The Gender Manual Series
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U.S. Agency for
The Gender Manual Series
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by Mary B. Anderson,
A MANUAL FOR INTEGRATING THE GENDER FACTOR INTO
BASIC EDUCATION AND VOCATIONAL TRAINING PROJECTS
Submitted to AID/WID
By Dr. Mary B. Anderson
Contract # DPE-0200-0-00-5033
TABLE OF CONTENTS
BASIC EDUCATION PROJECTS.................................. 3
Rationale for supporting basic education.............. 3
Rationale for the inclusion of girls and women........ 3
Construction/Renovation Projects........................ 5
Identification of need ............................... 5
Choice of schools' location............................ 6
Choice of facilities................................. 8
Choice of levels ..................................... 9
Equipment and Supplies Projects........................ 12
Identification of need........................... 12
Choice of equipment and supplies.................... 13
Phasing ............................................. 13
Teacher Training Projects.............................. 14
Identification of need and setting priorities....... 14
Curriculum Development and Design Projects............. 17
Identification of need .............................. 17
Content Decisions................................... 19
Administration and Management Projects................. 20
Equal opportunity.................................... 20
Systems .............................................. 20
VOCATIONAL TRAINING PROJECTS.......................... 22
Rationale for supporting vocation training............ 22
Rationale for vocational training for girls
Training in Traditional Roles Projects.................. 24
Training in Non-Traditional Roles Projects............... 25
PROJECT EVALUATION............................................. 29
DATA COLLECTION: HOW MUCH DO YOU HAVE TO KNOW ABOUT
GENDER ROLES IN ORDER TO PLAN AND MANAGE PROJECTS?.......... 30
A Manual for Integrating the Gender Factor into
Basic Education and Vocational Training Projects
This manual is:
FOR planners, designers, implementors and evaluators of
basic education and vocational training projects
TO provide ideas about when and how to integrate girls
and women into projects so that the likelihood of
achieving project objectives and purposes is improved.
The A.I.D. Education Policy Paper of December 1982 states
"...increasing the efficiency and improving the distribution
of basic education and skills training--that is, schooling
for children 6-14, vocational education and functional
skills training for wage employment--are among the priori-
ties of A.I.D.'s assistance programs."
Most countries with which A.I.D. works also give priority
to providing basic education on a universal basis, though few
have sufficient resources for actually doing so. An educated
citizenry is seen to be both more productive economically and
more satisfied politically, contributing to national wealth and
stability. Governments provide education, therefore, both as a
benefit to be equitably distributed to their citizens and as a
resource to be used by their citizens for future development.
Since the Percy Amendment of 1973, AID has made a series of
important efforts to understand and program for the involvement
of women in development. Building on the experience of these
years, it is now possible to identify and analyze the critical
points in the project cycle where, if consideration is given to
gender roles, project effectiveness will be improved.
This manual will draw on this experience and present the
findings of the past in a way designed to provide clear, precise
ideas of what to do at different points in the project cycle.
It follows, to a large degree, the format developed in the
Topical Reference Guide series currently being produced by CDIE
and, therefore, may be integrated into these Guides. It is also
based on the medical model in which diagnosis and treatment are
determined, and carried out, through asking a series of questions
and, on the basis of each particular answer, determining the next
appropriate step. That is, IF x, THEN y; IF NOT x, THEN z, etc.
It is organized around the five areas in which AID support
to education projects has most frequently been given:
Construction and renovation of schools/classrooms
Provision of equipment and supplies
Administration and management
The first section focuses on these five project interven-
tions in Basic Education Projects; the second section deals with
Vocational Training. (See tabs for easy reference to each
section and sub-section.) Additional sections are provided on
"Project Evaluation and Gender Analysis," and on "Data Collec-
tion: How Much Do You Have to Know to Act?"
BASIC EDUCATION PROJECTS
Rationale for Supporting Basic Education:
Education is basic to development and societies' invest
ments in education, at every level, pay off in higher
productivity and greater wealth.
PROJECT EXPERIENCE: Some studies verify this assumption
while others point to the fact that a number of other
factors (such as technologies) affect productivity so that
the direct correlation between educational attainment and
economic productivity is not so clear. Nonetheless, Human
Capital Theory supports the notion that an investment in
education pays off for the individual and for society and,
as the A.I.D. Education Policy Paper notes, this view
Rationale for the Inclusion of Girls and Women:
Because women and girls are active producers in the
economies of all countries, and because they are often engaged in
low-productivity activities, an investment in their education may
result in significant returns in areas otherwise exerting a
negative effect on overall economic growth.
