“Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” A reflection from the Gender and Development Network

“Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”

A reflection from the Gender and Development Network

25th September 2015

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are of course not everything we wanted; they are after all the outcome of tortured negotiations among nearly two hundred governments many of whom have highly dubious views towards gender equality and human rights.  That said, the document just agreed by the UN General Assembly this month is certainly an improvement on the previous Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and a lot better than many of us feared.  Glimmers of concern about inequality – or at least a desire to ‘leave no one behind’ - suggest some progress in the last fifteen years.  Specifically on gender equality, while the language is not as strong as that agreed twenty years ago at the landmark Beijing conference on women’s rights, there are definite improvements since the MDGs. Given the current context of widespread attacks on women’s rights globally this can be seen as an achievement. While the agreement of this document changes nothing today, it does provide us with some valuable rhetoric with which to hold governments to account tomorrow, and in the decades to come.

The goals and targets

At one point it seemed a very real possibility that there might be no standalone goal on gender equality, with women’s rights subsumed within a basket of disadvantages.  The experience of MDG 3 on gender equality had demonstrated the resources and political leverage that a gender goal could bring and we argued hard that any dilution of this explicit commitment would be seen as a major step backwards.  It is therefore with relief that we see the fifth agreed SDG is: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

We also called for a broadening of the topics covered under such a goal.  Violence against women and girls had been recognised as a major omission in the MDGs and it was clear early on that this would be included as a target in the SDGs.  Political participation is now more broadly defined and language on reproductive rights, constantly under attack, was protected.  Sexual rights are still missing though, and the struggle for LGBTQ rights has a long way to go. But the real surprise – and perhaps one of the biggest successes for us – was the inclusion of a target on unpaid care. While the wording of the target is not perfect, its inclusion marks a major step forward in recognition of the issue as a major barrier to achieving gender equality.  We remain concerned though as to why SDG 5 has no time limit when most other targets start with ‘by 2030’.

In addition to a standalone goal, GADN also called for gender mainstreaming across the framework. There are a few specific mentions of issues important to gender equality in other targets: equal pay for work of equal value appears in target 8.5, equal access to education in 4.5, the particular needs of women and girls in relation to hygiene and sanitation in 6.3. But overall the mainstreaming of gender equality is not well developed and there is little recognition of the specific barriers that women and girls face in meeting targets, such as the role of unpaid care or occupational segregation in restricting employment opportunities.

During the negotiations there was much talk of ‘transformative’ targets, but it remains to be seen whether the structural barriers preventing progress in each of the target areas will really be addressed. 

A crucial test will be how the indicators for each target (due to be agreed next March) are developed, and whether they cover the structural barriers where change is most needed.  The experience of the MDGs shows that governments put their time and money into trying to achieve these measured indicators of success, not into matching the rhetoric of the goals and targets. Furthermore, for the indicators to be effective their measurement will also need to be properly resourced, with sufficient aggregation of data and use of qualitative as well as quantitative measures, and substantial capacity building in implementation.  

Framing the Agenda

The rhetoric included in the preamble and opening paragraphs of the document is also important.  At a time when women’s rights are under attack around the globe an internationally agreed statement has important symbolic value.

Many women’s rights activists opposed the use in the preamble of five pillars of sustainable development (people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership) both because it distracted from a human rights approach and made no specific mention of gender equality.

These pillars remain, but both in the preamble and in the subsequent paragraphs of the Declaration there is some useful language which can be used to hold governments to account. There is commitment to promoting gender equality and women's and girls’ empowerment, and even recognition that half of humanity is denied its full human rights.

Preamble: “They [the goals] seek to realize the human rights of all and to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.”

Para 3: “We resolve.. to protect human rights and promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls

Para 8: “We envisage… a world in which every woman and girl enjoys full gender equality and all legal, social and economic barriers to their empowerment have been removed.”

