Gender mainstreaming in projects

You can find information on the different steps of managing a project in the following publications:

WAGGGS Guidelines on Project Management

Project Management for Youth Organizations produced by the Council of Europe

Here, rather, we will look at how you can incorporate a gender perspective into the different project stages

Identification                                                                                                                       Gender mainstreaming can begin when you identify the project. From the start, you need to think of the different outcomes and impacts your project will have on women, men, boys and girls, not only on your target group but also on the community in which your project is situated, and all other stakeholders who might be involved. Think about how you can include stakeholders of different genders? In the project proposal, use gender-neutral language.

Planning                                                                                                                      Gender mainstreaming in planning means wearing your gender glasses to carry out a gender analysis of your project.  This ensures that every step of the process takes into account young women, young men, boys and girls even if the project is aimed at only one of these target groups. There are a variety of gender analysis tools available ranging from carrying out a simple SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) to specially developed tools, which may not be applicable to all projects and organizations, but may have useful elements which you can apply. You can find more information on these tools in the resources section of the toolkit.

A very basic gender analysis would ask the following questions:

  • How many young men and young women will be involved in the project?  If there are more young men than young women, would this result in gender inequality? If so, how would you rectify the situation?.
  • What resources and opportunities can the individuals involved in the project have access to? Do they have equal access to these resources and opportunities?
  • Who has the power to decide on different aspects of the project?
  • What will be the outcome on the young men and the young women taking part?
  • How does it affect their role, needs, resources and opportunities?

In other words;

  •  Who does what?
  • Who has what?
  • Who decides? How?
  •  Who wins? Who loses?

Other things to consider are the timing of the project – activities at certain times can support or limit the participation of young men and young women or how roles and responsibilities are allocated.

Implementation                                                                                                                    In the implementation phase there are some questions you can ask to ensure that gender continues to be taken into account.

  • Is there a gender balance amongst my participants?
  • Is it sure that everybody from the target group can participate in the project? If not, identify why and try to come with creative solutions.
  • Is the implementation team mixed? Mixed implementation teams (in sexes, background, roles & responsibilities) will have a better overview of the needs of the target group during the project.
  • Do women and men in the implementation team share roles equally? Make sure that both have visible roles and do not assign them gender specific roles.

Monitoring and Evaluation                                                                                             Through monitoring and evaluation, you can see how well you have achieved your goals. To include gender here means that you are continuing to take account of the gender dimension in your project.  Some questions which you can include in your evaluation to take account of the gender perspective could be:

  • How were women involved at the planning or formulation stage? How were men?
  •  Were young women’s perspectives taken into account when developing the project or activity?
  • Were gender issues specifically addressed by the programme? If so, how?
  • How did young women participate in the project activities (including trainings, seminars and meetings)? And young men?
  • How did the project respond to the identified specific interests and needs of young women? To those of young men?
  •  How did young women and men participate in the decision-making related to the project?
  •  What is the impact of the project on young women? Impact on young men? How have young women and young men benefited?
  • Did young women taking part face any particular constraints or obstacles in participating in the programme activities? Did men? If so, what kind?
  • Did the programme fully use the specific competence and experience of young women as well as young men?

Project follow-up                                                                                                             The follow-up phase of your project is the point where you identify what need to do to ensure that your project will be sustainable, and to implement how you will follow up your project you will need to go through the same project cycle that has been described above. Use the suggestions above to ensure that gender is mainstreamed in this part of the project too

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