Because education is a resource for future develop-
ment, failure of a society to provide basic education to one-half
of the labor force will result in a failure of these workers to
be able to take advantage of investments in higher levels of
training and skills development later.
-If education is a benefit of development, then it
must be made equally available to all citizens regardless of sex,
Because basic education is often a requirement for
access to additional training or other resources, those who are
denied access at the basic levels tend to fall farther and
farther behind, thus increasing inequity over time.
Investments in education for women will both improve
infant (and family) health and reduce fertility. The economic
implications of these demographic effects are also important.
PROJECT EXPERIENCE verifies the above statements. This was
borne out in an extensive review of A.I.D. projects in education,
carried out as a part of a more comprehensive evaluation of
projects from many sectors for their impact on and involvement of
women. The evaluation was conducted by AID/CDIE and completed in
A.I.D. has typically offered support to basic education
projects in five areas. Below, each of these areas is discussed
to identify where there are implications for gender and what to
do to act on these implications to make a better project.
I.1. Identification of the need for schools/classrooms as a
Gender Issue. Schools can be built so that access to
education is extended to new groups or so that existing patterns
of privilege and access are reinforced. It is important to find
out who wants schools and how this desire was translated into the
decision to undertake school construction and/or renovation.
A.I.D. Question: Who has placed priority on provision of
schools and classrooms?
IF priority for construction/renovation arises from a
government policy commitment to universal primary or
AND the decision to expand number and quality of schools is
an expression of this policy and intended to increase the
numbers of students who can attend and stay in school,
THEN there is no gender issue at this point, so go on to
next step (siting of schools).
IF priority for construction/renovation arises from some
community consultation process,
THEN find out who is represented and who is left out in
community forums for consultation; who speaks freely and
who does not in these forums; in what language such
consultation takes place and who does and does not speak
Gender Issue. Project experience shows that women are
frequently not represented in traditional community forums and
that project priorities set in these forums, therefore, have, in
some cases, not reflected general community desires. It is also
true that, while women may be physically present, they may not be
free by tradition to speak out and/or the language of discussion
may be a national language in which the less educated community
members (often women) do not speak. If this is the case, groups
with access to these decision-making arenas may decide on
community efforts and expenditures which serve (reinforce) their
power and privilege and do not serve unrepresented interests.
For example, women, if consulted, might place priority on
improving water supplies over provision of schools; or, if in
agreement on the need for education, might prefer different types
of schools (or locations, see below).
N.B. When PVOs or other groups that work within communities
propose schooling projects, this question of who is and who is
not included in consultation should be flagged.
WHAT TO DO: AID may either
1. Go back into the community and assure that consulta-
tion includes women; or
2. Go ahead with project support and take steps to
ensure the inclusion of girls/women in subsequent
project design and implementation phases.
ONCE CONSTRUCTION/RENOVATION OF SCHOOLS/CLASSROOMS HAS BEEN
IDENTIFIED AS A PROJECT PRIORITY,
THE FOLLOWING PROJECT IDENTIFICATION AND DESIGN DECISIONS OCCUR:
1.2. Choice of the locations for schools
Gender Issue. Project experience shows that the mobility of
girls and women is often more restricted than that of boys or
men. The restrictions may be based in tradition or may result
from time obligations to do other tasks (either in the household
or elsewhere, such as carrying water or firewood, etc.) One
study shows that girls often have to carry younger siblings with
them as they go to school so that, simply because of the carrying
weight of these children, they cannot go so far to school as boys
might be able to.
A.I.D. Question: Is there any gender difference in mobility
that will affect who can reach the schools
where they are located?
IF there seems to be none,
THEN proceed to next stage of identification process.
IF differences in mobility are related to gender,
THEN find out what determines the mobility range and how
rigid it is.
WHAT TO DO:
1. IF patterns of mobility are rigid,
THEN plan locations of schools to adjust to these so
most girls will have access;
2. IF patterns of mobility are based on other tasks,
THEN EITHER plan locations to accommodate these
OR plan the timing of classes in the schools to provide
time for girls both to do other tasks and to travel to
school. Whether this is possible depends on whether the
construction aspect of the A.I.D. project is part of a
larger project, including school management.
N.B. If the A.I.D. project is only to provide support
for school construction, then A.I.D. project designers
should be aware that failure to accommodate locations
of schools to mobility patterns of girls will have an
effect on who does and does not have access to schools.
