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Major Hurdles in the way of Gender and Development


Haseeb Jan
Ph.D Sociology (First Semester)

Submitted to :

Prof. Dr. Johar Ali

Gender and Development Course Code Soc: 908

Institute of Social Work, Sociology & Gender Studies UNIVERSITY OF PESHAWAR

Major hurdles in the way of Gender and Development (GAD), by Haseeb Jan (Ph.D Scholar)

Table of Contents



Page No.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.

Introduction Resources WID, GAD and Gender Mainstreaming Gender Budgets Some Issues and Challenges to Gender Budgets in the SADC Region Proportions of Budgets Spent on Defence Proportions of Budgets Spent on Social Expenditure Land Credit Regional Organisations The Gender Dynamics of Poverty, and Decision-Making at Households Levels Gender Disaggregated Household Income Data and Household Headship Results of gender mainstreaming in Pakistan Major challenges to womens participation Conclusion References

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Major hurdles to Gender and Development (GAD) Introduction The role of both the major genders is really important for the smooth function of the society. Where the females are not considered and taken as an important part of each 2
Major hurdles in the way of Gender and Development (GAD), by Haseeb Jan (Ph.D Scholar)

3 and every institution, we cant dream about the development. Hence a simple solution for development and progress, among many others, is to stream line gender in all most all the major components of the working classes. Gender and particularly the role of women is widely recognized as vitally important to international development issues. This often means a focus on gender-equality, ensuring participation, but includes an understanding of the different roles and expectation of the genders within the community. Researchers at the Overseas Development Institute have highlighted that policy dialogue on the Millennium Development Goals needs to recognise that the gender dynamics of power, poverty, vulnerability and care link all the goals 1. Gender explicit issues are only explicit in MDG 3 and 5, however gender impacts all the goals: 1. Discriminatory laws can limit women's access to education and ownership 2. Women make up the majority of those working in agriculture or in insecure employment 3. Women's dual responsibilities as carers and income earners leaves them suffering from time poverty and thus unable to access health and education services 4. Role as carers particularly impacts MDG4 on child mortality 5. Gender-based discrimination particularly affects MDG8 (Partnerships for Development). As well as directly addressing inequality, attention to gender issues is regarded as important to the success of development programs, for all participants. For example, in microfinance it is common to target women, as besides the fact that women tend to be over-represented in the poorest segments of the population, they are also regarded as more reliable at repaying the loans2. 1. Resources Resources refer to those assets that may be harnessed productively to provide for human basic needs. These include: land, capital and labour. The distribution of resources depends to a large extent on power the ability to own and control the
1 2

"What do we mean by "sex" and "gender"?". World Health Organization. (The Nature of Gender, 1994)

Major hurdles in the way of Gender and Development (GAD), by Haseeb Jan (Ph.D Scholar)

4 processes that are key to providing, and/or denying access. The next section outlines the WID and GAD approaches. We look briefly at the concept of Gender Mainstreaming as the latest means of advancing the status economic, social and political status of women, and promoting gender equality between women and men. 2. WID, GAD and Gender Mainstreaming In the late 1970s and 1980s, under the auspices of the Women in Development (WID) paradigm, many advocated for the integration of women in development. The current thinking has shifted to gender mainstreaming, which is associated with the Gender and Development (GAD) approach. The two approaches have been applied at various times in different contexts in the African region. While having some common aims 2 (primarily the advancement of the status of women), they represent different methods of analysis and action (SARDC, 2000). The Women in Development approach arose out of concern, particularly among the ranks of scholars and advocates that women were being left out of the economic development processes, particularly in Third World countries. 3. Gender Budgets Gender responsive budgets are a variety of processes and tools which may be referred to as gender sensitive budgets, gender budgets, womens budgets and womens budget statements. These procedures aim at assessing the impact of government budgets mainly at national levels, on groups of women and men, through recognising the ways in which gender relations are based in the society and the economy. Within that context, they include an understanding of the economic, political and cultural situations of women and men within their particular societal contexts. Gender budgets entail a review of government policies that influence budgetary decision-making; an analysis of gender targeted allocations. They include a gender disaggregation of the impact of mainstream expenditures across all sectors and services, and they review equal opportunities policies and allocations within government services3. The justification for gender mainstreaming, and gender budgets has been provided by international and regional agencies (eg., the Commonwealth, UNIFEM, UNDP, SADC)

