services for a
gender & development
Integrating both women’s and men’s concerns into the planning, design and implementation of programs and projects in development cooperation supports successful outcomes for gender equality.
Sometimes these concerns are the same for women and men, but more often they are not, and, therefore, require a gender-differentiated approach to development.
Without identifying the specific concerns of women, gender-differentiated impacts of an intervention will be unguided and risk reinforcing existing gender inequality rather than alleviating it.
Political and economic empowerment
of women should be the cornerstone of development agendas.
However, along with the specifics relating to the economic sector targeted by an intervention, numerous cross-cutting social and institutional aspects need to be considered from a gender equality perspective.
Governance is one such overarching theme that needs to be applied through a gender lens, as
well as more dynamic processes, such as
decision-making across sectors, in public and private spheres.
gender, trade & infrastructure
International trade - as well as domestic - offers different opportunities to different people, depending on their ability to engage as actors in the economy.
Trade liberalization globally has been attributed to generating positive impacts for women in many developing countries in the form of new employment opportunities and rising income. However, the negative impacts, such as marginalisation and social costs, are often overlooked.
Trade policies therefore, need to be seen through a gender lens to mitigate these potential negative impacts which tend to affect women more adversely than men.
Infrastructure, an essential link to trade, is often assumed to be ‘gender neutral’, whether in ICT, energy, transport, water and sanitation or in urban development. In each of these infrastructure sub-sectors, a gender-differentiated approach to needs identification leads to more sustainable solutions for poverty reduction and inclusive development in the long run.
In the sub-sector transport, for example, women’s and men’s needs, access to resources and usage patterns are often very different, thus requiring a gender-differentiated approach on the part of transport and urban planners.
gender & private sector development
Economic empowerment is central to improving women’s well-being and in many countries is still hindered by multiple challenges. A key pillar of women’s economic empowerment is private sector development and facilitating women’s participation as actors in a growing economy.
As operators of micro and small enterprises, women dominate the MSME sector in most developing economies, with female owned or operated enterprises typically accounting for over 80% of the sector.
Becoming an ‘entrepreneur’, however, is not always a matter of choice for a woman – it is often a reflection of the lack of other options in the formal labour market.
Enterprise growth in the MSME sector is hampered by a bundle of obstacles and challenges that are felt more acutely by female entrepreneurs than male, calling for a gender-differentiated approach to private sector development.
Business development services is one area where government agencies can tailor services and interventions specifically to the needs of female entrepreneurs facilitating the transition from the informal to the formal sector without increasing the administrative or fiscal burden.