1.3 Choice of facilities to be provided in the schools
Gender Issues. Where societies provide education in sex-se-
gregated facilities, project planners must be alert to which
schools or classrooms are being constructed and renovated and who
uses them. Some studies of the availability of rural schools,
for example, have shown that sufficient schools exist for all
school age children in a rural area, but, when one examines
whether the schools are for boys or for girls, one finds inade-
quate places for girls and an oversupply of places for boys.
Where boys and girls go to school together, project experi-
ence has shown that girls are sometimes kept away from school by
their parents when the parents do not feel that the facilities
are appropriate for girls. For example, in most societies girls
are not allowed to use the same toilet facilities (even when
these are in out-houses) as boys. Boarding schools clearly
require dormitory facilities for both girls and boys if both are
to attend (and, at the level of vocational training, this simple
fact has often been overlooked).
When girls with younger siblings are required to take care
of these younger children, the provision of day care for the
little ones at a school (even a primary school) can increase the
attendance rates among girls.
Even though classes may be provided on a coed basis, it is
possible that eating facilities need to be segregated for girls
Finally, when there is any tracking of girls to certain
classes (such as homemaking) and boys to others (such as shop),
the provision of equal and adequate facilities for each subject
area has ramifications for gender inclusion.
A.I.D. Question: Is education to be provided in coed or
IF education is sex-segregated,
THEN the A.I.D. project identification process should be
explicit about the equitable or appropriate provision of
funds for schools/classrooms for girls as well as boys.
WHAT TO DO:
1. Survey the existing schools to see where there are
gaps for access to classrooms for boys/girls.
2. Determine the focus of this A.I.D. project on the
basis of this information, possibly using the construc-
tion/renovation aspect of this project to make up for
past deficiencies in schools for girls.
IF education is coeducational,
THEN A.I.D. should ask:
A.I.D. Question: Are there any aspects of teaching or other
parts of the school day where girls and boys
need separate facilities (such as toilet,
eating or dormitory facilities, or special
classrooms for classes designed for only one
WHAT TO DO:
1. Ensure architects have access to accurate informa-
tion about needed facilities for both girls and boys,
where these must be separate, and that no plans are
accepted for schools which do not meet these needs;
2. Ensure adequate funds are provided in project
budget for all facilities to meet girls' and
1.4. Choice of levels of schools/classrooms to be construc-
ted or renovated
Gender Issue. Attendance, retention and completion rates in
primary school are often lower for girls than for boys. There-
fore, if a project focuses on building classrooms and facilities
at the secondary level rather than at the primary level, it may
inadvertently be favoring education for boys over girls.
If, however, girls' attendance rates in secondary schools
are low as a result of inadequate spaces and/or facilities for
them at this level, then a concentration on provision of class-
rooms at the higher level may both encourage girls to finish
primary school (since they can see opportunities for continuing
on) and increase female attendance rates at secondary level.
A.I.D. Question: Are attendance and completion rates in
primary schools equal for girls and boys?
IF rates are equal,
THEN go ahead with building schools at the secondary level
ensuring equal spaces for both girls and boys.
IF girls' rates are lower than boys' rates,
THEN A.I.D. project planners should take explicit account
of the fact that building schools at the secondary level
will not benefit girls as much as boys.
WHAT TO DO:
1. Find out why girls' rates are lower.
IF they are lower because girls are discouraged from
finishing primary school since there are no places in
secondary school for them,
THEN go ahead with secondary building, but be sure to
provide facilities for girls both to improve their
access to higher education and to encourage them to
complete primary education.
IF girls' rate are lower because of other reasons
having to do either with inadequate facilities in
primary levels or other factors discouraging the
completion of primary school,
THEN project planners can link the provision of
support to secondary schools to specific attempts to
improve female attendance, retention and completion
rates in primary school.
WHEN LOCATIONS ARE CHOSEN, FACILITIES DESIGNED, AND LEVELS
PROJECT DESIGNERS AND MANAGERS MUST DECIDE:
1.5. The phasing of the construction and renovation
Gender Issue. Project experience shows that: a.) priority
is often given to construction of special facilities needed for
boys (such as boys' dormitories before girls') and b.) when this
is coupled with unpredicted inflation or other cost problems,
follow-through on construction of facilities for girls sometimes
In addition, when schools for boys are built before those
for girls, or when facilities targeted for use by boys are
provided before those for girls, a message is sent to parents,
community people, students, etc. that the former are more
important than the latter.
