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Gender Equality News Women in Development and Gender Equity June 1998

Canadian International Development Agency 200 Promenade du Portage Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0G4 Tel: (819) 997-5006 Toll free: 1-800-230-6349 Fax: (819) 953-6088 (For the hearing and speech impaired only (TDD/TTY): (819) 953-5023 Toll free for the hearing and speech impaired only: 1-800-331-5018) E-mail: info@acdi-cida.gc.ca

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Bienvenue ldition de juin 1998 des Nouvelles de lIFD & ES. Ce numro des Nouvelles de lIFD & ES porte sur lIntgration au courant dominant de la dimension de genre et le changement institutionnel.


Welcome to the June 1998 Edition of the WID & GE News. This issue of the WID & GE Newsletter focuses on Gender Mainstreaming and Institutional Change.

Diploms dun programme de matrise en gestion financ par lACDI Bucharest / Graduates of a CIDA funded MBA Program in Bucharest

Agence canadienne de dveloppement international

Canadian International Development Agency

Photo : Roger Lemoyne (ACDI/CIDA)

Women in Development and Gender Equity

June 1998

The Elusive Agenda, Mainstreaming Women in Development by Rounaq Jahan

The path to mainstreaming women in development is an "agenda-setting'' approach, which implies transforming the existing development agenda with a gender perspective, researcher Rounaq Jahan has argued. Jahan, a senior research scholar at the Southern Asian Institute, Columbia University, used her book, The Elusive Agenda: Mainstreaming Women in Development, to lay out two broad approaches to mainstreaming gender. The first, the "integrationist approach,'' builds gender within existing development paradigms. The overall development agenda is not transformed, but each issue is adapted to take into account women-and-gender concerns. Jahan says a good example of the integrationist approach is the practice of designing WID components in major sectoral programs and projects. As she puts it, women are "fitted" into as many sectors and programs as possible, but sector and programme priorities do not change because of gender considerations. The second approach is called "agenda-setting" and implies the transformation of the existing development agenda with a gender perspective. The participation of women as decisionmakers in determining development priorities is the key strategy, Jahan writes. Women not only become a part of the mainstream, they also reorient the nature of the mainstream. As she puts it, it is not simply women as individuals but the women's agenda which gets recognition from the mainstream. Jahan cites as an example of the agenda-setting approach the prioritizing of women's empowerment in population sector programs. In her study, Jahan looked at the experience of four international donor agencies - including CIDA - who have played a crucial role in shaping both the global development agenda and the specific WID policies and measures. Jahan also reviewed the development experience of two countries: Tanzania and Bangladesh. By comparing the donors' priorities with those of their development partners, Jahan argues that while achievements have been made, the fundamental goals of the women's movement - transforming social and gender relations and creating a more equitable world - still elude us. As Jahan points out, it was two decades ago that the global community affirmed gender equality as a central development concern and a decade ago that it adopted strategies to accelerate women's advancement. In rescontinued on page 2

In this Issue
Approaches to Institutionalising Gender. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Addressing Gender Issues in the Workplace . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 InterAction Surveys its Members . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Example of a Success Story in Brazil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Philippines Experience . . . . . . . 10

CIDA Will Update its Women in Development and Gender Equity Policy
In its meeting last December, CIDA's Policy Committee has recommended that the Women in Development and Gender Equity Policy be updated to reflect main-streaming and gender equality in a results-oriented framework. The planned launch of the updated policy is March 8, 1999. Watch for details on upcoming consultations around the policy.

Canadian International Development Agency

Agence canadienne de dveloppement international

Women in Development and Gender Equity News

Strategies must be clearly defined
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ponse to the demands of the women's movement and the United Nations mandates, national governments and international development agencies have adopted special policies and measures to promote women's advancement. "Women in Development" emerged as a field of policy and action and the UN. organized four World Conferences on women. But for all that, Jahan says the evidence suggest a mixed record of how those policies have functioned. Sustained advocacy has led to a greater understanding of gender issues and the women's movement has gained strength with more clearly articulated agendas - equality, empowerment and the transformation of existing development paradigms have emerged as critical issues. But data also indicate that inequalities have grown between the rich and poor, the North and

Platform for Action 'mainstreaming' paragraph

In adopting the Beijing Platform for Action (PFA), governments have undertaken a commitment to a strategy of mainstreaming gender perspectives throughout policy and planning processes. The major component of the "mainstreaming paragraph" included in each major section of the PFA is as follows: ... governments and other actors should promote an active and visible policy of mainstreaming a gender perspective in all policies and programmes so that, before decisions are taken, an analysis is made of the effects on women and men, respectively.

