Gender Action Mainstreaming for Empowerment to Change

Training resources

Women's Rights | Women's empowerment | Working with men | Participation | Wealth Creation | Sustainability |
Rocky Road Framework and Tools| GALS Processes | Diamond Forest | FALS |
Livelihoods | Business | Markets | Value chains | Financial Services | Policy |
Advocacy | Research |

There is a need for gender capacity building across the sector and at all levels. However gender training needs to go much further than just awareness raising.

In order to convince more than those already converted it needs to:

  • Be combined with both gender action learning with women and men clients to convince organisations than gender is not a Western imposition by donors, but a crucial component in client ability to effectively use their services.
  • Involve personal reflection and change in staff
  • Be combined with gender organisational assessment and planning
  • Be fun, rather than the threat of the 'gender police'

Training aims

Whereever possible training should go beyond short presentations to catalysing a process of change based on mutual learning and networking. Ideally participants should be very carefully selected on the basis of both interest and capacity for implementing change.

Trainings using GALS methodology both within individual organisations and also networks have generally been organised around a GALS Road Journey using also other tools and PPT presentations. They aim at:

  • clarifying and developing a collective organisational gender justice vision for financial services at both client and organisational levels
  • analysing where the organisation and clients are in relation to this vision
  • identifying positive examples of what works within the organisation and elsewhere
  • identifying opportunities at client, organisational and funding levels
  • identifying the constraints at client, organisational and donors
  • producing an implementation action plan
  • producing a personal commitment action plan
  • plans and ideas for networking and advocacy

Where participants are more diverse and not within specific target institutions, then a similar process is followed but in a more informal way. The materials on this page can be adapted accordingly.

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Possible Schedule for one-day training

One day trainings were done for FAO and IFAD, and the first day of the gender training in Valladolid. The schedule consisted of:

- a gender justice visioning exercise

- a PPT overview of issues and innovations

- an afternoon World Cafe where participants exchange experience.

This works best when done with practitioners from different organisations who have practical experience to contribute to discussions and can also form the core of a network.


Possible Schedule for in-depth 6 day training in organisations

Here the above activities can be much extended to include a more in-depth organisational assessment and planning process, and also a field visit using participatory GALS tools.

Early versions of these materials were developed for training in Pakistan 2005 and India 2006. These could be updated through using more recent 1-day presentations combination with GALS or FALS tools which can be found elsewhere on the website.

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Key considerations in designing training

  • careful targeting of participants is crucial - these should be people who are in positions to implement what they learn. If possible more than one person should come from each organsation - women and men - so that knowledge is not lost if one person leaves and there is a stronger voice to start implementation.

  • as much background information should be obtained as possible on existing products and services in the organisations so that the facilitator can draw out concrete examples of innovation and/or challenges.

  • training needs to be part of a participatory learning process, not a one-off event. There needs to be sufficient funding for follow-up.

GENDER SHOULD BE FUN! Both women and men need to be able to relax and have fund trying out new ways of relating to each other - not feel constrained by expectations of 'political correctness'. There needs to be a safe place for people to voice their real feelings, prejudices and all so that these can then be addressed with respectful and reasoned argument. Otherwise real, genuine change is not possible.

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