Para 20. “Realizing gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls will make a crucial contribution to progress across all the Goals and targets. The achievement of full human potential and of sustainable development is not possible if one half of humanity continues to be denied its full human rights and opportunities. Women and girls must enjoy equal access to quality education, economic resources and political participation as well as equal opportunities with men and boys for employment, leadership and decision-making at all levels. We will work for a significant increase in investments to close the gender gap and strengthen support for institutions in relation to gender equality and the empowerment of women at the global, regional and national levels. All forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls will be eliminated, including through the engagement of men and boys. The systematic mainstreaming of a gender perspective in the implementation of the Agenda is crucial.” (The full text can be viewed here )

Future challenges

Clearly the challenge now lies in implementation. GADN has written elsewhere of our disappointment with the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and we are concerned about the link between this and the implementation of the SDGs.  In general funds for gender equality work have always been grossly inadequate and significantly more funds will be needed to meet the new ambitions laid out in the Declaration.  Moreover the type of funds and way they are given are vital.  A significant danger within the SDGs is the increasing role assigned to the private sector both in global decision making, and in the delivery of funds.  Such private financing is frequently inadequate and inappropriate for the achievement of gender equality and women’s rights.  Moreover the focus on corporates turns attention from the responsibility of states to take positive measures to ensure gender equality. 

Jessica Woodroffe                                                                                                                         

This document is produced by the GADN Secretariat and does not necessarily represent the views of all GADN Members

Gender and Development Network







Research Officer at the Gender and Development Network

The Gender and Development Network (GADN) is looking for a highly motivated and organised person to join our team in the role of Research Officer. We are the UK’s leading network on gender and development issues with over 100 members and an excellent track record of influencing government and supporting our members in their work to achieve gender equality and women’s rights internationally.

The Research Officer will lead our work on a new project on macro-economics and gender equality, as well as supporting the Secretariat in other areas of policy. This new post is two days a week.

Please see job description and application form. The deadline for applications is 10:00 on Monday September 14th, 2015.  For more information contact coordinator@gadnetwork.org (however please note that this email will only be checked intermittently until September 6th). Interviews will be held on September 23rd at the ActionAid offices.

Trustee vacancy at the Gender and Development Network

July 2015  

The Gender and Development Network (GADN) brings together over fifty expert NGOs, as well as consultants, academics and individuals committed to working on women’s and girls’ rights, gender, equality and international development. Our vision is of a world where social justice and gender equality prevail and where all women and girls are able to realise their rights free from discrimination. Our goal is to ensure that international development policy and practice promotes gender equality and women's and girls’ rights. Our role is to support our members by sharing information and expertise, to undertake and disseminate research, and to provide expert advice and comment on government policies and projects.

At this critical time for the international development sector, as the post-2015 framework is negotiated and we review progress made since the Beijing Platform for Action, GADN is recruiting for a new member of its Board of Trustees.  This is a fantastic opportunity for someone to be involved in the governance and future direction of our dynamic network. .  We are particularly interested in finding a new Board member with knowledge and current experience of organisational development and/or management within an international non-governmental organisation.

Download the application pack here.

How to apply

Please send a CV and covering letter outlining your relevant experience to: the GADN Coordinator (coordinator@gadnetwork.org), with ‘GADN Trustee’ in the subject line. Any enquiries regarding the vacancy should be addressed to daphne.jayasinghe@gmail.com or kanwalAhluwalia@yahoo.com.

The closing date for applications is 9am, Monday 7th September. 

Interviews will be held in London on Tuesday 15th September or Wednesday 16th September in the afternoon.

The successful candidate will be asked to participate in the October Board meeting on 6th or 14th October.

Please note that in order to contain administration costs, only those applicants shortlisted for interview will be contacted. 

For further information please visit our website at www.gadnetwork.org.uk

GADN is recruiting a consultant to work on feminist alternatives to current paradigms

The UK Gender and Development Network (GADN) is looking for a consultant to help the network further develop our understanding of feminist alternatives to current development paradigms.  We want to ensure that our short-term policy proposals are rooted in the longer term structural changes needed for gender equality, particularly as identified by marginalised women themselves.

The consultant will need to combine experience of working on gender and development, including with southern women’s rights organisations, with an understanding of the way GADN’s members work and how change happens within INGOs.  They will have to be UK based and available to attend meetings in London with network members.