A.I.D. Question: How serious are the logistical and/or
financial constraints that will determine
phasing of construction and renovation?
Who decides phasing?
IF logistics constraints arise from bottlenecks in supplies
such as limited management capacity for planning and
overseeing construction, or limited building supplies, or
limited labor, etc.,
THEN A.I.D. should address these constraints in a way that
will prevent disadvantages to female education.
WHAT TO DO:
1. Either provide greater resources to the project so
that significant lags in supplies do not occur that
necessitate choices among sites
2. Or design another method of setting priorities
among construction alternatives that takes fully into
account the gender-based requirements for different
The second area where A.I.D. provides support to basic
education projects is in the provision of:
II. EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES
II.1. Identification of the need for equipment and supplies
Gender Issue. Project experience shows educational quality
is affected by equipment and supplies available in the classroom,
and that quality of education has a direct impact on retention
rates in school. More often, rural schools receive fewer and
lower quality supplies than urban schools; girls' schools receive
fewer and lower quality supplies than boys' schools. Thus, both
the quality of education for girls vis a vis boys, and the
retention rates for girls (and for rural students) can be
affected by the provision of equipment and supplies.
A.I.D. Question: Is any aspect of schooling sex-segrega-
IF aspects of schooling are sex-segregated,
THEN project identifiers and designers must plan for the
provision of equipment and supplies in a way that supports
female education equally with that of males; or which
overcomes past inequities if this is appropriate.
IF schooling is not in any way sex-segregated,
THEN move to the next decision as follows:
11.2. Choice of equipment and supplies
A.I.D. Question: How can the choice of equipment and/or
supplies to a school affect students'
perceptions of the relevance of their
education for their lives?
Gender Issue. Project experience shows that, because of
differences in their social and economic roles as women and men,
girls and boys perceive the relevance of education differently.
Parents of children also perceive relevance differently for their
girls and boys. Insofar as equipment is related to particular
future roles of one gender or the other, the way in which it is
provided can make a difference as to whose education is
encouraged and whose is not. (eg. provision of fancy equipment
for science laboratories as compared with equipment for sewing or
In addition, decisions about what equipment to provide to
whom can affect girls' future possibilities (as when science
equipment is provided to girls' schools or when girls are
provided with and taught to use farm equipment not traditionally
used by women, etc.)
IF project intent is to provide equal educational opportun-
ity for girls and boys,
THEN designers and implementors must be sure that equipment
and supplies meet the needs of both girls and boys and that
these are provided in equal fashion to classes of both
girls and boys.
IF project intent is to provide new opportunities for girls
that they have not previously had,
THEN project.planners may use the provision of equipment and
supplies to provide girls with new experiences in education
which prepare them for new activities after schooling.
11.3. N.B. The phasing for the provision of equipment and
supplies is as important to differential impacts by gender as the
phasing in building facilities, discussed above.
The third area in which A.I.D. provides support to basic
education projects is in:
III. TEACHER TRAINING
III.1. Identification of the need to increase the numbers of
teachers and/or to improve the quality of teaching; and setting
priorities on quantity vs. quality and on which level of school-
ing to target
Gender Issues: In some situations where teaching is
primarily a female occupation, project experience has shown that
providing in-service training can result in increases in both
the prestige and incomes of teachers.
Where teaching is a male occupation or shared by both
genders, project experience shows that the way in which training
is provided may either treat women equally with men or disadvan-
tage women relative to men.
Encouraging women to become teachers, and especially at
higher levels of teaching, may provide important role models for
girls in school and increase their and their parents'perceptions
of the relevance of education for future, acceptable employment.
A.I.D. Question: Is teaching primarily done by women or
men? Is there a difference at primary
school and secondary school levels? Is
teaching a high-prestige occupation or a
IF in-service training to improve quality of teaching is
AND IF women are to receive this training,
THEN location and timing of training is important in terms
of ensuring that women with other family/household responsi-
bilities can actually receive training.
WHAT TO DO:
1. Provide in-service training through technologies
that reach women where they are (egs. radio or tape
2. Provide training under circumstances where women,
with other family and household responsibilities can
come, as follows:
a. With facilities suitable for women's involvement,
including dormitories, child care arrangements, etc.
b. At time of year (and of day) when they can be freed
from other family/household tasks as well as from
c. Within easy travel distance of homes;
d. With payments to cover other obligations, where
feasible, and incentives to participate.
