Gender 101

Gender Mainstreaming


  • In the development context, the means or right to obtain services, products and commodities.

  • In the context of the Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment Framework, access to resources and services is an objective of gender equality, while women's mobilization to achieve equality is an element of women's empowerment.

Access vs Control

  • Access is an opportunity for a person to make use of existing political, economic and time resources or benefits. Control is the ability of a person to define the use of resources and impose this definition on others.

Equal access to resources, benefits and services is one of the objectives of women's bid for equality of treatment and opportunity. Control of resources, benefits and services, on the other hand, goes one step further¾ it entails having the ability to direct or influence how resources, benefits and services can be enjoyed by both women and men. While women and men may have equal access to resources, benefits and services, control may be limited to only a few people, or to men only or women only.



  • In women's development, the process where women collectively analyze and understand the gender discrimination confronting them. This becomes the basis for action to overcome and dismantle the obstacles to their development.

  • In the Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment Framework, a level of empowerment that enables both women and men to understand the nature of the obstacles they face and the need to mobilize for collective action. It identifies disparities and analyzes their underlying causes. The procession of discussion and understanding of shared problems enables and motivates them to move forward from being mere beneficiaries of development to being actors and active participants in the development process.

Consciousness raising sessions are activities where individuals first understand the significance of gender issues, especially on how they personally experience these issues in their lives. Gender sensitivity, on the other hand, can direct individuals to understand how gender issues are influenced by the differential roles, perceptions and interests of women and men. It is the beginning of gender awareness. Conscientization is the process where individuals analyze gender issues and realize that its causes are gender inequality and discrimination against women in society. This realization can motivate them to mobilize for collective action to address the causes. Gender awareness, on the other hand, is a higher level of conscientization where one is able to identify gender issues that are not very evident on the surface or those considered as hidden problems. Gender-aware individuals are also motivated toward actions that would overcome gender inequality and discrimination.


  • The ability to direct or influence events so that one's own interests are protected.· In the context of the Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment Framework, women's equality of control with men is the most important aspect of women's development ¾ where women ensure that resources and benefits are distributed so that women and men get an equal share.


  • The improved well-being, or welfare, of a people and the process by which this is achieved.

  • Sustained capacity to achieve a better life.

Development Planning Cycle

  • A systematic process that guides development planning and generally involves the following:

    • assessment of economic, political, social, environmental and gender needs and priorities done through consultations, surveys and research, site inspections or field visits, and the like;

    • setting of goals, objectives and targets;

    • formulation of policies, programs and projects;

    • implementation, management and financing of programs and projects; and

    • monitoring and evaluation of programs and projects.

"Dev't Planning Cycle" illustration


Development Planning Process

  • The process undertaken by governments in developing countries to determine realistic goals and targets for society, to maximize the allocation of limited resources or the distribution of misallocated resources more equitably, and to ensure a logical, efficient and effective process of addressing priority needs. Policies, programs and projects must have an impact on the quality of life of the disadvantaged groups in society. The end goals of development planning are the rational use of resources, better targeting of beneficiaries, promotion of gender-responsive development, and more systematic assessment and monitoring of programs and projects through specific indicators, including gender-specific indicators.


  • In the context of development, empowerment is individual or collective action by the disadvantaged to overcome the obstacles brought about by structural inequality. In another sense, empowerment is not only a process but also an outcome of that proc


  • To integrate, incorporate or mainstream the gender perspective in development initiatives.


GAD Budget

  • A portion of an agency's or local government unit's yearly appropriation which is not an additional amount over and above its regular budget.

  • The allocation of a substantial amount for implementing programs, projects and activities that address women's issues.

  • The cost and sources of financing a GAD plan.

GAD Budget Policy

  • A policy in the Philippine General Appropriations Act that directs all agencies of government to allocate a minimum of 5 percent of their total annual budgets for gender programs, projects and activities.

GAD Focal Point

  • A mechanism created in all government offices to ensure the implementation, monitoring, review and updating of GAD Plans.

  • A person tasked to facilitate and monitor the implementation of gender mainstreaming in each government agency.

