How to mainstream “gender” into the “gender-neutral” Rural Development Policy? (2004)

Difficulties and prospects from an evaluators view

When talking about policies referring to a spatial dimension, this usually denotes regional policy, regional planning policy and sector-specific policies closely linked to these – e.g. industrial policy, infrastructure policy and structural policy. This view often neglects the fact that all policy areas are principally characterised by some sort of relation with space. As a result, sector policy measures frequently have considerable effects – often “unexpected side products” on spatial relations. Due to the different complex life situations of women and men – the varying degrees of involvement in gainful employment and care-giving work, divergent access to mobility, differing incomes, different skills, etc. – political measures and instruments impact on women and men in different ways. However, the implementation of gendersensitive measures and instruments is not yet regarded as a priority problem by the mostly male actors in many relevant areas of sector policies. Rural development policy should become more aware of the gender images underlying its programmes and measures. In particular, women are to be identified as a potential for rural and regional development and as capable actors in the policy process. There is also a lack of detailed data at the regional level as well as of financial resources and time on the part of gender policy experts to enable them to clarify the gender-based relevance of planned interventions and to assess the effects of individual measures on the status of equality between women and men.



BF86/02, BF95/04, FF28