Major shifts in the field of international development over the past 15 years have posed both challenges and opportunities for the advancement of gender equality and women’s rights. This annual forum is designed to stimulate critical reflection on the state of gender knowledge. It focuses on how dominant trends in international development enable or constrain the realisation of women’s rights and gender equality. This process of reflection is intended to develop strategic focus in the field of gender and rights.
The 2014 forum
In collaboration with WO=MEN, KIT hosted a forum on 16 January 2014. The one-day event brought together over 60 practitioners, policymakers, researchers, activists, lobbyists and gender specialists. It aimed to stimulate discussion of transformative practices and approaches for gender equality and women’s rights.
The forum examined two central principles that have shaped gender policy in development. First, it examined empowerment through increased participation and integration in the economy. And second, it looked at the demand for measurable impacts and quantifiable results. Both have had a detrimental effect on the advancement of gender equality and undermined critical approaches to social change. So it is extremely important to analyse the manner in which knowledge on gender is shaped and to identify opportunities for critical engagement.
Results and keynote speeches
The forum sought to identify transformative approaches and practices that contribute to gender equality and women’s rights in this challenging landscape.
Keynote speeches were delivered by Wendy Harcourt and Maitrayee Mukhophadyay and six individuals or representatives of organisations shared the opportunities, challenges and dilemmas they experience in promoting women’s rights and gender equality in the neoliberal era.