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Gender &

How they have Informed Public
A presentation in the Social
Sciences Foundation for Public
Policy class.

By Angela Ouma
• In this presentation we shall look at;
• Definition of gender, gender equality and
• Provide a brief history of gender
• Highlight how gender equality have
How gender & feminism has infomed public policy.

informed public policy

Definitions of Key Terms
• Gender
• Gender refers to the social, behavioral and cultural attributes and expectations
associated with being man or woman.
• Gender Equality
• Gender equality refers to how these aspects determine how men and women
relate to each other and to the resulting differences in power between them
• Feminism
• The advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of the equality of both sexes

How gender & feminism has infomed public policy.

History of Gender: WID, WAD,
• In the 1950s and 1960s, interventions that were designed to help women took a
welfare approach (e.g., providing handouts and services, such as food and family
planning) but this approach did not challenge women’s status or patriarchal
• In the early 1950s, the assumption was that the benefits of economic growth
would “trickle down” into families and that the impact of development was
directly benefiting the whole household but through males as heads of families.
Not until 1970s when there was a realization that women were indeed neglected,
and this was followed by a comprehensive recognition that women were being
regarded as passive recipients (subjects) of development instead of being actual
participants (objects) of development to effectively achieve gender equality.
How gender & feminism has infomed public policy.
Women in Development (WID)
• WID originated as a result of three major feminist
moments/waves concerning feminine conditions;
 first, women fought for the equal right to vote and participate in politics;
 second, feminism sought to deal with the remaining social and cultural
inequalities women were faced with in everyday affair i.e. sexual violence,
reproductive rights, sexual discrimination and glass ceilings
 third was by Ester Boserup’s publication which explained why women were
being deprived an equal share among men in social benefits and economic
gains and challenged the assumptions of the welfare approach and
highlighted women’s importance to the agricultural economy.
How gender & feminism has infomed public policy.
WID (Cont..)
• WID advocates rejected the narrow view of women’s roles (as mothers
and wives) underlying much of development policy concerning
• The WID approach is a liberal approach that emphasized a focus on
interventions to reduce poverty and its origins of WID have always
been attached to the early theories of development especially
modernization which partly aimed at maximizing utilization of
resources, with assumptions that through industrialization, countries
would economically develop and the benefits trickle down to all
households thus eliminating poverty.
How gender & feminism has infomed public policy.
WID Cont..
• The Women In Development approach believed women played a
central role in the life of their community and particularly within
their family as mothers, educators, care providers and as workers
and this approach supported the solution of integrating women into
development programmes in order to improve women’s access to
resources and their participation in development
• That there was scant reference to the work women undertook as
producers, be it for subsistence or for the market and this was the
general policy environment within which WID was born
How gender & feminism has infomed public policy.
Women and Development (WAD)
• By 1970s there were many development agencies and
these agencies with the help of liberal feminists argued
that development programmes ignored and excluded
• On the basis of their own experiences in overseas
missions they began to challenge “trickle down”
theories of development, arguing that modernization
was impacting differently on men and women; that
instead of improving women’s rights and status, the
WAD Cont..
• Statistics were beginning to show that women had
fared less well from development efforts of the 1960s
therefore a new strategy was called for and by the
1970s donor agencies were beginning to implement
intervention programs to adjust the imbalance of
development “pay-off”
• This led to the emergence of Women In Development
(WID) approach to development which aimed at
integrating women into economic development by
WAD Cont..
• The WID approach has grown gradually since its
emergence in 1970s. With the increasing concern with
waste and failure of development efforts, WID
advocates shifted from exposing the negative effects of
development planning and programmes on women
arguing how much the development effort was losing by
ignoring women’s actual or potential contributions
• It evolved from seeing women’s role as mothers to
seeing them as economic resources in economic
Gender and Development (GAD)
• As an alternative to WID and WAD approaches, the GAD
approach emerged in 1980s, with a significant shift from
efficiency to equity and aiming at empowerment of women to
achieve gender equality at all levels of development.
• GAD approach focuses on unequal power relations between men
and women. capital and male workers.
• Following the UN Decade for Women of 1975-1985, social
feminists called for gender equality between women and men
and called for changes in the gende relations.
GAD Cont..
• GAD perceives gender as a fundamental category of
analysis of development and it demands a consideration of
relations between women and men and the power
contexts in which development is occurring.
• Contrary to WID and WAD approaches, GAD focuses on
the interconnection of gender, class, and race and the
social construction of their defining characteristics and
gender relations are an analytical category
How gender & feminism has infomed public policy.
Gender Equality and Public Policy
• Gender equality is a core development in its own right. Some say it
is at the heart of it
• We talk about women because they are the one who have majorly
lagged behind
• Gender equality matters intrinsically because the ability to live the
life of ones choosing and be spaces from absolute deprivation is a
basic human right.
• Gender equality matters as it contributes to economic efficiency and
achievement of other key development outcomes.
How gender & feminism has infomed public policy.
Why are gender focused public
policies needed?
1. To reduce gender gaps in human capital. (smart
2. Closing gender gaps in access to economic opportunities,
earning and productivity (productivity gains)
3. Shrinking gender differences in voice and agency within
society (more representation in decision making)
4. Limiting the reproduction of gender inequality across
generations (improved outcomes for the next generation)
How gender & feminism has infomed public policy.
Policy Priorities that Relate to
1. Reduce excess deaths of girls and women
2. Shrink persisting educational gaps (whether in boys or girls)
3. Narrow disparities between women and men in earnings and
4. Diminish gender differences in household and societal voice
5. Limit the reproduction of gender inequality across generations
Gender equality should also be an organic process
How gender & feminism has infomed public policy.
• World Bank (2012) World Development Report 2012: Gender,
Equality and Development, Washington, DC: World Bank.
• Collins, C, N. (2013), The WID, WAD, GAD Approach on
Gender Development, Viewed 20th December 2013, http://

• Solomon Mwije (2014) A Paradigm Shift From Women In

Development (WID) To Gender And Development (GAD),
How gender & feminism has infomed public policy.
Thank You

How gender & feminism has infomed public policy.