New online tool looks at gender analysis in developing policy

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The Ministry for Women has launched a new online tool to assist policy developers include gender analysis in their work.

The tool, Bringing Gender In, asks key questions to assist people to explore the gender impacts of a policy as people move through the policy process.

The questions explore seven different steps in the process of developing policy:

  • at the start
  • the policy issue
  • the policy options
  • consultation
  • implementation
  • monitoring and evaluation
  • Cabinet paper.

The tool provides examples of good practice as well as links to useful data sources and other relevant material. This tool highlights the different experiences and needs of different groups of women including differences by ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, age, disability, family responsibilities or where women live.

The purpose of the tool is to achieve positive change for women (as well as men and people who identify as gender diverse). In background information about how the tool will assist, the Ministry for Women write:

"Gender refers to socially constructed roles and responsibilities (historically in most societies between women and men). It can be defined as ‘more than biological differences’ between men and women. It includes the ways in which those differences, whether real or perceived, have been valued, used and relied upon to classify women and men and to assign roles and expectations to them. Sex, on the other hand, commonly refers to biological differences (again traditionally between women and men).

Gender analysis traditionally identifies differences in the social situations of women and men to take these differences into account when designing policies or programmes. While there is an emphasis on women in this tool that reflects the long-standing inequalities experienced by many women, gender analysis is also applicable to men and gender diverse people.

Gender analysis allows for equity, rather than simply formal equality. Gender equality is based on the premise that women and men should be treated in the same way. This fails to recognise that equal treatment may not provide equitable results, because women and men have different life experiences and constraints. Gender equity takes into consideration the differences in women's and men's lives and recognises that different approaches may be needed to produce outcomes that are equitable. In practice, the terms ‘gender equality’ and ‘gender equity’ are often used interchangeably."

For more information about the tool, see the Ministry for Women's video introducing the tool and press release.

Related research

The Lancet recently published a series of five papers exploring gender inequality and gender norms related to health and wellbeing.

Last year, Treasury published Gender Budgeting: A Useful Approach for Aotearoa New Zealand (WP 18/02) by Suzy Morrissey. The paper explores whether gender budgeting concepts could contribute to fiscal reporting in New Zealand.

Translating inclusion into influence in New Zealand: The conundrum of engaging gender organizations in public policy (2018) by Rachel Simon-Kumar summarises findings from qualitative interviews with more than 30 representatives of community organizations, activists, scholars, and policymakers to examine how women’s and gender organisations engaged with government on policy.

Also see WHO's definition of gender and glossary of terms related to gender, equity and human rights.

Related media

Where does gender equality fit into the Budget? Newsroom, 31.05.2019