South, as more women have joined the ranks of the world's poor and women's responsibilities as income-earners have increased. The study addressed some crucial questions, such as whether progress is elusive because the women's agenda has not been clearly defined, or rather because policies and measures have not adequately addressed that agenda. Should progress be measured by efforts or by results? And are policies and strategies essentially on the right track, needing only more time and better implementation? Or do they need reorientation? Jahan found that agency and state policies responded more favorably to approaches that suggested gender issues can be fitted into agency processes and operations. For example, the efficiency and anti-poverty arguments were developed to justify investment in women, arguing that such investment would lead to economic growth as well as poverty alleviation.

But in areas where investment in women required the redistribution of power, Jahan says, agencies and states were less responsive. Investments that generated quick economic returns were an easier sell, but propositions made on the grounds of women's rights or empowerment were less successful. Jahan says agencies and governments argue that it was lack of understanding and expertise that prevented them from achieving their WID/GAD policy objectives. But she says they underplayed the political economy of the process of change: how disparities in power and resources and conflict of interest might obstruct achievement of WID/GAD policy objectives. One suggested lesson is that in future, policies and measures should more clearly address the women's agenda. Instead of trying to fit gender issues into every sector, the focus should move toward an agenda-setting approach.
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Editors Note
WID & GE News is published by Women in Development and Gender Equity Division, Policy Branch, four times a year, and includes information about women in development issues and projects. WID & GE News is designed to keep Agency personnel informed of gender issues and events, and to provide a forum for the exchange of information on projects, training and theory. Questions and comments about WID&GE News may be directed to the Directors Office, WID & GE Division, Policy Branch.

Women in Development and Gender Equity News

Strengthening womens organizations is crucial
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Jahan suggests ways of making the shift from an integrationist to an agendasetting approach. First, agenda-setting implies leadership. Women will have to play a proactive role and make decisionmaking structures more inclusive. Within agencies, an agendasetting approach will involve greater attention to the substantive objectives of the women's movement: gender equality and women's empowerment. Donor preoccupation with instrumental objectives will have to give way to prioritizing operational issues. And an agenda-setting approach would give primacy to strengthening women's groups and

organizations, which are still weak in many countries with a narrow base reliant on women's support and external donor funding. In future, women's groups and movements need to enhance their base of popular support, Jahan argues, devising strategies to strengthen their financial position and gain male support. A new communications strategy is proposed, moving away from the win/lose scenario that suggests that women's gains have been men's losses, rather than the message that changing gender relations is good not simply for women, but also for men, families and communities. And following on the successful example of the

environmental movement, the communications strategy should target young people. Agenda-setting would also involve the development of concepts and analytical tools in different languages and different development contexts. Greater attention needs to be paid to the development of concepts, analytical tools and models in the South. And finally, Jahan writes, an agenda-setting approach in the context of international development assistance, would require building the institutional capacities of aid recipients to set and implement their own agendas.

Approaches to Institutionalising Gender

The following is a summary of the May 1997 issue of "in brief", a quarterly report published by UK-based BRIDGE (briefings on development and gender), an information analysis service specialising in gender and development issues. This issue of "in brief" deals with approaches to institutionalising gender in both government and non-government organisations and looks at what happens to feminist concepts, such as empowerment, when they enter the mainstream. This issue of the report was funded by the British Overseas Development Administration (ODA) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

Changing Institutions Women's Interests


After a decade or more of attempts to institutionalise gender, there is a growing collection of data and analysis produced on gender issues world-wide. National Machineries for Women (NMWs) have been created in most UN member governments and gender issues are included in central policy statements, guidelines, and procedures of major donor agencies.

The extent of mainstreaming, however, is still limited, and the benefits to women remain elusive. There has been a focus on highly visible, top-down activities such as producing policies, guidelines, and data sets, rather than on the slower and more invisible process of transforming organisational culture and practice at all levels. But progress has been achieved in institutionalising gender. Experience suggests that increased

response to gender issues is linked to the level of external pressure by donors and women's groups, the extent of the 'fit' of gender issues with the mandate or procedures of an organisation, and to the strength of staff members who work on gender issues in translating their knowledge into agency-specific procedures (Kardam, 1995; Razavi and Miller, 1995). Case studies highlight the importance for successful mainstreaming of local, national and
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Women in Development and Gender Equity News

Empowerment: Swimming into the Mainstream
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international alliances, of political commitment to gender analysis, and of allowing women to pursue their own visions of change (Oxfam, 1997).
Nuket Kardam, Associate Professor and Program Head, Monterey Institute of International Studies, USA

