Female doctor sitting across from male patient at desk, using laptop computer

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.

This 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 (level of unemployment/activity, level of qualification, employment in different sectors, training beneficiaries, drop-outs from training, salary levels, etc.). Where possible, data should also be further broken down to identify multiple forms of discrimination (i.e. by age, ethnic background, etc.);
  • Drawing on existing qualitative and quantitative research findings in the topic area to establish information on differences in the situation of men and women is also identified through;
  • Where differences between women and men in their diversities 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 project team, in order that the results are shared and fully understood by all key project stakeholders.

Method suggestion: 4R

Carrying out a gender analysis of an activity reveals what needs to be done to improve it from a gender perspective. It can help answer questions such as:

  1. What are the reasons behind the resource allocation and representation between men and women?
  2. Under which conditions can women and men participate?
  3. How satisfied are women and men with the services provided?

The 4R Method allows you to chart and analyse your operations from a gender equality perspective. The idea is to find out about how the operations are being run and how they need to change to meet the needs of both women and men.

Further reading

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Created: 2013/01/10   Changed: 2014/12/04