Gender-Sensitivity

Definition

Understanding and consideration of socio-cultural factors underlying sex-based discrimination. The term also applies to attitudes that socialize girls and boys into certain behaviors or opportunities, for example, pushing boys to play sports or not expecting girls to do well at sports. (IPS, 1996 30). Gender-sensitive planing uses specific methods and tools to provide women and girls more opportunities for their participation in the development process and to measure the impact of planned activities on women and men.

Example

WFP Bolivia has prepared an Action Plan to promote and monitor the role of women in WFP's activities from 1997 to 2001.Work plans must include: a) design of a system for gender involvement by trimester; b) definition of indicators to monitor follow-up actions; c) creation of a gender analysis matrix to analyze activities undertaken; and d) revision of M&E forms to provide gender data and information on credit, training, food distribution and planning. Furthermore, the major part of the technical and administrative personnel will be women.

Following up on the Commitments to women made in Beijing in 1995, memoranda of understanding (MOU) on joint and individual responsibilities were signed with seven international partners in 1996. The MOUs define the following implementation and monitoring requirements: the application of a participatory mode of planning that considers the specific needs and potential of refugee and displaced women; the provision of appropriate and adequate food for women and children at risk; and measures taken to ensure that women hold key positions in the management of food aid.

A gender-sensitive program addresses the differential losses of both women and men, and seeks to anticipate the balance of power in the interest of community survival.