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Mainstreaming Gender in Governance – Issues, Challenges & Way Forward. Dr Amrita Patel Sansristi , Bhubaneswar 15 th May 2012. Part 1. Gender - concepts. Difference between Sex and Gender -. Sex. Gender. Natural. Socio cultural. Biological differences in physical qualities.

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mainstreaming gender in governance issues challenges way forward

Mainstreaming Gender in Governance – Issues, Challenges & Way Forward

Dr Amrita Patel

Sansristi, Bhubaneswar

15th May 2012

part 1

Part 1

Gender - concepts


Difference between Sex and Gender -




Socio cultural

Biological differences in physical qualities

Masculine and Feminine qualities in roles, behaviour

Sex is constant everywhere

Gender is variable & changes with time & culture

Gender attributes can be changed

Sex cannot be changed(except surgery)

  • Son preference
  • Discrimination in food distribution
  • Lack of educational facilities for girls
  • Masculinity vs. Feminity concepts.
  • Lack of Mobility for girls
  • Non-recognition of Sexuality
  • Lack of Right to Property of women
  • No space in decision making for women
socialisation process





Paan shop, cinema, stadium, street corner

Kitchen, home

Socialisation Process

The space is gendered.

gendered qualities



















Love, selflessness




The qualities/ attributes are gendered.

Gendered Qualities
gendered objects




Toy Gun



Ear rings

Motor cycle





Gendered Objects

Pink Colour

Blue Colour

gendered jobs
Gendered Jobs


Secretary Farmer

Nurse Pilot

Pre Primary

School teacher Manager


Women give birth to babies (Sex difference)

Girls are gentle; boys are tough. ( Gender difference)

Men drive auto rickshaws. ( Gender difference)

Men’s voices break at puberty; women’s don’t. (Sex difference)

Women are better at caring for children than men. (Gender difference)

Body hair is fine on men ; women have to shave. (Gender difference)

Stereotypes –
  • Ramesh is playing with his friends. Guddi his sister looks on.
  • Boys must be brave.
  • Women should be housewives.
  • “ Pratima, You don’t have to go the cycle repair shop. Your brother will go.”
  • Denial of equal enjoyment of rights on the basis of sex, race, religion, political belief, caste, social class, disability, age, sexual orientation or a combination of these or other attributes.
  • Patriarchy is both a social structure as well as an ideology/ belief.
  •      Male dominated family
  • Male domination
  • Male head of the family
  • Male control over economic, social and political resources
patriarchal control
Patriarchal Control
  • Men are more skilled in productive positions and paid more
  •  Women are in low paid jobs with the least job security.  
  • Women’s reproductive capacity imposes social obligations of caring, nurturing and household chores .
  • Women do the invisible, un recognized and unpaid work within the family.
  • Women’s Sexuality, Mobility & Property and other economic resources
patriarchal control over instts
Patriarchal Control over Instts.
  • Social institutions
  • Cultural & Religious institutions
  • Political institutions
  • Laws and legal instruments
  • Media
  • Educational systems
gender mainstreaming
Gender Mainstreaming
  • “… the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programmes, in all areas and at all levels.
  • It is a strategy for making women’s as well as men’s concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in all political, economic and societal spheres so that women and men benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated” (UN)
scope of gm
Scope of GM
  • policy design
  • decision-making
  • procedures and practices
  • methodology
  • implementation
  • monitoring and evaluation
steps for gm
Steps for GM