Download the terms of reference here.  Application deadline is Wednesday 9th September, 2015.  Interviews will take place on September 16th by phone. For information about GADN visit www.gadnetwork.org

GADN is recruiting a new Coordinator

The Gender and Development Network (GADN) is looking for a highly motivated and organised person to join our team in the role of Coordinator. We are the UK’s leading network on gender and development issues with over 100 members and an excellent track record of influencing government and supporting our members in their work to achieve gender equality and women’s rights internationally.

The Coordinator acts as the hub of the network, coordinating and supporting the various activities of our Board, Advisory Group, Working Groups, our members, manages the financial and administrative systems and contributes to our external communications.

For more information download the job description. To apply, please download and complete the application form and return it to Francesca Rhodes - Francesca.rhodes@gadnetwork.org by 10am, Tuesday 26th May.  Please also contact Francesca with any questions about the role. Interviews will be held on Monday, 8th June.

20 years of gender mainstreaming: how can we do it better?

In 1995 at the UN International Conference on Women in Beijing, gender mainstreaming was agreed as the international strategy for achieving gender equality and women’s rights. Today, most development organisations engage in some form of gender mainstreaming - with activities to promote greater equality through mainstream policy and spending (“gender mainstreaming”) complementing targeted initiatives to promote women’s rights.

The GADN Gender Mainstreaming working group has released a briefing ''Untangling gender mainstreaming: a Theory of change based on experience and reflection'' which explores the concept and its practicalities. It draws on learning from staff with responsibility for gender mainstreaming in nine UK based international Non Governmental Organisations (INGOs) and their Southern based partner organisations; wider discussions with GADN members and women’s rights activists; as well as the personal experiences and reflections of the authors. It elaborates a Theory of Change setting out the component parts of gender mainstreaming, how these relate to each other, and how they collectively contribute towards the wider goal of gender equality and women’s and girls’ rights.

Download the briefing here and read a blog by the authors here.

Summary of positions on the post-2015 negotiations

Throughout the discussions around the post-2015 framework some major advances have been made towards the achievement of gender equality, and there are a number of proposals that we believe are essential to protect as we move towards the final deliberations. However, GADN remains concerned about various issues that are continuing to undermine the creation of a truly progressive framework strong enough to tackle the deep rooted and persistent gender inequalities that exist.

This paper summarises our position on all elements of the framework: Preamble and Political Declaration; Standalone goal; Targets; Indicators; Mainstreaming; Global Partnership and Means of Implementation (MOI); Financial MOI; Non-financial MOI and follow-Up and review. 

Summary of Positions on the post-2015 negotiations

New report: Turning Promises into Progress

Turning Promises into progress

Gender equality and rights for women and girls - lessons learnt and actions needed

Joint report with Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS UK) and the UK Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Network.

2015 represents an important moment for gender equality and women’s and girls’ rights. It is twenty years since the landmark Beijing Conference on Women and fifteen years since the ground-breaking United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security was adopted. In light of these key milestones and as the post-2015 development framework is agreed and implemented, three UK Networks have come together to assess progress.

Over the last two decades there have been many new commitments and increasing political rhetoric on gender equality and the realisation of rights for women and girls, but limited real progress in achieving either.  In our report, Turning Promises to Progress, we conclude that this is, in part, because the underlying causes of gender equality have not been addressed and there was insufficient political will to make the changes needed on the ground.  Detailed recommendations for concrete action to turn rhetoric into change are outlined throughout the report.

We are encouraged by the evidence and knowledge available globally which can be utilised to shape the best way forward and, more importantly, by the women’s movement that is now stronger than ever.  Organisations and networks worldwide are marking the anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and anniversary of UNSCR 1325 by calling on governments to account for and implement the commitments made.  These calls for action provide inspiration and recommendations that must be acted upon by international, national and civil society actors well beyond the twentieth anniversary of that landmark conference.