IF increasing the number of teachers is the priority,
THEN it is important to ensure equal access to training for
women and men
OR IF sex-segregated schooling is provided
AND women must teach girls,
THEN enough women must be recruited for training to meet the
needs of schooling for girls.
WHAT TO DO:
1. Provide adequate facilities for training women as
well as meni
2. Ensure that training is available to women at times
and locations where they can be present.
3. Ensure that women as well as men are fully aware of
the opportunities to receive training.
Gender Issue. Experience shows that methods for transmit-
ting information regarding training opportunities often exclude
the possibility that women will hear of these. Recruitment must
be designed in such as way as to reach potential female as well
as male candidates.
WHAT TO DO:
1. Locate places and/or processes by which women hear
of new events and opportunities (such as meeting
places, radio, from health workers, etc.) and utilize
these for advertising new training opportunities.
2. If these do not exist, create new forms of reaching
appropriate women such as leaflets, special visits by
promoters, special recruitment through village chiefs,
Gender Issue. Experience shows that some projects have
designated numbers or percentages of women to be targeted in
training but have, at the same time, specified pre-requisites for
training (such as levels of educational attainment or numbers of
years in teaching, etc.) that simply cannot be met by the given
population of women. These projects fail to achieve their
WHAT TO DO:
1. Design the entry requirements for training so that
they "fit" with desired qualities of candidates and do
not discriminate against women.
2. Respecify the pre-requisites so that they can be met
3. Provide remedial assistance to female trainees to
help them meet the pre-requisites for entry to the
teacher training program.
The fourth area where A.I.D. has supported basic education
projects is in:
IV. CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT AND DESIGN
N.B. There are many ways in which curriculum development can
affect education and many purposes to which curriculum design may
be put by MOE's and donors, etc. Here we deal only with the very
specific and important ways in which curriculum development
affects and is affected by gender roles and expectations.
IV.1. Identification of curriculum reform in project
planning "to increase the relevance of education"
Gender Issues. Parents will send their children to school,
and children will continue in school, only if they perceive the
education to be relevant to their lives. Because every society
has a gender-based division of labor and division of roles,
children and their parents assess the relevance of education as
it relates to the probable future roles and work of men and
women. In their view, girls must be prepared to do what women do;
boys to do what men do.
Curriculum can address gender roles either by being designed
to fit with existing roles and to educate children to be produc-
tive in them or by attempting to alter traditional roles and
provide new opportunities for girls and boys to meet the challen-
ges and needs of a modernizing society.
In some societies, parents will not invest in education for
their girls because they see that whatever gains will come from
the education will accrue to the family of the girl's husband
once she is married.
A.I.D. Question: Who is defining "relevance" of education
for the curriculum development project?
IF families and/or students are defining relevance
AND they are explicitly defining relevance for both girls
THEN project planners may accept these definitions as
guidelines for curriculum development.
EXCEPTION: Curriculum materials should always be screened
for representations of females as inferior to males even
when traditional role divisions are accepted for curriculum
IF government agencies (possibly influenced by industry)
are defining relevance,
THEN project planners should be alert to the possibilities
1. The definition of relevance may inadvertently
overlook girls' needs (boys' experience taken as the
2. Government agency plans to educate children for
roles in a modernizing economy/society may conflict
with parental wishes and perceptions of relevance
WHAT TO DO:
1. Find out what families' and students' think educa-
tion should prepare them for, and compare this with
government agency goals;
2. Be explicit about differences in expectations for
girls and boys.
IF government purpose is to provide education for tradi-
tional roles for girls and boys,
AND schools are not sex-segregated,
THEN there is no gender issue here except that mentioned
above of screening for explicit representations of females
as inferior to males.
IF government plan is to educate girls and boys for the
future in non-traditional roles,
THEN curricula must be developed to deal explicitly with
these changes and to educate students (and their families)
about their importance.
IV.2. Decisions regarding content of curriculum
Gender Issue. Whether educating students for traditional or
non-traditional roles, the subject matter or content of the
curriculum must reflect explicitly the usefulness of the
education for both girls and boys. (eg., books which introduce
technologies for agriculture in areas where women do the farming
must include pictures of women using the new technologies.)
When reading is taught using materials that relate to the
daily lives of girls (and of their roles as women) and boys (as
men), relevance is increased for both (rather than all reading
relating to male activities alone.)
A.I.D. Question: How can content of lessons treat girls'
and boys' experience and expectations
equally, increasing relevance of training
IF work and social roles of women and men are different,
THEN curriculum materials should deal with both.