(Hewitt 2001)

Major hurdles in the way of Gender and Development (GAD), by Haseeb Jan (Ph.D Scholar)

5 as well as gender activists and scholars (see Kabeer and Subrahmanian 1996; Elson, 1996, 2000). The main argument presented is that while most macroeconomic policies aim at improving human development and reducing poverty, the achievement of these goals is jeopardized by the failure to take into account gender relations, as well as the specific needs of women and men. 4. Some Issues and Challenges to Gender Budgets in the SADC Region In 1998 the United Nations Womens Fund (UNIFEM) organized a forum in Harare to discuss and debate the importance of engendering budgets. The workshop was attended by parliamentarians, senior government officials, womens organisations, researchers, activists and the SADC gender unit. The workshop identified some issues from the region that prompted the need for action: 1. Proportions of Budgets Spent on Defence: The workshop noted that nearly 1/2 of the fourteen SADC member states were at war. The expenditure of Zimbabwe (struggling under the weight of structural adjustment) on the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Africa on the conflict in Lesotho were given as examples. It was duly noted that the effects of war on national economies, as well as their detraction from the advancement of the status of women should be documented. 2. Proportions of Budgets Spent on Social Expenditure: While many governments are under pressure from the International Monetary Fund to cut social spending, this places additional or additional burdens on the unpaid labour of women. It would be important to document the effects of cuts in social expenditure by gender, particularly the status of girls and women. This is particularly evident in the provision of care of the disabled and infirm, who, in most instances, is the direct responsibility of females (sex, 2010). 3. Land: Since womens limited access to land is a common problem in most countries, the detailed documentation of land ownership patterns by women and men, as well as the cultural dynamics that determine access should be prioritised. Secondly it would also be 5
Major hurdles in the way of Gender and Development (GAD), by Haseeb Jan (Ph.D Scholar)

6 important to know the budgetary resources going into land reform, as well as the proportion of them spent on bridging the gender gap. It would be pertinent, therefore, within the context of the ongoing Zimbabwean and South African land reform processes to produce gender disaggregated data for the purposes of policy formulation and to support appropriate legislation. 4. Credit: Womens lack of access to credit is also a widespread phenomenon in African societies. This is further exacerbated by patriarchal legal traditions that relegate married women to the position of minors who fall under the marital power of their husbands. Married women in Pakistan, for example still face difficulties when opening bank accounts, or securing loans without their husbands assistance. These issues are often ignored within the context of gender mainstreaming and national budgets. 5. Regional Organisations: Since this was a SADC forum, questions were asked about the proportion of the overall SADC budget spent on the advancement or women, or promoting gender equality. Regional organisations such as the Organisation of African Unity should be challenged to undertake gender analyses of their budgets in order to assess their levels of commitment towards gender mainstreaming4. 6. The Gender Dynamics of Poverty, and Decision-Making at Households Levels The examination of the characteristics of poverty and life chances, focusing on the gender of the head of the household, has been the subject of increasing academic research and debate in recent years in developing countries. Census and household surveys conducted in Pakistan reveal that almost half of all households in the country are headed by women, and that a significant proportion of them fall in the lowest income categories. This section examines some of the dynamics of access to and control over resources among low- income households in Pakistan. The evidence is from a quantitative study that I conducted in 1996 in Pakistan. The study examined the implications of household organization and gender relations of economic production and social reproduction on the life chances of women and their dependants. Research was conducted within a pool of low income female and male headed/supported

(Decline of sex. 1994)

Major hurdles in the way of Gender and Development (GAD), by Haseeb Jan (Ph.D Scholar)

