Does mainstreaming gender into development programs work?
That’s a tricky question that often comes up when organizations for instance need to include provisions for gender equality in their project proposals, especially since more and more donors are now insisting that gender be integrated in all of the programs they fund. These include leading donor agencies such as the U.K. Department for International Development and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
For gender expert Maxine Molyneux, the answer is yes, provided gender mainstreaming is done right. Indeed it is now better understood that societies in general are held back by gender inequality.
A professor at the University College London, Molyneux believes this is an effective strategy as it reminds aid practitioners that gender inequality affects development outcomes — a basic point that several development partners sometimes forget.