IF new roles are being introduced through curriculum,
THEN curriculum materials should depict who will use these
materials based on gender roles.
IF purpose is to change roles,
THEN curriculum material may help by explicitly depicting
different people performing non-traditional roles (eg., men
AND by explicitly dealing with economic/social shifts
leading to changes in roles.
N.B. If the intent is to educate girls for new roles,
whether schools are sex-segregated or coed, curriculum for boys
must also expressly deal with changes in girls'/women's roles.
N.B. Curriculum development is related to issues discussed
above relating to decisions about what facilities, equipment and
supplies to make available to whom. That is, the relevance of
what is taught is perceived, to some degree, according to the
commitment represented in the provision of adequate tools for
teaching the subject matter, i.e. facilities, equipment and
The fifth area in which A.I.D. has provided support to
basic education projects is in:
V. ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT
Gender Issues. The issues that relate to gender in this area
are of two types:
1. Those that deal with providing equal opportunity to women
to become administrators and managers; and
2. Those that deal with setting up administrative and
management systems that take account of gender differences (as
represented in the previous four sections of this manual) and
with training administrators and managers to be aware of the
importance of considering gender as they perform their jobs.
V.1. For issues dealing with equal opportunity for women to
become administrators and managers,
SEE Section III on Teacher Training
V.2. For issues dealing with setting up administrative
systems that take account of gender
SEE Sections I IV of manual
PROJECT EXPERIENCE shows that gender most often gets lost in
administrative and management systems through invisibility. When
there is an intention to treat all students equally and a policy
commitment to equality of educational access, as is almost always
the case, then equality is assumed in all instances. The failure
is to notice where differences in girls' and boys' roles affect
their access to and continuation in schools.
WHAT TO DO:
1. Design data collection systems for administrative
and management purposes that are always disaggregated
2. Assign the management task of explicitly examining
the impacts of educational policies and programs on
females and males separately to some section of the
3. Require that all sections of the administration and
management team be responsible for anticipating and
researching probable impacts of each action or plan on
females and males.
VOCATIONAL TRAINING PROJECTS
Many of the factors considered in Part I on Basic Education
Projects are also pertinent to Vocational Training Projects.
Therefore, Part I should be read by persons involved in planning
and implementing Vocational Training Projects as well.
There are special issues that arise in Vocational Training
as it includes or excludes women, however. These are the focus
of this Part II.
Rationale for Supporting Vocational Training:
Vocational and skills training can reduce production
bottlenecks that are the result of missing skills levels in
societies. In addition, when unemployment is a problem,
special vocational training can help workers tool up for
employment in areas where other skills are required.
PROJECT EXPERIENCE shows that this is true only when the
skills training is focused on areas where there is effective
demand that is stable over some acceptable future and
unemployment is reduced only when trainees are genuinely
interested in the trade/occupation for which they are
trained and able and willing to follow the market for their
newly acquired skills.
Rationale for Vocational Training for Girls and Women:
Girls and women are frequently employed in low-income,
low-productivity occupations. Hence, skills training in
these areas may:
1. Improve their productivity in these areas OR
2. Enable them to switch out of these occupations and
into other employment, thus adding to overall develop-
The growing number of female headed households around the
world means that more women are sole supporters of their
families. Vocational training may provide them with the
additional skills they need in order to provide adequately
for themselves and their children.
Areas which suffer shortages of male labor due, for
example, to out-migration, can fill these shortages by
training women to take up labor roles formerly filled by
PROJECT EXPERIENCE shows that vocational training for
women can prepare them to perform new, higher-productivity roles
if and only if there are no other major barriers to female
employment in those areas for which they are trained.
Gender Issues. In every society in the world there is a
gender-based division of labor, though these divisions vary both
from place to place and over time. In some countries the
division of labor is rigid and based in religion or belief
systems; in others, it is less rigidly held. In many areas,
traditional labor assignments by gender are changing. In every
case where vocational training is planned, it is necessary to:
1. Find out who does what (gender based division of
2. Find out how rigid or fluid these role assignments
3. Decide whether to target or encourage men's or
women's work roles
4. If decision is to target women's work, decide
whether to fit training to women's traditional roles or
to use training to encourage change in these patterns.
IF PROJECT IDENTIFICATION AND DESIGN ARE FOCUSED ON TRAINING THAT
WILL INCLUDE WOMEN---
IN TRADITIONAL ROLES:
A.I.D. Question: Will training in new skills in traditional
areas actually improve productivity in
IF the answer is yes,
A.I.D. Question: Are other inputs (such as credit or tools)
necessary for these productivity increases
to be realized, and do women have access to
THEN proceed to next question.