7 households in Manyana, a rural village and Gaborone, comparing similarities and differences in their composition, sources of income and survival strategies employed by women and men within them. The interviews with women and men pointed to the complexity of domestic organization and the significance of gender hierarchies that are often obscured by focusing on discrete notions of headship. Based on the evidence from this empirical study, as well as that presented by other studies, it will be argued that the utility of the concept (of household headship) within the context of Pakistan is diminished by a lack of in-depth account of the culturally-based gendered social relations that shape identity and life chances. 7. Gender Disaggregated Household Income Data and Household Headship During the United Nations Decade for Women, researchers commissioned by UN agencies, working in collaboration with national machineries and local researchers in developing countries identified the gaps in data on the status of women, and sex biases in national statistics. The research pointed to the under-enumeration of womens work in the subsistence agriculture, the informal sector and unpaid work performed within the home by women in developing countries of Africa, Asia and South America (United Nations 1984). 8. Male Culturally-Sanctioned Authority Men continue to assume responsibility for public political affairs, such as active participation in kgotla meetings. While women are now permitted to attend meetings in the traditional meeting forum, their participation is largely passive. Men dominate discussions and make overall decisions. At the family level, they play a key role in marriage negotiations, funeral rites and other significant cultural practices. The synonymy of tlhogo ya lolwapa and monna (man) is constantly reinforced in these cultural rituals. 9. Domestic Social Reproduction Females generally show lower rates of economic activity than males and many are engaged in housework which is still very much work but is not included as an economic activity internationally largely because of the problems of putting monetary values on such activities5.

(Government of Pakistan 1996: 3)

Major hurdles in the way of Gender and Development (GAD), by Haseeb Jan (Ph.D Scholar)

8 10. Provision of Resources The procurement of resources includes the production and/or acquisition of cash, goods and food for consumption within the household, as well as the provision of basic necessities such as shelter. While some of the respondents alluded to the links between culturally-sanctioned authority and resource provision, it appeared that the link between social reproduction and resource provision was stronger. The complex interface between economic provision and headship was also reflected in the households of cohabiting and married couples. While men assumed the role of breadwinner and principal decision-maker, it was evident that women played a prominent role in food provision. 11. Results of gender mainstreaming in Pakistan State of women in contemporary local governance of Pakistan Women constitute 48% of the total 160 million population of Pakistan The constitution of Pakistan ensures equal status to women and provides protection for their rights including the rights to vote and contest elections. Article 25 of the constitution states All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law and there shall be no discrimination on the basis of sex alone. Article 27 provides protection from discrimination in employment and states, No citizen otherwise qualified for employment in the services of Pakistan shall be discriminated against on the basis of race, religion, cast or sex. Article 34 of the constitution further indicates the states commitment to ensure full participation of women in all spheres of national life and provides room for affirmative action6. Despite these constitutional provisions minimal effort was made to enhance representation of women in governance in the past. The previous constitutions, 1956, 1962, 1970, 1973 and 1985 all provided for reservation of seats for women at both the provincial and national assemblies through indirect election. However, this reservation remained very low and limited from 5 to 10% only and lapsed in 1988 which further deteriorated womens representation in political decision making. It is only the devolution of power plan (2000) which provided women 33% representation at all 3 tiers of local governance through special quota. It illustrates representation of women in local governance through allocation of reserve seats/quotas in various local government elections of Pakistan.

(Khosa, 1992), Women contemporary status in Pakistan.

