The Bigger Picture: Gender and Politics in Practice

This context paper explores how the findings of Gender and Politics in Practice research on development programming relate to broader processes of social, political and economic change. It argues that institutions – or rules of the game – are important in shaping gender relations, but more attention needs to be given to power and agency.

The agency of local people – their capacity to act – is crucial. Local people often have the legitimacy and local connections to exploit ‘cracks’ in social norms in ways that outsiders do not. They can frame gender issues in politically informed ways based on their knowledge, relationships and understanding of the risks involved. Promoting transformational change in gender relations takes time, commitment and courage.

Aid programs are never the primary agents of change, but they can contribute to gender reform in a number of ways. They can support inclusive local leadership, bring political and gender analysis together, plan for uncertainty and learn through adaptation. Other strategic avenues for promoting gender equality include supporting tertiary education for women and girls, creating opportunities for dialogue among citizens pursuing common agendas, or helping influential women to extend their networks and access to resources.

About DLP

The Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) is an international research initiative that explores how leadership, power and political processes drive or block successful development.

DLP focuses on the crucial role of home-grown leaderships and coalitions in forging legitimate political settlements and institutions that promote developmental outcomes, such as sustainable growth, political stability and inclusive social development.

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Program Manager job vacancy - join us!

Friday 1st March 2019

DLP is looking for a Program Manager for a new three-year phase of research on how leadership can support development in Asia and the Pacific.

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Tackling violence in the DRC: new papers discuss ways forward

Tuesday 18th December 2018

As the Democratic Republic of the Congo prepares for tense presidential elections, two new papers unpack some of the drivers of the prolonged conflict and insecurity in the eastern provinces.

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