Changing the Socio-cultural Implications of Gender Mainstreaming in Working Places and Revisiting the Current Statuesque

A Social Program Design

Project Report, 2016

29 Pages


Table of Contents

1. Introduction and Rationale of the program

2. Situation statement ,problem analysis and justification

3. Objectives of the program
3.1 General objective of the program
3.2 Specific objectives of the program

4. Target groups and beneficiaries

5. Program collaborators, partners and stakeholder

6 .Program Contents and Project activities
6.1 Project strategies
6.2 Logic Frame of the program
6.3 Monitoring and evaluation of the program (M &T)

7. Conclusion


Acronyms and Abbreviations

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten


List of Tables page

Table. 1 .Program frames and contents of the gender mainstreaming strategy

In the Federal Government civil service organizations of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Table -2-project frame of the current program

Table-3- The logic frame structure of the program

1. Introduction and Rationale of the program

Gender used to be seen as the “psychological, social, and cultural aspects of maleness and femaleness” (Kessler and McKenna 1978: 7, as cited in Amy, 2005). In other words, it represented the characteristics taken on by males and females as they encountered social life and culture through socialization. Even those who believe that there are some important biological or genetic differences between women and men agree that the natural (i.e., Biological, physiological, or genetic) and the social cannot be cleanly separated. Scientists of all kinds are discovering that these are not discrete realms. A second problem with this conception of gender is its tendency to assume that gender is an exclusively individual characteristic. In this view, gender is seen as sets of traits or behavioral dispositions that people come to possess based on their assignment to a particular sex category. This view is far too limiting in the kinds of questions it makes possible and the kinds of knowledge it can generate (Amy, 2005).

With all the ambiguous conceptions of defining and analyzing gender the distinctive nature of its working definition is still be controversial in the scientific community. However to include all the necessary conditions of facts in covering a wide range of research basis, Ridgeway and Smith-Lovin (1999: 192) as cited in Amy (2005) defined gender as a “system of social practices”; this system creates and maintains gender distinctions and it “organizes relations of inequality on the basis of [these distinctions].” In this view, gender involves the creation of both differences and inequalities.

Gender relationships in working places are also taken as a manifestation of the above definitions. To take one illustration, Kanter concerning gender differences (Kanter, 1977) as cited in Jon (1986) is explains that differentiation is to an important extent a matter of minority-majority proportions. Many women in organizations have to function alone or in small, disconnected numbers surrounded by men. They have experiences that are different from, and less favorable than, those of women who are more able to form alliances with other women. The point is to escape becoming individually visible tokens. Kanter is certainly sensitive to the relative power of men and women as it derives from their placement in the larger social system and to relate considerations concerning competing vested interests and direct discrimination (Jon, 1986).

Expectations about attributes and behaviors appropriate for women or men and about the relations between women and men – in other words, gender –are shaped by culture. Gender identities and gender relations are critical aspects of culture because they shape the way daily life is lived in the family, but also in the wider community and the workplace (Johanna 2000).

Distinction of gender has its own implication in the economic activity of countries. As Marta, (2004:41) explains, it is now widely recognized that the formal economy is segmented by gender, it is less widely recognized that this is also the case with the informal economy. However, a number of recent studies confirm the existence of gender segmentation within the informal economy.

Moreover, if there is a known gap between gender interactions, how gender equality could be perused? For this question, there is no straight answer. However, to begin with the problem of gender equality, one must see its clear cut definition. Gender equality can be defined as the equal rights, opportunities and obligations of women and men, boys and girls and an increased potential for all to influence, participate in and benefit from development processes. (Sida Studies No. 3, Signe (2004), as cited in Björg (2007).To achieve this conceptual definition vision most countries in the world under the umbrella of the UN have had worked with mainstreaming gender to fill the gap between gender distinctions.

The strategy of mainstreaming is defined in the ECOSOC agreed conclusions, 1997/2, as: “…the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies, or programs, in all areas and at all levels. It is a strategy for making women’s as well as men’s concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programs in all political, economic and societal spheres so that women and men benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated. The ultimate goal is to achieve gender equality (UN, 2002).

The mainstreaming strategy aims at advocating questions concerning gender equality as being the core issues in all decision-making assemblies and policies, institutional structures and resource allocation. Mainstreaming also implies that attention is paid to the conditions and relative situations of the different groups in all development policies, strategies, and interventions (Sida Studies No. 3, Signe (2004) as cited in Björg (2007).

The importance of gender mainstreaming has been widely discussed since governments committed to the concept in the Beijing Platform for Action in 1995. In recent years, it has become generally accepted that gender equality is a prerequisite for, rather than a result of, sustainable human development. Gender mainstreaming is an essential strategy not only for attaining gender equality, but also for the sustainable development of societies as a whole ( Melissa,2000:2).

Since the Fourth UN World Conference on Women in Beijing, national women’s machineries (NWMs) around the globe have been grappling with the complex task of turning concepts into reality. To implement gender mainstreaming strategies, they have often had to redefine both themselves and their roles, structures and mandates within their communities and governments. Change, of course, can often be a lonely challenge. As a result, individuals pursuing the common goal of gender equality at great distances from one another have called for a better means to exchange information internationally, so as to learn from one another’s successes and failures and to share best practices more broadly ( Melissa,2000:2).