Linking NGOs and women's organisations with policy-makers in government is a key role for NMWs in the context of mainstreaming.
Zoe Oxaal, Assistant BRIDGE Research

towards gender equality and corresponds with the vision of activists from the South. Women 's empowerment has been taken up as a policy goal across a wide range of development organisations, from NGOs to UN agencies and through support to specific activities such as microcredit programmes, political participation and leadership, and reproductive health. The development of indicators of empowerment to measure programme success is gaining prominence in many agencies, as is interest in participatory forms of evaluation. A major lesson emerging from these approaches is that different aspects of empowerment are linked and that progress in one area cannot be sustained without attention to others. Genuine empowerment also requires women to have a voice in shaping the choices over which decisions are made.
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Bringing Gender Out of the Ghetto: National Machineries for Women The setting up of National Machineries for Women (NMWs) began in the 1970s. By 1985, some 90 percent of countries had established an institutional body or system for promoting the status of women. However, NMWs have often proved to be weak, under-resourced and vulnerable to changing political fortunes. Some NMWs have focused mainly on welfare-oriented projects and programmes targeted at women. By contrast, the mainstreaming agenda demands that gender issues gain a hearing in macro-level policy-making. NMWs have adopted a wide range of strategies to promote gender-sensitive policy and practice, with varying degrees of success. These include: lobbying for the inclusion of gender in national development policy plans, setting up focal points in other ministries, the use of guidelines and checklists in planning and evaluation, and gender training for government personnel at all levels.

Empowerment: Swimming into the Mainstream Women's empowerment can be understood as a process whereby women, individually and collectively, become aware of how power relations operate in their lives and gain the self-confidence and strength to challenge gender inequalities. The current popularity of the empowerment concept mirrors the shift away from topdown planning towards more participatory forms of development and moves by donor agencies to embrace NGOs as partners in development. Empowerment seems to offer a useful way forward for those working

Platform for Action 'National Machinery' Paragraph

The Beijing Platform for Action emphasises the role of the national machinery in supporting a mainstreaming strategy. It states that: A national machinery for the advancement of women is the central policy-coordinating unit inside government. Its main task is to support the government-wide mainstreaming of a gender-equality perspective in all policy areas (Para. 201).

Women in Development and Gender Equity News

Empowerment is a bottom up process
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Empowerment is essentially a 'bottom-up' process rather than a 'top-down' strategy. Recent experience suggests that gender planners working towards an empowerment approach must develop ways of enabling women themselves to decide what their gender interests are and how to bring about change. Promoting empowerment also requires that organisations review their structures and procedures, to increase their accountability and responsiveness to the women whose empowerment they aim to support.

Zoe Oxaal, Assistant



BRIDGE's aim is to assist development professionals in government and nongovernment organisations to integrate gender concerns into their work. The group is based at the Institute of Development Studies, in the UK. To obtain more information on this report or on BRIDGE, please contact: Sally Baden or Rachel Masika Institute of Development Studies University of Sussex Brighton BN1 9RE, UK Tel: (01273) 678243 or 606261 Fax: (01273) 621202 or 691647 E-mail: bridge@sussex.ac.uk

Beijing Declaration
Women's empowerment and their full participation on the basis of equality in all spheres of society, including participation in the decisionmaking process and access to power, are fundamental for the achievement of equality, development and peace (Para. 13).

Addressing Gender Issues in the Workplace

Any attempt to address genderrelated issues in the workplace is, in most instances, a long-term endeavour requiring both personal commitment and patience from change agents. And certain preconditions are required before any change group is able to function effectively in order to create change in the workplace. Islam and Scherr, researchers at the International Food Policy Research Institute IFPRI in the USA have identified five main preconditions: critical mass, personal commitment, buyin, commitment from senior management and time. There needs to be a critical mass of change agents within the organization who are vocal about the need for change and willing to work together for it. This type of work can involve a certain amount of risk for individuals, whether men or women, who may be labeled by others within the organization. Hence the need for personal commitment. Broader buy-in throughout the organization is necessary. This means that the organization has recognized that a problem exists and actively embraces a process of change to address the problem. Commitment from senior management is crucial, particularly a commitment to take responsibility for policy change and to model the behaviour that management would like others to emulate. It is essential for change agents to have the credibility and validation that senior management can confer. Finally, time is a critical factor, both time to allow ideas to coalesce into consensus and action, but also time for changes to be observed. Beliefs about gender are often culturally determined and deeply embedded in individual psychologies and thus require time to be changes. There is no quick fix. So change may often be painstakingly slow and sometimes difficult to initiate and sustain against a backdrop of cultural inertia. Important components of any process for change are strategic planning, sharing information, seeking participation and feedback, teamwork across hierarchies and paying attention to one's own needs and feelings. Strategic planning is required on a number of fronts. First, the problem must be defined and legitimized often though the collection of evidence. Such evidence must also delineate the
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Women in Development and Gender Equity News

