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What can I do to develop a gender approach?

These are some of the actions that you might wish to take, without or with some help from specialised others. The latter will depend on your own experience, skills and confidence, the conduciveness of the environments that you work in and the complexity of your programme:
  • Discussions with your staff on what a gender approach is and what it may contribute to the effectiveness, efficiency (in terms of cost per person practicing sustained sanitary behaviour) and equity of the sanitation and hygiene programme.
  • Analysis with the staff how the programme deals with the divisions and cooperation with women and men. Are opportunities and burdens equitably divided between women and men in the communities? Does exclude or bypass women, or men, from some activities and benefits? What does this mean for longer term sustainability of the programme achievements and the equal development opportunities for women and men?
  • Helping the staff analyse what their own attitudes and roles as staff members are with regard to the introduction or continuation of skewed divisions and the exclusion of women or men from particular tasks, training and functions?
  • Using participatory tools to help staff assess and analyse the gender approach in their work and the underlying gender divisions and relations in their organization
  • Assisting the staff to identify their own improvements and translate these into a strategy for a more gender sensitive approach in their sanitation and hygiene programme, with special attention to poor women and men.
  • Reviewing, probably with a smaller group chosen by the plenary, of the information and education material, procedures, manuals and planning and monitoring data collection and analysis on gender sensitiveness. Arrive at adjustments that will support the identified changes
  • Formulation and adoption of a plan to try out the identified changes in selected locations
  • and within an agreed period.
  • Discussing and arriving at a consensus on the most important indicators to monitor process and results in making the sanitation and hygiene programme more gender sensitive.
  • Reviewing progress and results and planning further steps as required.

Source - IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre.
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