The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia entered into commitment to implement the Beijing Platform for action and a number of international conventions and protocols on women’s rights. These international instruments are important tools to tackle the existing gender inequalities. In line with this, gender gaps must be identified to efficiently mainstream gender into the goals of development, which need the use of gender mainstreaming manual at policy and organizational levels (MOLSA , 2012:2).

All these actions taken based on the gender gap by situation analysis in the public sectors. The gender situation analysis referred to in the introduction entailed studying the gender aspects of human rights in terms of men's and women's access to economic power and decision making, social services, protection against violence, the institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women and budgeting issues (MOWA,2006).

So to what extent is gender mainstreaming working in our country’s socio culturally diverse circumstances? The the major task and the aim of this program is to utilize the concepts broadened sense, and specifically it focuses on the practical activities of the public services with a federal government apparatus of Ethiopia.

In doing so the main rationale of the program is to revisit the gender based programs that are established in the country and further develop a practical approach that contributes to the fullest potential of the gender mainstreaming and its longer effect in each and every civil servants. In other words the society at large and the application of this social program will substantiated by different projects that are framed on the basis of the program at hand.

2. Situation statement ,problem analysis and justification

Scholars began to study gender and organizations to understand better the dimensions of and reasons for continuing inequality between women and men in the workplace and the economy. Most research on gender structures has been done in public and private employing organizations, but researchers have also examined voluntary organizations such as religious groups, charitable organizations, and sports associations. Although gender patterns in organizations vary between the public and private sectors and between different sectors of the private economy, as well as between different societies. Enough similarity exists to be able to make general statements about these patterns for organizations. Work organizations are obviously stratified by sex both vertically and horizontally (Joan, 2006).

To narrow the gap between gender relations in working places, the effective approach in this day goes on to gender mainstreaming. Gender mainstreaming requires gender-responsive public policy. When gender equality considerations are incorporated into policy-making, the concerns and needs of both women and men become integral parts of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programs in all sectors of society. Mainstreaming is more than an "add women and stir" approach to policy making. It goes beyond requiring an equal mix of men and women in the decision-making process. Equal participation is important, but an awareness of the changes that will be needed to make women full functioning partners in the development process is just as important (Melissa, 2000).

Being part of the mainstream means that women and men have equitable access to resources, including opportunities and rewards. It implies equal participation in influencing what is valued in shaping options within society. Becoming part of the mainstream means sharing equitably in the benefits of development. Becoming part of the mainstream offers the opportunity to influence who does what in a society, who owns (and can own) what, who has access to jobs and income, who controls the society’s resources and institutions, who makes decisions, who sets priorities.(Ibid)

In Ethiopia, Compared to men, women are clearly in a disadvantageous position in all respects; they benefit less from social services and hold inferior positions in all economic, political, social, and cultural affairs (Emebet (n.d). Women constitute over half of the total population. In addition to their number, as it is indicated above the role of women is critical within the household and outside of the household and in the development context. However, women suffer from socio-cultural discrimination and have fewer opportunities compared to men for personal growth, education, employment etc. There is no equity in the distribution of power and decision-making among men and women at all levels of the government structure and local institutions (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, 2008).

To this effect, the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia has taken different measures to avail the opportunity for women to exercise their democratic rights and to benefit from the fruits of their labor on an equal basis with men in an atmosphere free of outdated male chauvinist attitudes. The FDRE constitution has also created supportive provisions to bring gender equality. International and regional conventions ratified, protocols signed, agreements and commitments entered pertinent to the cause of women are the integral part of the law of the land. Policies like the Developmental Social Welfare Policy (1996) puts special emphasis on gender issues, such as elimination of all forms of discrimination against women in respect to access to technical training, formal sector employment, and working conditions, as well as access to healthcare services (MOLSA , 2012:3-4).

The current social protection policy is also recognized the vulnerability context and ways to tackle the level of poverty in policy frames that will eventually affect the way by which the concept of the gender gap and its consequences at household, community, and societal level (National social protection policy of Ethiopia, 2015).

With all these efforts, does any significant Change scored in advance? Gender (like race or ethnicity) functions, as an organizing principle for society because of the cultural meanings given to being male or female. This is evident in the division of labor according to gender. In most societies, there are clear patterns of “women’s work” and “men’s work,” both in the household and in the wider community – and cultural explanations of why this should be so. The patterns and the explanations differ among societies and change over time (Johanna, 2000).

These structural dynamics have negative consequences, causing women to leave an organization, embrace the prejudice and act accordingly or increase their performance in order to gain recognition. A last option might also imply that women refuse to deal with gender issues in order not to jeopardize their careers. Suggestions are that institutions require a critical mass of women to be able to change organizational cultures causing gender-in-development lobbies to target improvement in internal institutional balance as a key element for achieving equality and empowerment (Nelima,2004).

However, Societies and cultures are not static. They are living entities that are continually being renewed and reshaped. As with culture more generally, gender definitions change over time. Change is shaped by many factors (Johanna, 2000).

