A thorough and effective assessment of the gender perspective in relation to the various project stages of project implementation is a prerequisite for successful gender mainstreaming.
It is essential to integrate the gender dimension into all phases of project implementation. Despite a thorough gender analysis and the setting of appropriate objectives, too often projects fail to implement and monitor the planned measures.
Ensuring that project managers and staff acquire expertise on gender mainstreaming will enable them to support gender mainstreaming and specific gender actions throughout the project. The responsibility for gender equality should not be given to one person alone, although it can be helpful to have one person or a team who is in charge of ensuring that this issue is constantly on the agenda. Success will be achieved by considering and implementing gender issues in all aspects of project implementation as a group. The key is conscious willingness to explore the issue and learn about it together. Gender mainstreaming entails conceptualising project objectives and activities from a new perspective, posing new questions and applying new knowledge. An open mind and a willingness to experiment will help to get started on this issue.
Requirements for successful implementation
Successfully integrating the gender perspective into project implementation can be aided by the following key elements
- The project plan must be gender sensitive and the gender perspective must be visible in all phases of project implementation, including planning, themes and contents, learning environment and pedagogy, recruitment of beneficiaries, actions, management structures, monitoring and evaluation;
- The project team must be gender competent, including project managers and permanent staff. This also ensures that know-how will not disappear when the project finishes. It should be noted that the needs of senior management may differ from those of staff;
- The gender perspective must also be applied to the process of selecting participants. Selecting members of both sexes or selecting only men or women (specific actions) may be appropriate, depending on the project objectives;
- When identifying subcontractors for the project, gender competence must be one of the selection criteria;
- Actions to be implemented must be justified from a gender perspective: what really needs to be done to solve the problem?
- Activities to disseminate the results should also include a gender perspective.
A checklist for project planners on gender mainstreaming in projects
- Projects have to take into account gender equality in the processes and thematic issues of the project. It is important to clarify, through use of available resources (guidebooks, experts, team discussions) what gender mainstreaming entails at all stages of the project;
- Gain additional knowledge, training or guidance in gender mainstreaming for the project you are planning. Cooperate with your colleagues;
- Find out about gender equality and the gender perspective in relation to the topic addressed by your project. This will provide a factual basis for planning and an important reasoning to explain why it is so important to integrate the gender perspective;
- On the basis of the knowledge gained, assess the significance of gender at all stages of your project;
- Make gender visible in your project application and project plan. Proceed systematically, one project phase at a time, and describe the concrete means and methods for taking the gender perspective into account;
- Plan and implement your project so that the gender perspective is taken into account in all phases, and ensure that the project promotes gender equality in addition to other targets.
When organising the project, it must be ensured that the necessary expertise in gender-equality issues is available. A coherent integration requires know-how, and it is important that sufficient human and financial resources are dedicated to this aspect.