THEN project planners should make sure that access to
needed inputs is arranged either through additions to
project (eg., credit schemes for successful completers of
training, etc.) or through some other reliable channel.
A.I.D. Question: Will there be a market for the increased
output that will be produced after train-
THEN either proceed with project on the expectation that
increases in productivity in traditional roles will free up
female time for other productive activities which will
contribute to personal/national development
OR arrange to improve marketing aspect of project.
IN NON-TRADITIONAL ROLES:
A.I.D. Question #1: Can girls/women be recruited to take
part in planned training?
A.I.D. Question #2: Even if project planners are sure that
effective demand exists for given
skills, will employers be willing to
hire females to do these jobs?
#3: If employers will hire females, will
they pay them wages and promote them
equally with men?
#4: Where will training be provided and
where are employment opportunities; how
will these affect women?
#5: What facilities will be available both
in the training place and on the job for
#6: Are there any special requirements for
the occupations being trained for that
conflict with other traditions or norms
for women (such as dress required to do
the job, or tools to be used)?
PROJECT EXPERIENCE shows that when these questions have not been
adequately addressed in project identification, early planning,
and project management, vocational training for females has not
had the desired impact.
WHAT TO DO:
Gender Issues. Girls and women often do not hear about
training opportunities because these are announced in places or
through media to which they do not typically have access or
Locations and timing of training opportunities will either
encourage or discourage female involvement. (This is discussed
more fully below.)
Because recruits to training are often more mature girls or
women, they often have other major family or household responsi-
biilties. Even low-paying employment may be difficult to give up.
Therefore, some payment may be necessary during training to free
them for participation.
Even training programs which intend to recruit females often
establish pre-requisites for entry to the training program that
cannot be met by most otherwise interested and available
Girls and women may be reluctant to undertake time consuming
and difficult training for jobs for which they fear they will
never be employed, because of tradition or because they lack
knowledge about opportunities.
Recruitment of females may be helped by:
a. Incentive payments that help cover opportunity costs
b. Location of training where it is possible for
trainees to travel
c. Timing of training to fit girls'/women's schedules
given their other household and family obligations
d. Assurance that employment will exist after training
e. Establishment of pre-requisites for training that
accurately reflect the available pool of female
Gender Issue. Employees may refuse to hire even well--
trained females because of prejudice, tradition or worry that
they will not actually be able to do the job.
Employers can be encouraged to hire females by:
a. Incentives (tax, promotional, one-time payments)
b. Demonstrations and studies that show female employ-
ees to be reliable and productive
c. One-on-one visits from project personnel to convince
them of the importance of hiring female trainees
3. Equality in employment.
Gender Issue. Project experience has shown that, in some
cases, employers hire females in order to get labor at lower
wages and that they consistently pass over their female employees
Employers can be induced to provide wages and promotions to
their female employees by:
a. Demonstrations and studies that show that women can
handle promotions and that productivity justifies
b. Visits from training staff to follow-through on
c. Laws and regulations
4. and 5. Location of and facilities provided in both
training and employment.
Gender Issue. Because of limits to female mobility (dis-
cussed in Part I under Construction of Schools), it is essential
that training be provided in places where females can actually
attend, and that facilities meet the special needs of females.
The issue of location is even more important in Vocational
Training projects, however, because not only must training be
provided in suitable locations, but also employment that follows
training must be suitably located for women.
Facilities must also be suitable in both training and
employment locations, and because trainees are apt to be older
and to have children, provision of child care becomes particular-
ly important. This is of course even more true when female heads
of households are being trained.
Locations and facilities of training centers and employment
centers may be made suitable for women by;
a. Provisions within the project budget and plan for adding
facilities/designing locations that meet female recruits'
b. Incentives to employers may also include one-time
payment for special facilities for female employees
N.B. There is virtually nothing a Vocational Training
Project can do to locate businesses except to initiate women-
owned enterprises in which women would be self-employed. It is
possible for a project to train women in anticipation of a new
business that is expected to come into an area and for which a
trained labor force will be required; that is, to entice a
business that is expected to come into an area and for which a
trained labor force will be required; that is, to entice a
business to locate in a particular area by ensuring the training
of the labor force. To train females for jobs that are not
located suitably, however, will result in project failure.