To revisit the context of the Ethiopian gender mainstreaming and its situational analysis; fifty percent of the Ethiopian population comprises of women. They are actively involved in all aspects of their society’s life. However, women’s share of the division of labor differs from place to place and from culture to culture; their average working day is believed to vary between 13 and 17 hours per day. Actually, women who are involved in farming activities tend even work longer hours. Most urban women are engaged in labor intensive activities that require time, minimum skill or no skill at all (MOLSA, 2012).

The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE) has declared its commitment to gender equality with the announcement of the National Policy on Women in 1993; the incorporation of gender issues in different national policies, including Education and Training, Health, HIV/AIDS, Population and others formulated in the same year; as well as adequately addressing women's concerns in the Federal Constitution of 1995. In keeping with its commitment to the Beijing Plan of Action, the then Women’s Affairs Office (WAO) had also decided to formulate a National Action Plan for Gender Equality (NAP-GE) that will be used as a tool for the promotion of gender equitable development. Based on lessons from previous experiences in formulating plans of action and to ensure ownership of the NAP-GE by all stakeholders, the formulation was premised on wide ranging consultation and participation of key stakeholders. The work was facilitated by WAO/PMO with significant inputs from a technical committee. The NAP-GE works towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and the objectives of gender equality expressed in the 1995 Ethiopian Constitution, the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action (BPA) and the 2000 Beijing+5 Political Declaration and outcome document. The achievement of the MDGs requires the attainment of equal rights between men and women, boys and girls in access to resources, social services, and decision-making. The BPA takes on a rights based approach to all the critical areas, it addresses, and is grounded in the framework of international and regional human rights conventions and other instruments (MOWA, 2006:1).

The process of ensuring gender equality and empowerment of women has been an ongoing process with significant levels of achievements over the years. Earlier efforts begun by introducing the concept and process of mainstreaming gender within national development plans such as PASDEP and GTP as well as sector specific plans such as the Education Sector Development Plan (ESDP) and the Health Sector Development Plan (HSDP). This was accompanied by laying the ground for the development and later strengthening of institutional structures mandated to coordinate and monitor efforts at gender mainstreaming. This ongoing process continues to contribute to strengthen policy, legal and institutional frameworks aimed at promoting gender equality in all spheres of life. The concerted effort has brought about exemplary achievements in several areas. Primary among these are achievements in the social, economic and political arenas (The Federal Democratic Republic Of Ethiopia,(n.d)).

Based on these assumptions the current program is due undertaken to promote and qualify the changes for the purpose of behavioral transformation strategies and inclusive involvement of civil servants that attributed to the implementation of gender mainstreaming tools in accordance with its acceptance in socio-culturally diverse working places. Especially in public service arena of the Federal Government of Ethiopia. Bearing in mind that, this program is facilitating a contemporary approaches in practical behavioral change program and project follow-ups, monitoring and evaluation.

Generally, the program is capable of addressing the following issues

- The level of gender mainstreaming implementation in the Ethiopia’s Federal Government Civil Service Organizations
- The workers of Ethiopian Civil Service Organizations perceptual attributes to the concept of gender mainstreaming and the psycho social approaches of behavior change communication strategies that specifically focused on the balance of so-called gender quality.
- The implementations of Gender mainstreaming evaluations in accordance with international gender mainstreaming tools to a socio-cultural change that will apply to the workers of Ethiopian Federal Government Civil Service organizations
- Alternatives enablers to tackle socio-cultural challenges that slows the implementation of gender mainstreaming in The Federal Government Civil Service Organizations

3. Objectives of the program

3.1 General objective of the program

Is to assess and change the socio-cultural implications of gender mainstreaming in Federal Government Civil Service Organizations of Ethiopia.

3.2 Specific objectives of the program

- To facilitate the implementations of gender mainstreaming tools in Federal Government Civil service organizations
- To qualify, the level of acceptance gender mainstreaming has among Federal Civil Service Organization workers.
- To use psycho- social strategies of gender mainstreaming that brings a socio-cultural change in The Federal Civil Service male and female Worker's day to day life.
- To point out the socio-cultural shortcomings that hinder to gender mainstreaming activities and develop a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation system which is acceptable to the international standards and fully workable in Ethiopian Federal Government civil service organizations.
- To develop major projects out of the program that will eventually deliver within the scope of the program and sustain the execution of the general program framework.


Excerpt out of 29 pages


Changing the Socio-cultural Implications of Gender Mainstreaming in Working Places and Revisiting the Current Statuesque
A Social Program Design
Addis Ababa University  (School of Psychology)
Social program development and Evaluation
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
It is a successful attempt that brings the issue of gender inequality in working contexts and to achieve and contribute for the quality of mainstreaming activities.
Gender mainsreaming, Gender Equality, Gender Based Programs, Civil Service Organizations, FDRE, Yakob, Yakob Tilahun, Ethiopian women, Working Women
Quote paper
Yakob Tilahun Yimer (Author), 2016, Changing the Socio-cultural Implications of Gender Mainstreaming in Working Places and Revisiting the Current Statuesque, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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