Is Gender Only A Woman's Issue?
IS GENDER ONLY A WOMAN'S ISSUE? BREAKING STEREOTYPES IN THE PROGRAM ENVIRONMENT
Tuesday, 19 November, 2013
Presenter: Batamaka Somé, Gender Advisor, World Food Programme, Purchase for Progress (P4P); Moderator: Kristi Tabaj, Gender Advisor, TOPS
The word gender – which represents men, women, boys, and girls – is often associated with women and girls. Those providing technical support in programming are mostly women. Gender integration, perhaps, is often thought to be a women’s topic. So what happens when a gender advisor is a man? Initially there is some confusion, but eventually there is a genuine discussion about a man’s role in the gender dialogue. Batamaka Somé, Gender Consultant for WFP’s Purchase For Progress program, shared some of his experiences as well as tips for breaking down stereotypes about gender in programming and the working environment.
Batamaka said people often assume he is a woman, and they question whether he should be working in the gender field. He explained that donors usually want to see women in the gender-related jobs, and people think if women are not in these roles, the organization is not working in gender.
Participants discussed if gender should be a cross-cutting issue or standalone. They also mentioned that gender is not just a women’s issue, and men need to be included in discussions, for example about reproductive health.