KNOWLEDGE INPUT – THE GENDER INTEGRATION CONTINUUM (9 MIN)
The gender integration continuum is a tool for analysing the way in which projects and programmes manage gender norms and inequities. As such it is a relevant tool for action-planning and programme design related to FORB.
The framework helps us to distinguish between ‘gender blind’ FORB action-plans or programmes, which are designed without analysis of the differences in the FORB violations faced by men and women, or of the social and political roles, expectations, responsibilities, rights, and power dynamics between and among women and men, and ‘gender aware’ action-planning, which examines and addresses those violations, roles and power dynamics.
Gender aware action-planning can be evaluated along a continuum from exploitive to transformative. Exploitive ‘gender aware’ initiatives make use of existing inequalities and reinforce stereotypes. Even if the intention is to promote a positive outcome, the approach is harmful and can undermine the objective and exacerbate inequalities in the long term.
Effective gender aware actions fall on the continuum between accommodating and transformative. Accommodating means the action idea works around existing gender inequalities to try to improve the situation without directly challenging power dynamics. Transformative actions critically challenge gender norms, strengthen systems that support gender equality, change inequitable gender norms, and strengthen equitable gender norms.
The overall objective of gender integration in programming and action-planning for FORB is to ensure that women’s experiences of FORB violations are recognised and that activities contribute to women being empowered to claim and gain full access to the right. This generally involves moving toward gender-transformative actions – gradually challenging existing gender inequities and promoting positive changes in the gender roles, norms, and power dynamics that result in violations and a lack of freedom.
Let’s look at some examples:
- An all-male delegation of faith leaders meets with the Minister of Religious Affairs (also a man) to lobby him on the need to protect women from the risk of religious conversion through marriage (gender blind/exploitative).
- A civil society organisation conducts consultations with minority women’s groups before conducting research on violations of the right to FORB and publishing a report on the findings (gender accommodating).
- A network of civil society organisations works together to establish a female religious leadership forum, bringing together representatives from diverse faith traditions and geographical areas, committed to the promotion of both FORB and gender equality (gender transformative).
TIP! Swap these examples for ones relevant to your context!
DISCUSSION (10 MIN)
Invite comments and questions on the presentation, then ask follow-up questions:
- Can you think of any examples of FORB action/programming that is gender blind or exploitative from your context?
- Can you think of any good examples of FORB action/programming that is gender accommodating or gender transformative from your context? Allow time for sharing of any inspirational examples.
- In relation to issues you work on, do you think a gender transformative approach is possible in your context, or is it more advisable to focus on a gender accommodating approach?