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International Development Gender Equality Act 2014

With rather little fanfare, and wide cross party support,  the International Development (Gender Equality) Act of 2014, was passed in Parliament last month.

The Act will ‘promote gender equality in the provision by the Government of development assistance and humanitarian assistance to countries outside the United Kingdom, and for connected purposes’ and it requires DFID to report annually on what steps have been taken towards this goal.  This will oblige DFID to make renewed commitments to gender equality in all its work, but also to ensure that activities follow these commitments.

This recognition of the fact that gender equality will not be addressed when gender based disadvantage is buried in poverty reduction strategies, but needs focused and distinctive gender analyses and policies, will add to the voices calling for gender-specific goals in the post MDG debates.  After some years of attention to gender mainstreaming, which have shown that this is no substitute for gender focused action, we are looking towards a renewal of attention to gender equality goals, and the need for skills and expertise in gender analysis, policies and interventions.

Recognising and highlighting this commitment to gender equality, DEV has initiated a two week short course on 'researching gender', adding to its critical capacity building, and also offers a one year masters programme in gender analysis for international development.