Participatory Research and Evaluation Gender Equality Project (GEP): Appraisal of GEP projects for Women’s Economic Empowerment
Abstract: Women’s economic empowerment can be defined as access to and control over productive resources. There are legal obstacles to it, e.g. in the form of gender-biased inheritance and labour laws, policy problems, such as in the form of trade and investment policies that ignore the gender-differentiated economic roles of women and men, as well as cultural impediments. The Gender Equality Project’s (GEP’s) funding aimed at contributing to narrow the gap in economic indicators between women and men in Pakistan through enhancing women’s opportunities for economic decision-making. In order to achieve this goal, it provided funding to 13 projects conducted by a diverse range of organisations, from small non-governmental organisations, a bank, an advocacy network to university institutes. The objective of this report is to map footprints of these grants and analyse their effect and impact regarding women’s economic empowerment. The assessment shows that the funded projects’ approaches address strategic skills for women’s economic empowerment at the micro-level, such as free movement, enhanced decision-making, access to and control over financial and other, for example organisational resources, as well as entrepreneurial including marketing skills. While these issues are innovative given the hostile environment the projects take place in, in particular the approaches addressing men’s resistance to women’s economic empowerment and strengthening female-male partnerships can be highlighted as very timely. Strategic skills, such as marketing, and business development, appear to be more important for a sustainable effect on the beneficiaries than purely technical training regarding new products and designs. It is questionable whether the latter contributes to enhanced understanding of women’s economic constraints. On the other hand, the potential to cooperate with the government – one of GEP’s objectives - needs to be critically assessed. Particularly, if the bargaining power of the government body and the partner is very unequal, it is likely that an agenda for women’s economic empowerment gets diluted in poor governance. Also, the issue of macro-micro linkages needs to be addressed in future project design. Increasing knowledge about the macro changes in the economy and politics and their bearing on grassroots level efforts to support women’s productive involvement and decision making might be an important step towards gender mainstreaming in economic policy-making.
|Note||Project Report Series # 8, 2006|
|Publisher||Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI)|
Siegmann, K.A.. (2006, January). Participatory Research and Evaluation Gender Equality Project (GEP): Appraisal of GEP projects for Women’s Economic Empowerment. Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/32589