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Reading: Engaging Men in Gender Equality Programs: The Case of Nicaragua

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Essay

Engaging Men in Gender Equality Programs: The Case of Nicaragua

Author:

Laura Romah

American University
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Abstract

Over the last 30 years, feminists have made significant contributions to the international development field. Starting in the 1970s, feminist scholars and practitioners called for development institutions to include women in their programs and projects. Some of those feminists soon argued that simply adding women to the usual development processes was insufficient. Instead, they recognized the need to challenge those very processes and the ways in which they interrelate with power structures, particularly gender structures. Gender relations, rather than women, became the unit of analysis in the gender and development (GAD) approach. This shift opened the opportunity for GAD to include men in both theory and practice. Yet, in practice most “gender” programs include only women as participants, often adding to women’s burdens by increasing their productive roles, without encouraging men to relieve some of this burden. When this is the case, “gender” projects do not challenge unequal power relations or socially determined roles directly. Indeed, how can they be challenged effectively if half of the gender equation (men!) is missing?

How to Cite: Romah, L., (2012). Engaging Men in Gender Equality Programs: The Case of Nicaragua. Middle Atlantic Review of Latin American Studies. 25(1), pp.28–37. DOI: http://doi.org/10.23870/106
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Published on 01 Jan 2012.
Peer Reviewed

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