Within developing economies, women are still widely under-represented in decision-making at all levels, in the household, in businesses, and in the public sphere.
Addressing these inequities through laws and public policy is a way of formalizing the goal of gender equality. However, legal changes are not always sufficient to overcome customs to create lasting changes. Implementation of programs such as the W+ methodology can help close the gap between what laws proscribe and what actually occurs.
The Leadership methodology enables project developers to evaluate how projects result in increased decision making roles for women – within the context of the project itself or within households and communities. This can be measured through evaluating increases in the representation and participation of women both quantitatively and qualitatively in governance bodies of community organizations (measuring how many women are in leadership roles and how many are active in discussions and decisions) or an increase in the effectiveness of women's groups to advocate, manage funds, negotiate and network through leadership and entrepreneurship skill development and coaching.
“Gender equality is important in its own right. Development is a process of expanding freedoms equally for all people—male and female (Sen, 2009). Closing the gap in well-being between males and females is as much a part of development as is reducing income poverty. Greater gender equality also enhances economic efficiency and improves other development outcomes.”(International Monetary Fund. Empowering Women Is Smart Economics
Finance & Development, March 2012, Vol. 49, No. 1)
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