Download the report below:

Turning Promises into Progress - full report

We have also written a short summary briefing:

Turning Promises into Progress - Summary Briefing

Download separate issue sections

The eight issue sections of the report are available to download as separate documents below:

Women, Peace and Security

Violence Against Women and Girls

Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Women's Participation and Influence in Decision Making


Women's Economic Empowerment and Equality

Unpaid Care

Social Norms

GADN Response to UN Secretary General's Synthesis Report on Post-2015 & GADN Briefing: A World Without Violence

GADN Response to UN Secretary General's Synthesis Report on the Post-2015 Agenda

GADN has released this response to “The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet: Synthesis Report of the Secretary General on the Post-2015 Agenda”.

GADN and our members are very concerned with the approach towards gender equality within the Secretary General’s Synthesis report. Throughout the post-2015 process it has been widely recognised that gender equality should be a central ambition, and that the structural barriers to achieving this should be specifically addressed, for example with a standalone goal.

Instead the approach is reminiscent of a pre-MDGs era where women were one ‘vulnerable group’ amongst many, and gender inequality was subsumed within a cluster of other inequalities. We therefore are concerned that from the point of view of gender equality, the report lacks ambition and in some aspects is leading the debate backwards. Gender equality must be a central ambition of the Post-2015 process in order for the framework to have any hope of eradicating poverty and setting the path for a sustainable future.

GADN Briefing: A World without Violence

The Violence Against Women and Girls Working Group have released a briefing: A World Without Violence Briefing which details suggestions on how the UK government can move forward in helping to end violence against women and girls internationally. 

GADN at Beijing+20; new co-Chairs & resources for gender equality for campaining

GADN attends ‘Beijing+20: Accelerating Global Gender Equality, Pre-CSW Annual National Consultation with Women’

Members of GADN recently attended the UK Government’s annual consultation event ahead of CSW59. GADN Advisory Group member, Lee Webster, spoke on the panel discussion ‘Accelerating progress in gender equality’ with the Minister for Women and Equalities, Jo Swinson MP.

The UK Government Equalities Office has recently launched an online consultation on progress towards gender equality in the UK since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. You can share your views here.

GADN appoints two new co-Chairs

GADN is delighted to announce the appointment of our two new co-Chairs, Kanwal Ahluwalia and Daphne Jayasinghe.
We would also like to say a very heartfelt thank you to Rachel Carter (initially from Womankind and now at Amnesty) who has Chaired GADN over the last two years, during a time where we have grown rapidly and become more influential with DFID and others in the sector.  Her principled, strategic approach leaves us in a good place to take advantage of the opportunities that will arise in the coming year.

We would also like to thank Samantha French (WaterAid) for all her work as Treasurer.  She will be replaced by fellow Board Member Catherine Klirodotakou (Womankind).

New resources on integrating gender equality into campaigns

Our new briefing ‘Ten steps towards integrating gender equality into campaigns’, and our ‘Gender and Campaigning Training Pack’ are designed to support campaigners and communicators seeking to address gender equality and women's and girls’ rights more effectively in their work.

In recent years, gender equality and ‘women and girls’ have become the subject of an unprecedented focus by development actors, donor governments and the international community. Development NGOs are increasingly seeking to take up the cause of gender equality in their advocacy and campaigning, either by developing specific women’s rights campaigns, or by trying to incorporate a gender focus into other campaigns.  

However, this new commitment is not always matched by an understanding of what challenging gender inequality means in practice.  Integrating gender is sometimes difficult, especially without the right tools or expertise.  

These resources provide some of the insights and practical ideas needed to understand why and how to integrate gender equality and the rights of women and girls into international development campaigns.  

For more information about the resources, or to download the ‘Gender and Campaigning Training Pack’, click here.

New Post-2015 and Call to Action briefings for the UNGA

GADN Briefing: Gender equality and women's rights at the UN General Assembly post-2015 discussion

GADN calls on Member States to ensure that the final post-2015 framework will be an ambitious one containing all the elements needed to achieve gender equality and women’s rights. To achieve this, the framework will need to build on the positive advances made thus far in negotiations, while filling in the missing gaps.  

GADN has laid out elsewhere our full position on the post-2015 framework and the need to make gender equality and women’s rights a central issue. In this note we reflect first on the overall current state of the debate and then comment on the final Outcome Document of the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals, suggesting what could be usefully kept or improved.