Major hurdles in the way of Gender and Development (GAD), by Haseeb Jan (Ph.D Scholar)

12. Major challenges to womens participation It is evident from the above discussion that although Pakistan has made significant progress in terms of womens representation in local governance over the years, their participation still remains low and limited in decision making process. The equality of development opportunities, an enabling environment and acceptance of women in their emerging leadership roles necessary to bring forth full participation of individuals have yet to come. Pakistani women face diverse political, legal, administrative and social challenges in their quest towards penetrating in the grass roots governance. Development opportunities and protection from discrimination on the basis of sex alone legal practices are quite contradictory. There are several discriminatory laws in existence that deny women of equal rights and status and limit their opportunities in public arena. Even at times the positives provisions of laws regarding fundamental rights of women including the right to vote, freedom of movement and choice of profession are ignored using the cultural and religious interpretations [in several parts of interior Baluchistan and KPK women are not allowed to vote and contest election with this apprehension that male electoral staff may hold their thumbs to get the vote cast or they may have to go out and interact with male members for election campaign. Political factors There are various political factors that affect womens effective participation in governance. Some of the major factors include political instability, insecurity, and corruption, and violence, lack of political awareness, lack of political skills and poor implementation of policies. Pakistans political measure (GEM) (UNDP, 1998). The data further revealed that while number of illiterates has doubled in Pakistan since 1951 it has tripled in the case of women7. There are considerable gender disparities in health, labor force participation and representation in the national parliament (UNDP, 2000, 1995b). Womens lack of power to choose their occupation and their immobility further restrict their chances to become at par with men in politics. Organizational factors The organizational and institutional practices of local governance are mirror image of the systemic factors discussed above. Some of the administrative and cultural factors

(Coleman, 2004; Kamal, 2000)

Major hurdles in the way of Gender and Development (GAD), by Haseeb Jan (Ph.D Scholar)

10 that impede womens participation in governance include gender streaming, limited training opportunities, lack of women friendly policies, absence of women from decision making bodies and lack of net working and mentoring opportunities. Gender Mainstreaming In Pakistan, the phenomenon of male dominance in politics is so pervasive that despite a visible representation of women in local governance they are streamed into projects and roles considered appropriate for them. Since, education, health and social welfare are viewed as extension of female roles more women councilors are represented in these areas. This segregation ghettoize women in few areas and devoid them of having variety of experience in other important areas including finance, budgeting, development works and maintenance etc. dominated by male councilors. Gender streaming has implications for representation of women issues and concerns in all areas, variety of experience and cross gender learning through interaction with colleagues. Recognizing the issue, the UNDP, ADB, CIDA and various national and civil society organizations are putting in serious efforts towards promoting gender mainstreaming at different levels and areas of governance [the United Nations office of social advisor on gender issues and advancement of women (OSAGI) defines gender mainstreaming as a globally recognized strategy for promoting gender equality. It emphasizes on incorporation of gender perspectives in all activities including policy development. Absence of women from decision making bodies and important meetings As discussed earlier women are under-represented in decision making bodies and policy making forums. It has negative implications for women as their concerns are not properly presented and addressed by all male decision making boards8. Results of the local government elections 2000 - 2001 corroborate theses findings in terms of negligible representation of women as district Nazims, Naib Nazims and members of the local government commission, finance commission and various monitoring committees under LGO (Bari, 2000). Womens presence is also not ensured in important budgetary and decision making meetings by sending timely notification of meetings and linking their presence with quorum requirement. Women because of their very low representation in decision making bodies and important meetings remain in token status in local governance. They being tokens are more visible among

Udry, J. Richard (November 1994). "The Nature of Gender". Demography.


Major hurdles in the way of Gender and Development (GAD), by Haseeb Jan (Ph.D Scholar)

11 colleagues and have more pressure for performance which makes women more vulnerable and conscious. These subtle forms of gender biased practices marginalize women and constrain their participation in gove. Mentoring and net working Womens under representation in political leadership and decision making committees means that there are a few women available to act as mentors for other women in local governance. Considering the traditional tribal norms and cultural context of local governance it is rare for women to have cross gender mentoring. Women councilors dual roles in domestic and professional arenas restrict them to join informal meetings and get-togethers that are an important source of learning and networking and ultimately affect their participation. Personal factors At personal level women councilors face barriers mainly due to demographic factors such as education, employment and age and familial factors that include their dual roles and family support etc. These factors affect women councilors self confidence and motivation and limit their representation and participation in governance. Demographic factors Education is widely considered as key to human development. World wide data on women and their representation in politics shows that womens greater access to education is positively correlated with their increased public participation9. Unfortunately women in Pakistan do not have an equal access to this basic indicator of human development as compared to men. The country has over the years invested less in education and when resources are short women suffer the most due to certain structural and cultural constraints discussed earlier. Statistics on education and employment suggest that while overall, literacy rate in the country is 44% female literacy is less than 30%. Similarly, womens share in employment is also as low as 8.4% in urban areas and 16.3% in rural areas with their 26% share in total income of the country10. Cultural factors


