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The Role of Gender in Development

Updated: May 4


The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) constitute a critical milestone in advancing accountability towards gender equality and development. Out of the 17 goals, ten contain over 40 gender-related targets providing a more integrated, stronger imperative around which the global community can frame efforts to address Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (GEWE) within broader development initiatives. [1] Promotion of broad-based ownership of agenda And very, coordination across development policies and strategies and practical resource mobilization are critical lessons from the efforts of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). [2] Gender refers to the characteristics of women, men, girls, and boys that are socially constructed. It includes norms, behaviors, and roles associated with being a woman, man, girl, or boy, as well as relationships with each other As a social construct, gender varies from society to society and can change over time. [3] development is considered an improvement in a country's economic and social conditions. [4] development can only be realized when there is a vey significant component of gender. And cannot be achieved when there is an exclusion of women in development processes Across the globe.

Gender parity is central to the development process as it helps to understand the relationship between men and women in development regarding power relations, decision-making, control of resources, and income in households. The basic understanding of this informs strategic interventions in development. There is, however, a call for a deeper understanding of the socially constructed basis of gender differences and how this impacts relationships between men and women Gender and Development advocates.


Gender and development are important because it focuses on the connections between gender and development initiatives and feminists' perspectives and deals with issues such as health and education, decision-making and leadership, peacebuilding, violence against women, and economic empowerment As the world is focusing on development as a means of alleviating world poverty, it is imperative to eliminate gender inequalities Gender Equity and growth are critical elements in achieving social and institutional change that leads to sustainable development Sustainable development, which is considered a positive social and economic impact of development, can be achieved through active participation of women and men in gathering information differentiated by gender and in decision-making processes; and through Promotion of gender elements like equality and mainstreaming Gender mainstreaming is the process of ensuring that gender is considered at all times As these are closely interlinked, gender mainstreaming must be implemented institutionally and operationally in development initiatives.

For sustainable development to be achieved, the priorities of both women and men should be addressed, integrated, and promoted, especially in policies relating to education and science. The vision of development goals and approaches should reduce stereotyping as it brings about significant adverse effects of unequal power relations and expectations on men and boys. Everyone should be free to develop their abilities and make choices without limitations set by rigid gender roles and prejudices. Without personal interests and capacities, explicit attention should be given to women's needs and perspectives. However, this is not usually so because women generally have low levels of education and a lack of direct representation in community decision-making bodies.

Gender promotes development by allowing for more efficient use of resources Equality in access to and distribution of resources, the ability to make decisions, and the way women and men, boys and girls are affected by political processes and social development lies in the understanding of gender relations and the power dynamics behind them For men and women, persons with disability, children, and widows to have targeted investment opportunities, gender should be prioritized in development initiatives Gender, therefore, allows priorities of men and women to be adequately addressed and integrated into policy documents of development initiatives. It enables development practitioners to determine the behavior and actions of men and women in development interventions. Furthermore, this allows for a systematic and coordinated approach to implementing development interventions by mitigating unforeseen challenges and obstacles. Generally, gender is a factor that reduces the dependency ratio in a society - allows for affirmative action for the marginalized in a community, and affects social and institutional change that leads to sustainable development with equity and growth.


In development, gender analysis assesses development programs' impact on men and women and gender relations [5]. Gender generally impacts social and institutional change that promotes sustainable development Gender analysis data is scarce. However, this makes it difficult to fully understand women's and men's experiences and ensure that development initiatives are targeted where they can be most effective. Disaggregated data by age is also not available and sufficient, making it difficult to understand the differences between women and girls and men and boys. Creating decent work for men and women has been slowed down, given that women are usually in a disadvantaged position compared to men.

Acknowledging and ensuring that men and women are not disadvantaged by any particular activities or strategies and analyses is therefore extremely important, both from a human rights perspective and to maximize impact and socioeconomic development.


[1] TheRoleofGenderinEnhancingtheDevelopmentAgendaofAnyCountry.pdf

[2] The role of gender in development: where do boys count? | Development In Africa: Refocusing the lens after the Millennium Development Goals | Policy Press Scholarship Online | Oxford Academic (

[3] gender (

[4] Development: Meaning and Concept of Development (

[5] World Bank (2012) 'Overview' in World Development Report 2012: Gender Equality and

Development, World Bank, Washington DC

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