GADN Briefing: UNGA Review Event on the Call to Action on Violence against Women and Girls in Emergencies

The United States has assumed leadership of the International Call to Action to address violence against women and girls (VAWG) in emergencies (‘Call to Action’).

Members of GADN welcome the leadership of the UK and US governments on GBV in emergencies. The Call to Action continues to be a crucial platform to build a coordinated approach and improve GBV emergency response on the ground across states, UN agencies and NGOs, as well as to better address gender equality in emergencies at global, regional and field levels.

While we value the progress made to date, we urge all donors and humanitarian actors participating in the Call to Action to take further steps to translate high level commitments to change on the ground, with the ultimate goal of improving the life, safety, dignity and resilience of women, girls and GBV survivors in current emergencies, including survivors of harmful practices like such as early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM).

Unpaid Care Work Briefing & GADN at Girl's Summit

GADN Unpaid Care Briefing

A target on unpaid care work has now been included in the final outcome document of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, reflecting growing awareness of its centrality to women’s rights, poverty and development. GADN sees this as a crucial step in the pursuit of gender equality and inclusive, sustainable development. Our new report provides evidence of the many benefits of tackling women’s disproportionate burden of unpaid care work, and suggests practical proposals for implementation and indicators for measuring progress.

Girl Summit

On the 22nd July the UK Government hosted the Girl Summit which aimed to tackle Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Child, Early and Forced Marriage (CEFM). In the run up to and following the Summit, GADN members have written various statements to welcome this landmark event, and to suggest ways to ensure the commitments made are effective. A selection is below:

Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict & Girl Summit

Girl Summit

On the 22nd July 2014, the UK Government and UNICEF are hosting the Girl Summit that aims to tackle female genital mutilation (FGM) and child, early and forced marriage (CEFM). GADN held a members meeting this month to discuss the summit and main policy issues with DFID, Orchid Project, Girls Not Brides and ODI. GADN has also prepared this briefing which includes information on the summit, the issues of FGM and CEFM and makes recommendations for the summit.

GADN Briefing - Girl Summit
Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict

The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict took place on June 10th – 13th in London. GADN co-hosted an event with the Department for International Development (DFID) on violence against women and girls and the post-2015 framework. Speakers Rt. Hon Justine Greening, Naila Kabeer, Ruth Ochieng and Bandana Rana confirmed support for a strong standalone goal on gender equality and mainstreaming of gender throughout the post-2015 framework.

GADN's panel discussion at the ESVC Summit

Photo credit: Mayeesha Jamil for GAD Network


Our VAWG and Humanitarian working groups are now considering how best to follow up on the outcomes of the summit with the FCO and other stakeholders.

Photos from our event and some of the others are available here

GADN & DFID to hold a panel discussion on VAWG in the post-2015 framework

The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict is taking place next week, June 10th – 13th June in London. The summit will be the largest ever event on this topic and aims to create irreversible momentum against sexual violence in conflict and drive practical action that will make an impact. Womankind Worldwide have written this blog explaining more about the summit and how you can be involved.

GADN members have been busy preparing for the summit and are running a wide range of events at the summit fringe, which is open and free for all to attend. A full programme of events is available here, and we have pulled together this list of GADN member events.

GADN and the UK Department for International Development are hosting a panel discussion on Violence Against Women and Girls, and Gender Peace and Security in the Post-2015 framework, with the Rt. Hon Justine Greening, Naila Kabeer, Ruth Ochieng and Bandana Rana as speakers. This event is taking place on June 12th, 12-1.15pm in Discussion Room 4, ExCel London.

Throughout the week, follow GADN and our members for updates and join the conversation on Twitter, using #TimeToAct.

GADN Strategy 2014-17

The Gender and Development Network (GADN) has recently carried out a strategic review to evaluate the implementation of our strategy for 2011-14 and to feed into our new strategy for 2014-17, which was approved by our Board of Trustees in April.

The GADN Strategy 2014-17 has been designed to continue with the successful areas of our work and address the issues raised by the strategic review. We are looking forward to working with GADN members on all of the opportunities we have in the next three years to raise gender equality and women’s rights in the development agenda and supporting members to share experiences and undertake effective work.