1. A Mainstreaming Approach to Stakeholders: Who are the Decision-Makers?

2. Mainstreaming a Gender Agenda: What is the Issue?

3. Moving Towards Gender Equality: What is the Goal?

4. Mapping the Situation: What Information Do We Have?

5. Refining the Issue: Research and Analysis

6. Deciding on a Course of Action: Designing Policy Interventions and Budgets

7. Arguing Your Case: Gender Matters!

8. Monitoring: Keeping a (Gender-Sensitive) Eye on Things

9. Evaluation: How Did We Do?

10. En-Gendering Communication

part 3
Part 3

Mainstreaming gender in governance

  • Governance has been defined by UNESCAP (2006) as ‘the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented (or not implemented)’.
  • Good governance has been defined comprehensively by UNESCAP (2006) as ‘a form of governance that embodies eight specific characteristics, and can be seen as an ideal of governance.
    • participatory, consensus oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive, and [which follow] the rule of law’.
gender responsive governance
Gender responsive Governance
  • Good governance - enactment of measures for positive discrimination in favour of those groups (especially women) that have been historically marginalized, in order to provide them with an equal platform so that they are included in the process of governance.
  • For good governance - responsive to gender needs, interests and promote gender equality.
  • Gender Responsive Governance (GRG) is central to the notion of good governance.
women of odisha situation
Women OF ODISHA - situation
  • Low literacy of women (Tribal)
  • Declining child sex ratio
  • Maternal health, anemia
  • Un organised women workers
  • Wage disparity
  • Low employment in organised
  • Displacement, migration
  • Trafficking
  • Violence (increasing)
affirmative action in the pris
Affirmative action in the PRIs
  • 33 % - 50% reservation of seats for women
  • PESA area – all posts for STs
issues and challenges
Issues and challenges
  • Are PRIs gender responsive institutions ?
  • Whether the PRIs are responsive to the gender needs of its own members and the community as a whole,
  • whether PRIs are gendered spaces (processes, and environment encouraging for gender dialogue)
  • Are gender issues are recognized as priorities for PRIs as a whole
  • Is the institutional setup responsive to its members for the effective functioning. (E.g. extent of devolution of powers, fiscal planning and autonomy, priority setting within the PRIs)
  • Has the increased presence of women in local elected bodies enabled them to become agents towards transforming PRIs into gender responsive institutions?
  • What are the barriers/enablers to such transformation - social factors, institutional factors, structural factors
  • women do not constitute a single, undifferentiated category. Caste, class, religion and other forms of social stratification cut across gender categories to influence women’s experiences, interests and concerns.
  • institutional barriers include the inadequate devolution of functions, lack of financial and planning autonomy, bureaucratic influence, the policy of rotation of seats, lack of training , lack of information, distance, non inclusion of women in standing committees, etc
  • social barriers such as lack of education, oppressive patriarchal ( presence of elderly males) and caste structures, lack of respect of women in PRIs, physical violence in public and domestic spheres( pre and post elections), local politics spawned by caste/class/religious dynamics, early marriage etc
  • Economic barriers - women’s access and control (or lack thereof) of productive property assets (land, water, and forests), income from employment, housing etc influence their decision-making power within and outside the home.
  • Structural barriers – family responsibilities, livelihood maintainance, carer role, reproductive role
  • Women lack an independent identity- their identity is usually relational, i.e. derived from their relations with male members of the family. This hampers their ability to take independent decisions. there is evidence to suggest that women’s weak economic status within the family inhibits their participation in PRIs as they face difficulties in mobilizing the resources required to contest elections, campaign, travel etc
  • Their negotiations of these limitations provide insights on the way forward
enabling factors
Enabling factors
  • Individual capacities
    • High education
    • Previous experience as PRI
    • Previous work exp as ANM etc
    • Motivation; Clarity in roles and responsibilities
    • Ability to mobilize community, prior community rapport
  • Women’s collectives such as Self-Help Groups, women’s Panchayats etc - to organize and articulate their interests better and engage in decision-making in the family and community. Women belong to such groups are more likely to undertake a leadership role and develop the skills, confidence and support base required for entering PRIs as elected representatives.
  • training programmes are considered instrumental in helping understand their roles and responsibilities and develop administrative, technical and financial knowledge for more effective functioning.
enabling factors1
Enabling factors
  • Societal
    • Family, spouse support
    • Support of other PRI members
    • Active involvement and support of govt officials
    • Presence of NGOs, women’s organisations
way forward
Way forward
  • Principles of way forward
    • Address the barriers and build on the enabling factors
    • Prioritisation
    • Cyclic and continuous and feeding into each other
    • Gender responsive, gender sensitive
    • Holistic
    • Pro active and progressive
    • Participatory, need based( district specific)
some activities
Some activities
  • Women participation in Pallisabha and Gram Sabha
  • Elected women training and capacity building – universal coverage, hands on , continuous
  • Strengthen women’s collectives and groups- social mobilisation
  • Functional literacy
  • All women Panchayats
  • Gender budgeting
  • Building alliance, networks
  • Sensitisation of local bureaucracy and leadership
  • Information dissemination
  • Awareness generation