Strategic planning is required on a number of fronts
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costs of gender inequity to the organization in terms of productivity and effectiveness. Manifestations of gender discrimination can be overt, subtle, or unintended. This type of scrutiny often makes men uncomfortable and can result in conflict within the organization. Gender issues are often highly sensitive and emotional; reconciling public declarations of support from key managers with observed actions is a necessary first step. Change agents need to figure out both who their supports are and where the resistance lies. Because the process can be slow, it is important to take stock of progress periodically and reassess strategies. The process of change also calls for working both at different levels of hierarchy within an organization and with coalitions, both informal or formal that coalesce around a particular issue. The best way to probe and draw insights across hierarchies is through sharing information and seeking participation and feedback. It is important not to work in a vacuum and to keep staff informed of any progress made, no matter how slow. Those on the outside who are not privy to the group discussions or deliberations with management may feel left out or that nothing is happening. It is therefore critical to maintain a dialogue with staff members. An important related component is that of teamwork across hierarchies. In a learning organization, one that is willing to

change, it is recognized that people are more intelligent together than they are apart. Team-work is necessary to engage both junior and senior staff fully in discussions and to ensure broad organizational representation in the change group. In this way the change agents can learn what the expectations of all staff are and make sure that they are on the right track. Teamwork has the potential to generate innovative solutions to problems. And last, paying attention to one's own needs and feelings and sharing these with the group is required of change agents. Most change agents have a personal commitment to reducing gender discrimination and may feel vulnerable in the larger organizational environment. High stress and slow change along with possible stigmatization can lead to dissatisfaction. Change agents need to recognize that they are in this for the long haul and find

ways to support and encourage each other, recharge their batteries or take a break. They must celebrate each success, not matter how small and recognize that these are the building blocks for lasting transformation. Those embarking on this important work must reflect objectively upon the preconditions and process factors before plunging in. Though the frustrations of working on gender issues are many, the rewards can be high. The process of creating change is slow yet stimulating. Such work requires optimism and a longterm perspective. It also requires and thus provides valuable opportunities for both personal and organizational growth.
Source: CG Gender lens, a semi-annual publication of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Gender Staffing Program, Simmons Institute for Leadership and Change, Simmons College, 300 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115.

Photo: Roger Lemoyne, ACDI The Bucharest stock exchange, where many women work, got a boost from CIDA

Women in Development and Gender Equity News

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InterAction Surveys its Members on Extent of Gender Integration

InterAction, a coalition of over 160 US-based non-profit organizations working in international development, disaster relief, refugee assistance, public policy and global education, has surveyed 30 of its members in an efforts to identify their best practices in integrating gender concerns into programming and internal management policies. The following is a summary of the findings of the survey which can be found in the publication 'Best Practices for Gender Integration in Organiza-tions and Programs from the InterAction Community'. Gender Policy and Staff InterAction found that 30% of those surveyed had clear gender policy statements or were in the process of developing them. 40% reported having a staff person or unit focused on gender and women's issues; 30% offered gender training but with few tools for follow-up. Recruitment, Hiring, Retention 34% reported that women constitute more than 50% of senior management and 30% reported that women constitute more than 50% of all field directors. 20% reported that demonstrated gender awareness was an important criterion in personnel selection and while all had equal opportunity policies, 23% made special efforts to recruit women. Regarding Family Friendly Work Policies, 50% of groups surveyed had provisions for child or dependent care and 92% provided opportunities for flexible work arrangements including job sharing and part-time work. Gender Integration in Programs The survey found that 30% collected gender disaggregated statistics consistently, while 25 % did so occasionally. Only 10% incorporated gender analysis by mandate, another 50% did do occasionally, mostly in the case of women-specific programming. And the data show that 40% evaluated gender impact or women's involvement in projects. Barriers to women's advancement Of the groups surveyed, 30% identified barriers to women's advancement. Lack of commitment from top management. InterAction emphasised the need for an increased number of women in positions which involve decision-making over allocation of resources. Biases in the hiring process: Stringent qualification requirements are thought to have excluded women. For example, one of the organizations required that candidates have 10 years of field management experience overlooking the fact that 10 years ago, few women may have been in the field management positions. Such requirements only serve to reinforce the notion that women are not appropriate choices for certain positions. Lack of pay equity and equal opportunity for advancement: A few organizations reported that women in similar positions to men receive lower salaries and face more limited opportunities than their male counterparts. Different Management Styles: Women were thought to be more processoriented, which is a management style that is not necessarily rewarded in the criteria for advancement to senior management positions. Cultural Issues: Several organizations identified cultural issues as an impediment to women's opportunities in field management positions. In the survey, InterAction identified several specific successful approaches by its members in developing gender policies, integrating gender in project design, gender impact evaluation, main-streaming gender, advancing women to senior management positions, child care and flexible work arrangements.
Source: Best Practices for Gender Integration in Organizations and Programs from the InterAction Community, InterAction American Council for Voluntary International Action, Commission on the Advancement of Women, 1717 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036.

