Gender Analysis

An analysis of gender relations which provides information on the different conditions of women and men, and the different effects that policies and programs may have on them.

When setting up a project, an essential first step for ensuring that it meets gender equality requirements is to conduct a gender analysis of the issue being addressed by the project. Gender analysis helps gain an understanding of the different patterns of participation, involvement, behaviour and activities that women and men in their diversity have in economic, social and legal structures and the implications of these differences.

Gender analysis provides the answer to how the gender perspective should be addressed throughout the project, particularly in terms of setting relevant gender equality objectives and indicators, planning concrete actions to reach the objectives, and conducting monitoring and evaluation.

The gender analysis should not only describe the current state of the gender situation, but should also explore the causes and effects of gender disparities on the target population. Looking at the reasons behind inequalities and discrimination helps to set relevant and targeted objectives for resolving them and determine which activities may contribute to eliminating such inequalities.

When carrying out the project’s problem analysis, the gender perspective must be integrated. This can be achieved by:

  • Ensuring that all data used in the analysis is broken down by sex (sex-disaggregated data).
  • Drawing on existing qualitative and quantitative research findings in the topic area to establish whether information on differences in the situation of men and women is also identified through;
  • Where differences between women and men are found, they must be analysed, in order to establish both their causes, and effects;
  • Making sure that relevant gender issues, gaps and inequalities in the area of intervention are included and integrated into the full problem analysis;
  • The analysis can be carried out by the project team, but can also benefit from the input of gender specialists. If gender specialists are involved, it is important that their findings are discussed with the project team, in order for the results to be shared and fully understood by all key project stakeholders.

Explore the dimension of the representation of women and men in different policy sectors on different levels - as their beneficiaries, representatives of the labour force and decision makers. More specifically:

  • Define in which way your policy is person-related
  • Describe how your policy will affect the everyday lives of men and women or specific groups of men and women (e.g. disabled, black and ethnical minorities, low-income, LGBT, and so on)
  • Define the differences between women and men in the policy sector (with regard to rights, participation/representation, access to and use of resources, values and norms that affect gender-specific behaviour)
  • Identify gender gaps among professionals (e.g. wages and access to hierarchical positions) in the main institutions in the sector;
  • Identify the role of women in management at the local and national levels in the sector;
  • Consider the governance of an institution through a gender lens, to assess whether selection, appraisal, promotion and evaluation practices may reflect gender stereotypes that disadvantage both female employees and managers.

Further reading

Gender Analysis. Learning and Information Pack. UNDP Gender In Development programme, January 2001

Candida March, Ines Smith, Maitrayee Mukhopadhyay, A Guide to Gender-Analysis Frameworks. Oxfam, 1999