GADN Strategy 2014-17

Our vision is of a world where social justice and gender equality prevail and where all women and girls are able to realise their rights, free from discrimination.

Our mission is to relieve poverty and promote well being by ensuring that international development policy and practice promotes gender equality and women and girls’ rights. Our role is to improve the impact that UK development and donor organisations have on the lives of women and girls in developing countries, by ensuring that their international development work promotes gender equality and women and girls’ rights.

The following strategic aims will guide the network’s work for 2014-2017. Each aim has equal importance.

  • To support and increase the capacity of members to deliver effectively on gender equality and women’s and girls’ rights in development
  • To deepen the understanding of, and commitment to, women’s and girls’ rights and gender equality throughout the UK international development sector.
  • To strengthen the UK Government’s commitment, policy and practice on women’s and girls’ rights and gender equality in its international work
  • To promote alternatives to current international development agendas
  • To maintain a strong, effective and inclusive network  in order to achieve our mission and objectives

Engaging Men & Boys; GADN at CSW58

Members meeting on men and boys
GADN recently held a members meeting on the topic of men and boys with presentations from Bethan Cansfield, Womankind Worldwide, Nikki van der Gaag, an independent consultant, and Jerker Edstrom, IDS. The presentations and notes from the meeting will be circulated to members in the next few days, but if you would like to see them and you are not a member, please send a request to Francesca.

The 58th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women
GADN and members attended CSW58 in March. Two blog posts have been shared by GADN to reflect on the negotiations – CSW58 – reflections on week one and Initial reflections on CSW 58 after week two. Overall, this year’s CSW has been seen as a qualified success. The reference to a standalone gender goal is excellent and will help further engagement in the post-2015 process. There are references throughout to gender equality, and the human rights of women and girls, which was on the table for deletion at one point, and close to the best agreed language of sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, and sexual and reproductive health services. References to sovereignty and sex selection didn’t make it to the final text and the references to family are weaker than the opposition wanted. But we did not move the agenda as far forward as was hoped. Most of the discussions were a rear-guard action to protect what we have and the space to open up a more progressive conversation on women’s rights was limited. You can read more in our two blog posts.

GADN co-hosts 'Transform her Future' with DfID, Plan UK and Girls Not Brides

GADN co-hosted the event 'Transform her Future' which saw the Rt. Hon Justine Greening, Secretary of State for International Development, deliver a keynote speech to mark International Women's Day. The speech reaffirmed DfID's commitment to ending violence against women and girls and to tackling the discriminatory social norms that cause gender inequality. Other speakers such as Rachel Carter, GADN Chair, welcomed this and highlighted the need to transform the norms and values which enable violence against women and girls. The full speech is available to read here and a film of the event here.

GADN co-hosts 'Transform her Future' with DfID, Plan UK and Girls Not Brides

GADN recently co-hosted the event 'Transform her Future' which saw the Rt. Hon Justine Greening, Secretary of State for International Development, deliver a keynote speech to mark International Women's Day. The speech reaffirmed DfID's commitment to ending violence against women and girls and to tackling the discriminatory social norms that cause gender inequality. The inclusion of a standalone goal on gender equality in the post-2015 framework was also highlighted as priority for the department, as was working to end the harmful practices of early and forced marriage and FGM. Other speakers such as Rachel Carter, GADN Chair, welcomed this and highlighted the need to transform the norms and values which enable violence against women and girls. The full speech is available to read here and a film of the event here.

GADN submits response to The International Development committee’s inquiry on Disability and Development

Members of the GADN coordinated a response to the inquiry on disability and development, highlighting the need to address the needs of disabled women in policy and programming.

Biases against gender and disability combine to form some of the most severe forms of marginalisation and discrimination. However, they are often treated as separate issues. This double discrimination excludes disabled women and girls from accessing education, health care, employment and economic resources while exposing them to heightened rates of violence and abuse.