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Women in Development and Gender Equity News

InterAction survey
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List of Surveyed Agencies

Academy for Educational Development ACCION International Adventist Development & Relief Agency African-American Institute Africare American Friends Service Committee American Jewish World Service Appropriate Technology International CARE Catholic Relief Services Christian Children's Fund Delphi International Freedom from Hunger Heifer Project International Laubach Literacy International Lutheran World Relief OIC International Oxfam America Partners of the Americas Pathfinder International Save the Children SHARE Foundation TechnoServe Trickle Up Program Unitarian Universalist Service Committee Winrock International World Learning World Neighbors World Vision Relief & Development World Wildlife Fund

Brazil Project Example of a Success Story in Institutionalizing Gender

Prepared by Teresa Pires, Development Officer, Americas Branch
The introduction of WID considerations at an early stage of project development led to "revolutionary" results in a project with a major industrial training centre in Brazil. The Servio Naional de Aprendizagem Industrial (SENAI), one of CIDA's most important partners in Brazil, offers professional education in several areas, such as electronics, food processing, graphics, civil engineering, mechanics, petro-chemistry, plastics, welding, and textiles. More than a million people were enrolled in its courses in 1996 and over 6 000 teachers were on its payroll. In 1990, the Canadian Minister responsible for international cooperation approved a project between SENAI and the partnership of Ryerson Corporation and CIDE (CRC). [CIDE stands for Consortium intercollgial de dveloppement en ducation]. The project goal was to help improve the productivity and output in the private and public sectors, mainly in Brazil's Northeast and was to be achieved mainly through support for the establishment of two new SENAI Regional Centres of Excellence. The project activities included technical assistance by Canadians in planning, management, and technical disciplines, fellowship programme for Brazilians in Canada and an equipment programme for the purchase and supply of selected Canadian equipment. Women in Development (WID) Activities Women in Development (WID) considerations were introduced into project planning at an early stage. A WID expert from Canada and another from Brazil accompanied the planning mission and prepared a Strategy for the Integration of Women. The CIDERyerson Corporation hired the Canadian WID expert to provide SENAI with technical assistance,
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Nouvelles de l'Intgration de la femme au dveloppement et galit des sexes

SENAI becomes more gender aware
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and SENAI appointed one of its staff members to coordinate the project's WID activities. At this point, however, neither CRC nor SENAI considered WID to be one of their own organizational priorities. The WID component began with an assignment for the Canadian expert at SENAI's Regional Headquarters in Bahia from August to December 1990. One of the key actions that she undertook with her Brazilian counterpart was the organization of a sensitization campaign targeted at potential students, industry representatives, and SENAI itself. The purpose of the campaign was to change SENAI's "male face" into one that was more welcoming to women. They also wanted to change the perception that women could not do the job, a perception that was held not only by industry representatives but also by women themselves. SENAI management in Bahia was quick to give its support to the activities proposed. Promotional material was developed in which women were portrayed as working and studying in non-traditional areas, such as the petrochemical and electricity sectors. The WID experts involved industry in the campaign, by portraying women in the posters who were already employed in the region. Certain companies were also showcased as models because of their willingness to hire women.

The campaign was launched in November 1990 and SENAI invited key players in the region to the official launch: the media, employers from industry, government officials, and representatives from the women's community. SENAI's close relationship with industry was considered to be an asset as it provided SENAI with access to decision-makers. Once the campaign was launched, the two-person WID team visited high schools in the region to reach young women aged 15-17 who would be in a position to enroll at SENAI. The team also visited SENAI schools and provided sensitization sessions to SENAI students and teachers. The WID team hoped to make female students aware of the full range of possibilities for them at SENAI. The rationale for working with SENAI teachers and staff was to combat the institutionalized practices that discriminated against women. The WID team ensured, for example, that enrollment posters no longer specified the preferred sex of the students. Parallel to these activities, SENAI ensured high participation rates for women in the Fellowship Programme in Canada. In the first year of the project, the number of women who received fellowships was higher than that of men. At the end of the project 39 percent of all Fellowship participants in Canada were women.

Impact of WID activities The end-of-project Performance Review (1996) states that "the impact of the WID component.. .was nothing short of revolutionary." According to the same document, "WID was an idea whose time had come at SENAI and was adopted with enthusiasm." Indeed, several key SENAI managers have stated that the WID component had a significant impact upon SENAI, especially as catalyst for change in SENAI's male-dominated culture. One of the most visible changes was the increase in the number of female students at SENAI. In terms of the centres supported by the CIDA project, women accounted for 35% of the enrollment in Chemical Process training course of one centre. At another centre, from 1992-1996, 19 men and 55 women (74%) were enrolled in the two-year course in Food Processing. This represents a significant shift from the first year the course was offered where enrollment was 50% women and 50% men to 1996 where enrollment was 75% women and 25% men. The project's WID component also had an impact on the work of other SENAI centres. For example, as a result of a visit by the WID Team in 1991, the SENAI Regional Department of Pernambuco institutionalized a
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Women in Development and Gender Equity News