GAD Perspective

  • Ability to analyze the socioeconomic, political, cultural and psychological implications of an issue to understand how the difference between the sexes affects and is affected by policies, programs and projects. It assesses how these factors relate to discrimination based on sex and how they impose obstacles to a person's opportunities and self-development.

GAD Plan

  • A systematically designed set of programs, activities and projects with clear objectives for addressing gender issues and appropriate strategies and activities with monitoring and evaluation indicators.

  • A blueprint of how an agency can achieve gender responsiveness.

  • A set of interventions designed to transform gender-blind agencies into organizations with a gender perspective.

  • An instrument to make all aspects of the agency and its work gender-responsive. It provides the basis for the GAD budget.

Gender Analysis

  • A tool to identify the status, roles and responsibilities of women and men in society, as well as their access to and control of resources, benefits and opportunities.

  • A framework to compare the relative advantages and disadvantages faced by women and men in various spheres of life, including the family, workplace, school, community and political system. It also takes into account how class, race, ethnicity, cultural, social and other factors interact with gender to produce discriminatory results.

  • A set of standards to judge the potential impacts of gender on policies, programs and projects.

  • A systematic way of looking at the gender division of labor, and the access and control women and men have over inputs or resources required for their labor, and their benefits or outputs from it.

Gender and Development

  • An approach to or paradigm of development focusing on social, economic, political and cultural forces that determines how differently women and men participate in, benefit from, and control resources and activities. It shifts the focus from women as a group to the socially determined relations between women and men.

The GAD approach emerged in the 1980s to replace the Women in Development focus. GAD is concerned with women as well as with the social construction of gender and the assignment of specific roles, responsibilities and expectations to women and men. It analyzes the nature of women's contribution within the context of work done both inside and outside the household and reflects the public/private dichotomy that undervalues the work done by women in the home.


Gender-Based Analysis in Project Development

  • A structured way of determining the gender responsiveness of plans, programs and projects.

  • A systematic effort to record the predominance or participation rates of women and of men in a set of activities that constitute a production system.

Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment Framework

Gender equality and women's empowerment are attained through an interconnected cycle of strategies and interventions progressing along five levels:

  • welfare;
  • access;
  • conscientization;
  • participation; and
  • control.

Any development problem has these five dimensions within it, and a project must address gender issues progressively at these levels to advance gender equality and women's empowerment.


Gender Goals

  • Concrete expression of desired gender-related changes and improvements in socioeconomic life.


Examples of gender goals are

  • increased participation of rural women in agricultural production;

  • increased partnership between wives and husbands in domestic work and child care;

  • elimination of traditional and stereotyped images of women's and men's roles and status; and

  • provision of equality of employment opportunities.


Gender Impacts

  • Specific and observed effects of plans, policies, programs, and services, such as increased income and improved skills.

Gender Impact Analysis

  • The study of how a policy or program affects women and men differently.

Gender Indicators

  • Specific measures or targets used to assess whether gender goals are being met or not.

Gender Interests vs Gender Needs

  • Gender interests are concerns that women or men develop by reason of their social positioning through gender roles. Gender needs are the differential requirements of women and men brought about by the differences in their gender roles, the type of work that they do, access to resources and services, and experiences of unequal relations.

Gender Issues and Concerns

  • Issues, concerns and problems arising from the distinct roles of women and men and the relationships between them;

  • Affairs and involvement arising from societal expectation and perception on the roles of women and men reflected in and perpetuated by law, policies, procedures, systems, programs, activities and projects of the government. These impede the opportunities for women to participate in the development process and enjoy its benefits.

Gender Mainstreaming or GAD Mainstreaming

  • A set of processes and strategies that aims to ensure the recognition of gender issues on a sustained basis.

  • An assessment of the implications for women and men of planned government actions such as policies, legislation, programs and projects.

  • A strategy to integrate women's and men's concerns and experiences in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies, programs and projects in all political, economic and social agenda.

  • An approach that situates gender equality issues at the center of broad policy decisions, institutional structures and resource allocations, and includes women's views and priorities in making decisions about development goals and processes.

Gender Mainstreaming Evaluation Framework

  • A tool that tracks and assesses the progress and status of gender mainstreaming in agencies.