The submission outlined how disabled women and girls are slipping through the cracks in in the UK and internationally. A successful DFID approach to gender and disability must mainstream the two issues across its structures, policies, and programmes within an overarching commitment to disability-inclusive development. This includes collecting gender disaggregated data, including disabled women and their perspectives, supporting empowerment of and leadership by disabled women, evaluating assumptions about feasibility, and monitoring progress.
Members of GADN who are interested on working on gender and disability are welcome to join a new working group for this area. Please email Francesca Francesca.rhodes@gadnetwork.org.uk for more details.

Gender Mainstreaming – discussion on gender training

The Gender Mainstreaming working group recently held a meeting to discuss gender trainings. The group looked at why we do these trainings, when they are appropriate and how to make them effective and supportive of long lasting change. The key recommendations drawn from the meeting were:

  • Look for training to be creating transformational change, not just about technical experts. We should be looking to reframe ‘gender training’ towards ‘gender justice and gender equality’.

  • We are part of a global gender justice movement, and any training should be towards supporting this. Should have strong ambition.

  • Trainings should not be seen as a process which will get finished and accomplished in its aims quickly, they will always require an on-going process towards achieving gender equality.

  • Being aware of the context and where the participants are coming from is important. For organisations - gender analysis within them is important.

  • When training for an organisation, involving the leadership is key– talk to the CEO and Trustees and involve them in the planning

  • Technology can be used creatively to disseminate information

Working Group updates:

Key updates from across the network at the start of 2014:

  • The Girls Education working group are meeting in late January to discuss and formulate a position on gender and education in the post-2015 framework

  • The Violence Against Women and Girls working group are meeting in Feb to share updates and discuss on-going joint work and briefings, including a FAQs document on violence against men and boys.

  • The Post-2015 working group is working on resources to help shape gender targets and indicators in the new framework.

‘Harmful Traditional Practices, Your Questions: Our Answers’ - new GADN publication

The GADN Violence Against Women and Girls working group have just launched a new publication; ‘Harmful Traditional Practices, Your Questions: Our Answers’. The report brings together the expertise of our members working on FGM/ C and child marriage, and provides an overview of the causes and consequences of these practices. The report also provides examples of approaches and programmes which are successfully reducing their prevalence.
The report was launched at an event hosted by DFID on the final day the 16 Days of activism against violence against women and girls and Human Rights Day. A panel of speakers featuring Minister Lynne Featherstone, Princess Mabel van Oranje of Girls Not Brides, Naana Otoo-Oyortey MBE of FORWARD and James Lang of Partners for Prevention discussed the topic of 'Why is violence against women and girls so ingrained and how can we prevent it?' The panel was chaired by Rachel Carter, Chair of GADN. The event was recorded, please contact Francesca if you would like to view it.
The project was co-managed by FORWARD and GADN and supported by members of the group including Islamic Relief Worldwide, Womankind, World Vision, Tearfund, Orchid Project, 28 Too Many and Plan. It is a follow on  ‘Violence Against Women and Girls, Your Questions: Our Answers’


GADN recently attended a UK Government and UK civil society joint preparatory meeting for the 58th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). The theme of CSW next year is Challenges and Achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls, and will include discussions on the post-2015 framework. GADN is beginning to prepare for CSW and to link and support members who are attending, if you would like to know more about this please get in touch.

GADN working group update


Our working groups bring members together around thematic areas to collaborate on projects and share resources, learning and experiences. We currently have the following groups:

Key updates from the groups this month are:

  • Jessica Woodroffe, GADN Director recently spoke with Naila Kabeer on the topic of ensuring gender equality is built into post-2015 development framework at The Changing Shape of Gender Equality in South Asia: Shifts, Challenges and a New Global Partnership.
  • The Girls Education Working Group met to discuss the key findings from a DFID commissioned Literature review ‘Interventions to enhance girls’ education and gender equality’ conducted by the Institute of Education. A presentation prepared for the meeting is available here. The full report will be released by DFID in the coming months.
  • The VAWG group is working on a publication on harmful traditional practices, bringing together member’s expertise on FGM/C and child marriage. This will be launched at an event in the 16 days of activism against violence against women and girls later this year. The group is also looking to organise a training course on VAWG in early 2014.