Examples of gender awareness
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process of revising all their pedagogical material to eliminate unfair gender bias. Another of the project's legacies was instilling the importance of sexdisaggregated research in staff at SENAI-Pernambuco. These activities continue today. Other examples of gender awareness can certainly be found today within SENAI: the SENAI Regional Department in Bahia has made it clear to industry that it is not acceptable for them to request only male SENAI graduates and to refuse to hire female graduates. The Regional Director has often

intervened on behalf of female students who have been denied employment on the basis of their sex. SENAI has also assisted individual women to enter nontraditional areas of employment for women and the SENAI WID coordinator has been active in encouraging industry managers to hire more women. And, according to a key SENAI manager, women are making many important advances within SENAI itself. Within the centres supported by CIDA, female participation is high. At the

regional level in Pernambuco, the number of female employees also increased from 23.6% in 1990 to 29.2% in 1997. The number of women participating in technical courses in the state of Pernambuco leaped from 13.5% of the total in 1990 to 31.3% in 1997. SENAI's National Department has expressed an interest in publicizing SENAI's WID experience with Canada more widely and in exploring the potential for including WID/gender equity activities in its new project with CIDA.

Mainstreaming Gender: Introducing Changes Through Capability Building - Philippines Experience

Prepared by Myrna I. Jarillas Project Manager - CIDA II - Institutional Strengthening Project
Despite continuous challenges, am institutional strengthening project with a women's governmental organization in the Philippines is showing positive results and is hailed as a model in the region. The National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW) is on its second year of implementing a five-year Institutional Strengthening Project as part of a second phase of CIDA assistance on Gender and Development (GAD) for the Philippines. The project, known as CIDA ISP II aims to enhance the capacity of NCRFW and its key partners in implementing the government's gender equality policy. Phase I of the CIDA assistance which focused on training and advocacy ended in June 1996. Trained under the project were key decision-makers, advocates and members of agency focal points. Major policies and plans for gender equality were developed and adopted, notably the Philippine Plan for GenderResponsive Development, 19952025 (PPGD). Phase I also successfully introduced GAD as a priority development issue in government. Introducing institutional changes that will operationalize, sustain and even strengthen government's capacity to translate policy commitments for GAD remains a tough challenge. It also remains to be an area of pioneering work defining new strategies, testing and piloting to identify what works and what does not work, what is sustainable, what is not. This is precisely the focus of ISP II. In addition to the NCRFW, primary targets of the project in terms of capacity building and tools development for GAD mainstreaming are four oversight agencies: the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Civil Service Commission (CSC).
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Women in Development and Gender Equity News

Accomplishments of NCRFW
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Also targeted are four line agencies: Trade and Industry, Agriculture, Labor and Employment, and Environment and Natural Resources as well as seven regions which will bring down the integration of gender issues down to the level of local government units. The project stays on course amidst difficulties and challenges. The challenges have come from the uneven readiness of partner agencies, which in most cases meant the absence of a strong advocate or sponsor who will seriously commit resources to translating a given level of sensitivity into actual operational mechanisms, structures, programs or activities. These challenges are proving to be formidable for NCRFW in terms of its own capacity to do appropriate and effective advocacy.

Despite the challenges, the NCRFW experience continues to be hailed as a model in the region, thus, it continues to receive delegations from neighboring countries' national focal points for women' s affairs wanting to learn from its experiences. Teresita S. Castillo, NCRFW Executive Director, expressed her optimism that institutional changes that we introduce today will make girls and women's lives in the coming generation fulfilling and challenging. Among the notable accomplishments of the project to date include redefining the NCRFW and its position within the government bureaucracy, defining its technical assistance (TA) strategy for its primary partners, and a project with the University of the Philippines Centre for

Women's Studies on Building GAD Capability of Regional Women/Gender Studies and Resource Centres. Redefining the NCRFW: For NCRFW to be strengthened as an oversight agency for GAD and for it to be able to steer the necessary institutional changes within government, the management and staff agreed that the very first step was for it to come to terms with itself: its nature, mission, structure and strategy. This coming to terms meant not only defining the crucial characteristics of the organizations. It also meant that key members commit themselves to what the organization has been defined to be. The NCRFW knew that the best way to achieve this was for its members - officials and staff participating in the process of definition. Redefining NCRFW took center stage during the first year of the Project. It was achieved through two interfacing processes: (1) a series of staff planning workshops for the implementation of the project, and (2) an Organizational Development (OD) exercise as the foundation of the NCRFW capacity building strategy. The process, that commenced in August 1996 and was concluded in February 1997, yielded among others the following: -clarification and reaffirmation of commitment
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Photo: NCRFW Integrating gender was the subject of a presentation of staff by NCRFW Executive Director, Teresita S. Castillo