The Gender Mainstreaming Evaluation Framework has two main elements: the four stages of mainstreaming and the four entry points for mainstreaming. The stages of mainstreaming are

  • Stage 1: foundation formation;

  • Stage 2: installation of strategic mechanisms;

  • Stage 3: GAD application; and

  • Stage 4: enhancement of commitment and institutionalization.

The four entry points are

  • people;

  • policies;

  • enabling mechanisms; and

  • programs and projects.

(For a more detailed description of the GMEF, see GRP's Session 4 on Gender Mainstreaming Evaluation Framework.)


Gender-Neutral Policy, Program or Project

  • An assumption that everyone is affected by policies, programs and projects the same way regardless of gender.

Gender Planning

  • The practical application of the skills acquired from gender studies and gender training in designing government plans, programs and projects. It recognizes that women and men have different roles in society and often have different needs as well.


Gender planning has two components:

  • GAD planning, which pertains to the operational aspect of gender planning and results in

    -   the GAD plan;
    -   programs, activities and projects categorized as a) GAD PAPs, or existing PAPs that were reviewed and redesigned to make them gender-responsive, or new PAPs designed to address specific gender issues; b) gender-responsive programs and projects categorized as (1) integrated programs and projects where women's roles, contributions and benefits are incorporated in the proposed activities as early as their conceptualization stage; (2) programs and projects with women's components where activities are within general projects and are designed to harness the potentials of women; and (3) "for women only" transformational and empowering programs and projects that are directed to involve and primarily benefit women; and
    -   in-house or organization-focused GAD activities and work processes integrated within an agency's PAPs that address gender issues, or clientele-focused GAD activities that seek to address the specific gender issues of the agency's clientele, including capability building activities so people in the agency can enhance their services to clients.

  • Gender-responsive development planning or gender-responsive planning.


Gender Relations Analysis

  • A systematic approach to assess and understand the differential impacts of development on women and men because of their gender roles.

Gender Relations

  • The relative position of women and men in the division of resources and responsibilities, benefits and rights, and power and privilege. The use of gender relations as an analytical tool shifts the focus away from viewing women in isolation from men.

Gender-Responsive Development Planning

  • Also known as gender-responsive planning, it is the integration of GAD into the entire development planning cycle. It rests on the premise that introducing gender considerations makes development planning and programming more people-oriented and people-focused, emphasizing their impacts on women in particular.

Gender-Responsive Indicator System

  • A set of statistical measurements for monitoring the situation of women compared with men in various sectors and for determining whether developmental programs and projects respond to their needs and problems.

Gender Responsiveness

  • The consistent and systematic attention given to the differences between women and men in society with a view to addressing structural constraints to gender equality.

Gender-Responsive Situation Analysis

  • An assessment or evaluation of women's condition in society in relation to men's situation;· A review of women's and men's roles and participation in economic, political and socio-cultural activities.· A process of measuring the access of women and men to available opportunities and examining the benefits they acquired.

Gender Statistics

  • Information and data that provide not only comparisons between women and men but ensure that women's and men's participation in and contribution to society are correctly measured and valued.


The production of gender statistics requires that all official data are collected by sex and that concepts and methods used in data collection and presentation adequately reflect gender issues and consider all factors that can generate gender-based bias.



  • In the context of GAD, an interrelated set of dominant ideas and development directions and the organizations that make decisions about resource allocation and opportunities for development.


The mainstream is largely controlled by men and may include the following:

  • the directions that government follows in terms of resource distribution among social and economic groups;

  • the views about gender roles promoted by culture and religion;

  • the agendas of political groups;

  • the hiring and pay practices in the private sector;

  • global trade relations; and

  • practices and activities of multilateral financial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, and bilateral assistance agencies.


National Women's Machinery

  • The organization recognized by a national government as the country's primary body or system of bodies promoting gender equality.

  • The central policy coordinating unit inside government responsible for supporting government-wide mainstreaming of a gender equality perspective in all policy areas.


  • The direct involvement of marginalized women in the development process to build their capability to access and control resources, benefits and opportunities so as to gain self-reliance and an improved quality of life.

  • In the context of the Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment Framework, having a share and taking part in decision making in how things are done and how resources are allocated.

