Gender at Work has honed a Gender Action-Learning process (GAL) to address women’s rights and gender equality within civil society organisations, international organizations and other development institutions. The process is built on adult learning principles and values reflective space, recognizing that reflection on both the self and on organizational practice is a key tool for learning and effective action. Another key factor in the Gender Action-Learning process is the ability for people to work together and to learn from each other.
Gender at Work partners with organizations around the world that have recognized the limits of traditional gender mainstreaming approaches and are seeking alternatives. The Gender at Work approach promotes women’s empowerment and gender equality through addressing institutional norms and rules (both stated and implicit) that maintain women’s unequal position in societies.
These institutional rules determine who gets what, what counts, who does what and who decides. They include values that maintain the gendered division of labor, prohibitions on women owning land, restrictions on women’s mobility and perhaps most fundamentally, the devaluing of reproductive and care work. Institutional rules are lived out through organizations which are the social structures that exist in any society.
Through the Gender Action Learning process, we attempt to combine feminist thinking and practice with insights from organizational development, to build internal cultures of equality and transform cultural norms that support achieving gender equality and social justice.
Since the formation of Gender at Work in the 1990s, we have worked with a range of organizations, including international development groups, labor unions, governments, women’s networks and community based organizations in India, Southern Africa and the Horn of Africa.