Gender Awareness

Definition

The recognition that the life experiences, expectations, and needs of women and men are different, that many times they involve inequity, and that they are subject to change. In development and relief work, gender awareness refers to the perception and realization of the ways in which women and men participate in the development process, how they are affected by it, and how they benefit from it. Experience has shown that without such awareness, not only will development and relief interventions fail to meet the needs and serve the interests of all people they are intended to help, but they may indeed hinder the situation of women.

Example

A longitudinal study in rural Guatemala revealed through statistical analyses that the differences in weight and height between two groups of adolescents were due to differences established when they were three years old. The weight and height of boys was three times better than that of girls.

The strength of the WFP Women's Training Centers in Bangladesh seems to be in the awareness building side, not exclusively through the process of formal training, but also through the informal regular 'get-togethers' during which women share achievements and problems.