Practical vs Strategic Gender Needs

  • The needs of women and men come out of existing gender roles, and are characterized as practical and strategic. Practical gender needs (PGNs) are met through actions that assist women and men to perform existing gender roles more easily. Strategic gender needs (SGNs) are addressed through actions that challenge or change existing gender roles. Addressing the needs of women and men may change existing gender roles.





  • include basic, daily needs such as food, housing, safe water, healthy children, and schools for children.

  • tend to involve women as beneficiaries and, perhaps, participants.

  • can improve conditions of women's lives.

  • generally do not alter traditional roles and religions.

  • are needs related to the gender division of labor, power and control and respond to such issues as legal rights, domestic violence, equal wages, and women's control over their bodies.

  • involve women as agents and enables women to become agents of change.

  • can improve women's position in society.

  • can empower women and transform relations.


Resources and Benefits

When used in GAD, resources include

  • economic or productive resources such as land, cash and credit, employable or income-earning skills;

  • political resources such as representative organizations, leadership, education and information, public sphere experience, self-confidence and credibility; and

  • time.

Benefits include

  • provision of basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, and income;

  • asset ownership such as land and personal skills;

  • education and training; and

  • political power, prestige, status, and opportunities to pursue new interests.

Sex-Disaggregated Data

  • Statistical information that differentiates between women and men and allows one to see where the gaps are in their position or condition.


An example of sex-disaggregated data is the number of women in the labor force as compared with the labor force population.


Structural Gender Inequality

  • A system of gender discrimination practiced by public or social institutions, becoming more entrenched when it is maintained by administrative rules and laws, rather than by customs and traditions only.


  • In the Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment Framework, the level that is addressed when responding to gender gaps in terms of material well-being. Narrowing these gender gaps in welfare is the basic objective in women's development, which ultimately leads to women's empowerment.

Women and Development

  • An approach to or paradigm of development that focuses on the relationship between women and men, and the development process. It recognizes that men from developing economies who do not have elite status are also adversely affected by the structures of inequities within the international system. It gives little analytical attention, however, to the social relations of gender within classes.

Women in Development

  • An approach to or paradigm of development that recognizes the distinct needs and capacities of women and focuses on developing programs, projects and activities that would make women an integral part of the productive sector.


Development Paradigms




  • emerged during the 1970s.

  • integrates women in economic development through legal and administrative support.

  • examines the sexual division of labor and the differential impact of gender in development.

  • recognizes that women's and men's experience of development and societal changes are different.

  • focuses on advocacy strategies for more equal participation of women in education, employment and other spheres of society.

  • implements such projects as transfer of technology, extension services, credit facilities and other interventions that have a welfare orientation, especially projects on hygiene, literacy or child care.

  • does not challenge gender relations and assumes that these will change as women become economic partners in development.

  • recognizes that women have always been part of development.

  • focuses on the relationship between women and development processes rather than purely on strategies that seek women's integration in development.

  • critiques relations between developed and developing nations, particularly their impact on the lives of women and men in developing countries.

  • maintains that women's position will improve once needed structural and institutional reforms are installed at the local and international levels.

  • includes a critique of the donor agencies' agenda for promoting women's integration in development.

  • focuses on productive and income generating projects at the expense of women's reproductive work.

  • tends to group women together without considering the impact of class, race or ethnicity on women's status.

  • started in the 1980s as an enhancement to WID.

  • questions gender relations between women and men and the gender roles ascribed to them.

  • sees the gender division of labor as the root of inequality, especially since it undervalues the work done by women in the household.

  • recognizes women as agents of development, not merely as passive recipients of development assistance.

  • stresses the need for women to organize themselves and participate in political processes.

  • questions current social, economic and political structures.

  • promotes interventions and affirmative action programs that integrate women into ongoing development efforts.


Women's Empowerment

  • In the context of development, a tool and a framework where development allows women to be participants in development efforts, and not just beneficiaries. More than this, their level of participation enables them to make decisions based on their own views and perspectives.· In the Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment Framework, the goal and the essential process for women's advancement. It is the process by which women mobilize to understand, identify and overcome gender discrimination so as to achieve equality in welfare and equal access to resources.


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