Joining forces to promote gender transformative approaches

In Malawi, the Programme seeks to enhance the economic autonomy of women and youth through improved financial inclusion, working with governmental institutions and regulatory bodies and more.

© FAO Ecuador


What if your diet was lacking proteins – because fish and eggs are considered fit for men, but not for women? What if you were deprived of your source of food and income – because the law allows land to be owned by men, but not by women? What if you had to fear for your life when a flood hits – because boys get taught to swim, but not girls?

The causes of gender inequalities across all spheres of life – in families, communities and institutions – are often deep-rooted. They lie in restrictive gender norms that dictate what is considered acceptable for women and girls, but also for men and boys, to do, eat, learn, work. They are found in unbalanced power dynamics and social relations that determine what role women should play vis-à-vis their male counterparts. And they reside in inequitable institutions and discriminatory legislative frameworks or customary practices that prevent women from realizing their full potential.

When looking to achieve gender equality and improve the lives of all, particularly women and girls, it is not enough to tackle the symptoms of inequality – such as unequal nutrition, income or skills. It is essential to look deeper to understand and challenge the underlying causes, without which change can be limited or short-lasting. Increasingly, development practitioners are therefore resorting to gender transformative approaches and methodologies to address the underlying causes of inequality and achieve equitable and sustainable outcomes.

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