Epidemiological and experiential evidence from communities can produce important and sometimes surprising insights into gender relations, to inform policies that address changing needs. CIET has standardised a community-based cross-design for the gender-sensitive collection and analysis of three types of evidence: impact, coverage and costs. Five steps help to ensure that women’s voices are heard in planning. Gender-stratified analysis of existing data is a starting point. Stratification of all responses by sex of the respondent prevents a numerical bias in favour of men translating into a gender bias in the analysis. Female focus groups inform survey design, interpretation and appropriate strategies for change. Gender is a factor in risk and resilience analysis. Finally, gender-sensitive logistics ensure women’s equal participation. First order outputs include actionable gender data to advocate in favour of women. Second order outputs include an enabling environment for equitable development, challenging the gendered patterns of economic marginalization.
While these five steps are applied to all CIET activities, some projects have a more gender-specific focus such as the gender gap in education in Pakistan, prevention of sexual violence in South Africa, gender-based violence and HIV in Southern Africa, and the detrimental effect of domestic violence and neglect of women on the bond of care between mother and child in Pakistan. In the area of reproductive health, CIET has studied violence toward pregnant women and the excessive use of episiotomies in hospital deliveries in Mexico, and has evaluated a UNFPA supported reproductive health social audit in the Maldives. In the Wild Coast, South Africa, a baseline survey documented ways women can play a more important role in local economic development. Views and experiences of men, as well as women, are systematically documented — often for the first time — on subjects such as domestic violence, the importance of girl’s education or why some men refrain from sexual violence.
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