The purpose of the training was to provide an introduction to gender analysis and how it can be a useful tool for helping to achieve gender equality in community development projects.
Participants learned about the differences between sex and gender, gender roles, gender gaps and how to incorporate a gender-lens into their community-based livelihood projects. Gender stereotyping based on culturally-structured norms in Karen society was also discussed. During the training/workshops, both men and women considered the multiple roles and responsibilities that women have (home, farm, family, etc) and how this complements men’s traditional role of providing for their families. Participants agreed that for truly inclusive sustainable development in their communities, gender stereotyping is counter-productive and needs to be re-examined so that there are equal opportunities and access for women – in terms of education, access to information and technology and participation in decision-making processes as well as the equitable sharing of benefits between women and men.
It was agreed that women need to be equally represented in leadership and management roles and that their active participation in the planning, implementation and evaluation of community-based development projects is essential. Participants also agreed on the need for men (especially those that are in leadership roles) to be more aware and engaged about the importance of gender equality and to take a gender-based approach to decision-making, project development and implementation and project beneficiaries.