TWG 1 – Gender and Evaluation
Gender equality has been recognized as an international commitment and a prerequisite for development since the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing 1995. Since then there has been a flurry of gender equality initiatives. But their effects have been limited and they have sometimes worked at cross purposes. The disappointing results are partly explained by a flagging political commitment to gender equality policies during their implementation phase. Equally, the gender perspective has not been integrated in every relevant policy. Progress has also been hindered by the contradictory content of some policies. While labelled ‘gender policies’ they have unintendedly reinforced traditional gender roles and stereotypes. In response, feminist advocates, gender-sensitive evaluators, international organizations and other national agencies and institutions have insisted on more searching analyses of gender issues in evaluation exercises. As a result, evaluation is increasingly being viewed as a key tool for accountability and learning in relation to gender equality. Moreover, gender integration has now emerged as a prerequisite for ensuring quality and effectiveness of public policies. Given this increasing interest in gender evaluation, new evaluation practices and methodologies on gender have been developed in recent years. At the 2010 9th EES Biennial Conference in Prague, several panels addressed the issue and many gender related papers were tabled. At the 10th EES Biennial Conference in Helsinki more than forty papers and communications related to gender equality were also presented, organized in eleven different panels and sessions. The proposed Thematic Working Group, focused on gender and evaluation, aims at improving our knowledge and skills on how to carry out evaluations from a gender perspective. It specifically seeks to connect the different individuals, institutions, organizations and companies working on this issue nowadays as well as to disseminate relevant evaluation activities, materials and opportunities.