Women in Development and Gender Equity News

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The NCRFW develops a more flexible organizational structure

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to the NCRFW vision and mission; articulation of NCRFW's five-year goals; review and reformulation of the NCRFW strategy; definition of the expected end results of the project; reaffirmation of the appropriateness of NCRFW's structure; and clarification of the roles of the various functional units (divisions) in project implementation and their points of coordination and convergence. A commitment was reached to making NCRFW an organization which subscribes to emerging leadership style of women, which, compared to traditional management styles, is being proven to be more productive and efficient in the long run. In short, the NCRFW is slowly evolving an organizational culture that is, inter alia, empowering, non-hierarchical, open-transparent, flexible and consultative. Kick-off for this vision was a series of teambuilding workshops that defined organizational norms and threshed out relational issues among staff members and between organizational units. The planning and OD processes involved primarily the core NCRFW management and technical staff but brought at key points of the process other stakeholders, notably, the Board of Commissioners and partners. Consultations were conducted with the oversight agencies, namely NEDA, DBM and DILG

and the NEDA regional Offices in regions 1, 8 and 10, National Statistical Coordination Board (NCSB), National Statistics Office (NSO) and Statistical Research and Training Centre (SRTC). Results of the consultations were fed back to the planning process. GAD resource Centres in the regions: Another project that is successfully introducing changes in the government bureaucracy is the "Building GAD Capability of Regional Women/Gender Studies and Resource Centers". Imelda Nicolas, Chairperson of NCRFW said this project is "very strategic in sustaining gender-responsive local governance" and that the establishment of GAD Resource Centers in at least eight regions of the country will widen the reach of NCRFW and generate the critical mass of supporters, advocates and officials all over the country. The project is expected to achieve the following outputs by the end of the five-year period: Establishment of women's studies and gender resource centers all over the Philippines, a well-organized network of resource pools, the development of training materials and tools and region-based research data which will be helpful in mainstreaming GAD. Other expected outputs are: trained academic and professional researchers in gender planning, monitoring and evaluation,

skilled trainers in the region, and reliable GAD government and non-government personnel in regions. The project is being implemented with the help of the Center for Women Studies of the University of the Philippines (CWS-UP) and the Women's Studies Association of the Philippines (WSAP). It has identified prospective institutional and individual project partners, among which are academic institutions in regions covered by the project. Also being tapped are local faculty members, government and non-government personnel into gender work. At present, the CWS-UP and WSAP have established linkages with 60 colleges and universities all over the country that have women/ gender studies programs.

Photo: Ron Watts, CIDA In Pakistan, a senior scientist conducts soil sampling

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Gender symposium in Sri Lanka reveals grass roots innovation

Presentations by grass roots level organisations at a Gender and Development Symposium in Sri Lanka brought into sharp focus what may well be a "silent revolution'' in the gender roles of men and women, The Island newspaper of Colombo reported. The symposium was held in Colombo at the end of 1997 and organised by the staff of the Sri Lanka Canada Development Fund (SLCDF). Four women-specific projects illustrated ongoing initiatives in building women's capacity, self confidence and credibility as development agents. The conference heard how women became more involved in the Small Fishers' Federation at Udawala, Hambantota District. Women who once had to wait at home for their husbands to bring home meagre income when small scale fishing was at a low tide, decided three years ago to set up a small samiti (committee) of 35 women from each of five villages in an attempt to overcome poverty. They ventured into selfemployment in handicrafts and marketable home garden produce, setting aside four hours a day. Small loans were secured at 2 per cent monthly interest to expand the scheme. In future, samiti members hope to secure loans to build homes in partnership with their husbands. The conference also heard from representatives of the Women's Development Foundation, Anuradhapura District. Women had identified the meeting of daily needs as a primary problem. Because good land was hard to secure, the group turned to agroforestry and home gardening in an attempt to better women's lives. The group began with such small ventures as making and selling yoghurt and handicrafts, but lost heart due to marketing problems. But the sense of togetherness fostered by the creation of the organisation helped women to carry on and to address such problems as harassment and sexual abuse blamed on alcohol and drug abuse among men. The group recently visited a Tamil samiti in Hatton district, which resulted in the creation of an exchange program that allowed women from very different backgrounds to share experiences. The Symposium also featured efforts to combat gender discrimination on tea plantations. Women who work on tea estates have very little or no say in social and trade union activities and union leaders seem to take scant notice of such problems as female exploitation and harassment. Women workers are often faced with male supervisors who know nothing about tea plucking, and often don't speak the language of the pluckers. The symposium heard that small groups of women are now banding themselves into samitis and trying to improve their lot through cultural activities and instructive entertainment that includes, rather than excludes men. Finally, the symposium was told about efforts to promote credit for women through the Janashakthi Women's Bank, which has helped rural women to invest in their own credit and savings schemes. Some 26,000 women have benefited from these schemes. All bank employees are women, apart from one man who works as a security guard - a post that could soon be occupied by a woman as well. "These cameo sketches of women's role in partnership development at grass roots levels, as a means of surmounting barriers of gender discrimination are signs of the changing of the times,'' journalist Malini Balasingam concluded.