(Kaku, 2001; Neft and Levine, 1997, UNDP, 1995a; World Bank, 2001) (Economic Survey, 1999 - 2000; UNDP, 1999)


Major hurdles in the way of Gender and Development (GAD), by Haseeb Jan (Ph.D Scholar)

12 In Pakistani society status of women is largely determined by the cultural norms, societal traditions and customary behaviors. These cultural norms ascribe different roles to men and women and place women in subordinated positions. While men are ascribed breadwinning responsibilities and more prominent roles in public sphere women are more valued in their domestic roles as wives, mothers and family helpers. Systemic factors The systemic factors including the legal, political and cultural factors pose challenges for women and constrain their participation in governance. These societal factors accord a low status to women vis--vis men which is reflected in all spheres of life including politics. Legal factors While the constitution of Pakistan provide for equal treatment to both women and men in terms of their access to history includes several periods of institutional crises and instability. Since inception, the country has witnessed 4 military coups and experienced 5 disrupted elected governments besides 2 wars and internal ethnic and sectarian crises. The frequent suspension of the constitutions and the elected governments has given rise to insecurity, frustration and disassociation from politics among masses over the years.

Conclusion To conclude, realizing the importance of womens participation in governance a concerted effort has been made in Pakistan by providing women 33% representation in local governance through local government ordinance (2000). However, despite these efforts their participation in governance has remained low during the first term of the local government system. It is mainly because the traditional cultural values and societal norms that ascribe women domestic roles and accord them a lower status as compared to men are not compatible with their professional roles in public arena. These cultural norms are reflected in the systemic, organizational and personal practices. The paper analyzes the diverse societal, insti- tutional and individual factors that account for low participation of women in local governance in Pakistan. The measure such as review of LG policies; gender awareness and mainstreaming, capacity building,


Major hurdles in the way of Gender and Development (GAD), by Haseeb Jan (Ph.D Scholar)

13 networking and mentoring etc. are recommended to enhance womens participation in governance.

References 1. Hewitt, 2010. SF Defined. [Online] (Updated 10 August 2010) Available at: http://www.gender.edu/ gen.html [Accessed 10 May 2011]. 2. Haig, David (April 2004). "The Inexorable Rise of Gender and the Decline of Sex: Social Change in Academic Titles, 19452001". Archives of Sexual Behavior 33 (2): 8796. 3. Khosa, 1992. Gender in Pakistan. [Online] (Updated 10 January 2011) Available at: http://www.awfpk.org/ gender_pak.html [Accessed 11 May 2011]. 4. "What do we mean by "sex" and "gender"?". World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/gender/whatisgender/en/index.html. Retrieved 2011-06-29 13
Major hurdles in the way of Gender and Development (GAD), by Haseeb Jan (Ph.D Scholar)

14 5. SARDC, 2010. SF Defined. [Online] (Updated 20 February 2010) Available at: http://www.umsl.edu/~keelr/3210/3210_lectures/ SARDC.html [Accessed 10 May 2011]. 6. Udry, J. Richard (November 1994). "The Nature of Gender". Demography 31 (4): 561573. 7. United Nation, 2010. UN charter. [Online] (Updated 10 November 2010) Available at: http://www.un.org/ gender.html [Accessed 15 May 2011].



Major hurdles in the way of Gender and Development (GAD), by Haseeb Jan (Ph.D Scholar)