Gender & Development

Mainstreaming Gender & Development

The low social and economic status of rural women and their significant contribution to the household and village economies in most areas of Pakistan are well known facts though not as well documented. It is generally agreed that their concerns and problems should be integrated into all rural development plans and programmes since their equal partnership with men alone can ensure a balanced development of society. Field visits have shown that the oft-cited constraints on women's involvement in the development process can be overcome. There has been significant progress in terms of changes in the attitudes of men to gender segregation, as is evident from the growing demand for education for girls. Education can and will make a big difference in the lives of women as well as in their relationships with men as equal partners. Similarly, with the rapid expansion of male education in the villages, there are clear signs of change in attitudes to the protection of female health and family size. It is fair to say that in many rural communities the constraints on female education and health care are on the supply and not demand side. 

SALBWS's Vision of Gender Mainstreaming

At SALBWS gender is a crosscutting theme. This requires gender integration into policy planning, programming, implementation and evaluation. We believe that our efforts to reduce poverty cannot achieve their full potential unless we address the constraints that limit the capabilities of men and women to improve their standard of living and quality of life. The key aspects of this are:

  • Recognizing and harnessing the full potential of rural men and women.
  • Increasing men's and women's productive capacities.
  • Reducing the barriers which limit men's and women's participation in the economy and in society.

The following principles guide NRSP's policy on gender mainstreaming:

Gender Integration: SALBWS realizes that addressing gender inequality as a crosscutting theme requires that women's views, perceptions, needs and aspirations shape the development agenda as much as those of men.

Diversity and Intersection: Gender equality requires recognition that every policy, program and project affects women and men differently.

Partnership between Men and Women: Partnership between men and women is necessary if a wider variety of choices are to be provided. Partnership involves working with men and women to bring about changes in attitudes, behavior, roles and responsibilities at home, in the workplaces, communities and in society at large.

Empowerment and Agency: Empowerment enables women and men to identify unequal power relations and unequal access to and control over resources and the implications of unequal power relations for a prosperous society. Empowerment begins with consciousness-raising and leads to self-realization.

Gender Equality and Equity: an effort to promote sustainable humane development. Achieving gender equality does not mean that women become the same as men. Rather, it is a conscious effort to ensure that one's rights or opportunities do not depend on being male or female. SALBWS is aware that its efforts and contributions to poverty reduction must be coupled with actions to eliminate gender inequalities in order to promote sustainable humane development.

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