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UN Workshop on Gender Mainstreaming

The United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women organized a Workshop on Gender Mainstreaming last September in Geneva. Participants included members of the UN Inter-Agency Committee on Women and Gender Equality and members of the Expert Group on Women in Development of the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD/DAC Expert Group on WID). The purpose of the Workshop was to share experiences and lessons learned among bilateral and multilateral organizations about mainstreaming for gender equality as a crucial element in the transformation of the development agenda. The 61 participants considered that the Platform for Action and the Agreed Conclusions of the meeting of the UN Economic and Social Council in 1997 have set high standards regarding mainstreaming a gender perspective as a strategy for achieving equality. Topics addressed in the Workshop were: Strategies for Gender Mainstreaming: from Policy to Action; Institutional Development for Gender Mainstreaming; and Collaboration and Partnership for Mainstreaming. A Statement from the Workshop noted that "although innovative efforts have been made within organizations, there is a need to translate this learning on a far more widespread basis and to commit greater human, technical and financial resources to the task of ensuring that a gender equality perspective is fully institutionalized". The meeting concluded that several conditions, commitment, competence and compliance, were determined as having special significance for this effort to move forward. There was agreement among participants that there should be continued professional exchange and flow of information. Suggested activities include a review of the role and terms of reference of gender focal points, exchange of information on best practices in gender mainstreaming, as well as documentation of sectoral approaches on gender mainstreaming to be used for training and policy dialogue.
For further information on the Workshop, please contact the Women in Development and Gender Equity Division, Policy Branch.


Diana Rivington A/Director Telephone 997-6633 Fax 953-6356 Rajani E. Alexander Senior Policy Analyst Telephone 997-0893 Fax 953-6356 Camille Dextraze Policy Analyst Telephone 997-0915 Fax 953-6356


Rose Mae Harkness WID and GE Specialist Cdn Partnership Branch Telephone 994-4093 Fax 953-6357 Andrew Clark Policy Analyst Gender Focal Point Multilateral Programs Branch Tel: 994-3882 Fax: 953-5348 Wendy Lawrence WID and GE Specialist Africa & Middle-East Branch Telephone 997-5565 Tlcopieur 994-6174 Jolle Barbot-Coldevin WID and GE Specialist Americas Branch Telephone 994-0553 Fax 997-0077 Valrie Sirois WID and GE Focal Point CEE Branch Telephone 994-0030 Fax 994-7161 Marie Powell WID and GE Specialist Asia Branch Telephone 997-2860 Fax 997-0945

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In Brief
Nane Annan visits CIDA to discuss gender equity issues
Nane Annan, wife of Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, visited CIDA to discuss the experience of the Agency in gender equity issues. Ms. Annan, who has a long-standing interest in human rights and sits on the board of the Women's International Forum requested the opportunity to discuss how Canada has become a world leader in gender equity issues. A roundtable was organized by the Women in Development and Gender Equity Division, Policy Branch and aimed at sharing with Ms. Annan Canada's experience in mainstreaming a gender perspective in development cooperation and increasing the participation of women in decision-making. Roundtable participants included Maureen O'Neil, President of the International Development Research Centre, Florence Ievers, Coordinator, Status of Women Canada as well as many CIDA representatives. Ms. Annan was in Ottawa with her husband to attend the Conference on Landmines held last November.

Study Circles on Good Practices and Gender Equality

Gender Equality Consultants have recently started organizing study circles on best practices and gender equality issues. The meetings which are held at CIDA in collaboration with the WID and GE Division, Policy Branch, aimed at sharing information and lessons among people working on gender equality issues. One meeting dealt with Best Practices on Gender Equality within the Logical Framework and another one focused on Best Practices in CIDA bilateral Gender Funds.

DAC Source Book on Gender Equality

The Expert Group on Women in Development of the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD/DAC Expert Group on WID) produced a "DAC Source Book on Concepts and Approaches Linked to Gender Equality" last December. The source book includes sections which present key issues, questions and themes as well as references on the growing literature coming from gender equality advocates, academics and development cooperation agencies. Topics presented include: Empowerment, Gender Training, Institutional Analysis from a Gender Perspective, Mainstreaming as an Institutional Strategy, National Machinery for Women's Affairs, Monitoring and Evaluation and Participatory Approaches.
For further information on the DAC Source Book, please contact the Women in Development and Gender Equity Division, Policy Branch.