6. Special requirements.
Gender Issues. Some occupations require that men and women
work side-by-side and this is not permissable in some societies.
Some occupations require specific attire for work, not tradition-
ally worn by women. Some vocations require the use of tools not
traditionally believed suitable for women.
Projects may deal with special requirements of certain
employment as these affect women by:
a. Minimizing them where possible, as for example,
finding employment for women in societies where they
cannot work alongside men, in women-only enterprises,
or adapting tool use to accomplish the same tasks, etc.
b. Addressing them directly in training and with
potential employers, overcoming these barriers as well
as those to women's involvement in general
c. By choosing areas for vocational training in which
such additional barriers to female involvement are
N.B. In Vocational Training experience shows that Women-Only
projects can be effective when training is focused on non-tradi-
Gender Issues. Gender is often left out of project evalua-
tions because it is assumed that benefits, if realized through
the project successfully, will flow to everyone equally. The
foregoing discussion of places in project planning and management
where gender makes a difference, should make clear that this is
not the case. Girls and women have not had, project experience
shows, equal access to entry nor equal retention rates in schools
and training programs. Above, we have identified a number of
reasons why this is true.
To assess real project effectiveness, A.I.D. should always
insist that project evaluations disaggregate results and outcomes
In particular, A.I.D. evaluations of basic education and
vocational training projects should ask:
1. Who identified the objectives and purposes of the project
and what consideration was given during project identification
to gender issues?
2. Who received the benefits of the project? Identify
beneficiaries by gender, both in absolute numbers and in terms of
percentages of target populations.
3. What are the implications of the results of this project
for future access to other opportunities for education? To other
resources for development? How are these distributed by gender?
4. What are the implications (gains, losses) for overall
development by the inclusion or exclusion of females in this
5. What are the implications for design of future projects?
What kinds of projects need to be done? How should new projects
be designed to increase their involvement of and benefits to
women and girls?
N.B. Gender effects of projects are more likely to be evaluated
if gender is integrated into the Logical Framework Analysis at
the time of project approval. Gender factors may be included in
the log frame, depending on the project, under Purposes, Outputs,
Inputs, and Assumptions.
DATA COLLECTION: HOW MUCH DO YOU HAVE TO KNOW ABOUT GENDER ROLES
IN ORDER TO PLAN AND MANAGE PROJECTS?
Project planners and managers are often appalled at the
introduction of the gender factor into projects. They see this
as another area in which information has to be gathered and
another set of special interests addressed.
When project planners become convinced that there are "real"
issues of gender that affect project objectives, they still feel
that the costs of gathering all the relevant information they
would need to do a good job of integrating females into projects
are extraordinarily high and that A.I.D. will simply not allocate
the resources necessary to gather this information.
Much information is, however, already available and much can
be easily and cheaply gathered during normal PID and design of
It is not necessary to hire female anthropologists to gather
all the data on gender role divisions in all villages in order to
integrate gender into A.I.D. projects.
WHAT TO DO:
1. Assign at least one person on the project identification
team and on the project design team to ask all the relevant
questions outlined in this Manual as "A.I.D. Questions."
It is preferable to assign two or more people to ask these
questions, so that multiple answers are gathered that can be
compared, but it is not necessary as a first step in gathering
The persons) assigned do not have to be female. In some
cases only, it may be helpful in getting some answers, such as
from village women who should be consulted.
2. Ask these questions of:
a. Staff people in the Ministries of Education, in
particular when there is a MOE officer in charge of
b. Staffs of Women's Divisions of local governments
c. Researchers in national university departments who
do village level research (anthropology, economics,
sociology, law, etc.) These people can lead you to
each other and conversations in one or two afternoons
can gather all the information that is needed.
d. A.I.D./WID Office staff
e. Where possible, local teachers, parents and students
All PID and Design team members should take on the
tasks of "eyeballing:"
a. Numbers and proportions of girls and boys in
b. Labor roles of men and women in economy as seen in
fields, along the road, in shops, markets, etc.
(wherever the teams visit)
c. Task assignments of school-age girls and boys such
as herding; water and fuel gathering; taking care of
siblings or of elders; etc. (and note where the tasks
occur in relation to school, what time of day tasks are
done and how long they take, whether they are sea-
Many. documents already exist that describe gender
roles in many societies or that contain data pertinent
to planning and managing education projects. These may
be found from (to name only a few sources):
a. Asking A.I.D./WID Office
b. International Center for Research on Women
c. World Bank documents
The Gender Manual Series:
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