutions. This affects opportunities they can access and constraints they experience and limits a girl’s agency relative to a boy’s in claiming rights, for example, the right to education. Rights implementation in development occurs at three levels: the policy level which sets up the nature of the entitlement, who is entitled to programme resources, and the nature of the obligation; the administration and planning level which decides on how the entitlement is delivered, and in so doing interprets the nature of the entitlement and who is entitled; and finally the implementation level which further interprets what the right is and who should have it through the actions of programme staff. This means that in order to implement rights there is need to ensure that there are mechanisms for participation and ‘voice’ expression of affected groups, while at the same time putting in accountability mechanisms at each level to ensure that those responsible are answerable for the outcomes promised in the right.
ApplicationWe have applied the GRD approach in capacity building programmes for large multilateral institutions, and international NGOs. The common problem they faced was despite gender policies and corporate commitment, programmes were failing to address gender inequalities. Our approach assisted these organisations to understand the relevance of gender equality outcomes to their mission; to articulate equal rights in concrete programmatic outcomes; and to specify accountability mechanisms. The GRD approach has also been used in research as for example in investigating issues affecting girls’ access to and completion of lower secondary education. Our starting point was to frame the research topic in ways that allowed for an investigation of the recognition and redistributive failures at different institutional levels leading to girls not being able to access their right to secondary education. We have also been able to use this approach in policy work as with the policy paper developed on Gender, rights and energy commissioned by Danida for Rio+20 and which has resulted in new perspectives of looking at gender and energy going beyond simply adding gender to the mainstream analysis of the energy sector.
The main framework guiding all our work is the Gender, Rights and Development approach developed by KIT Gender in collaboration with leading southern and northern organisations in the field of gender and development and women’s rights. While several strands of thought and practice have been brought together in its development, this framework draws on…see all about Gender, rights and development