Gender and Rights: our Quick Guides to success

Gender, Governance, Methodology, Rights

How can you incorporate gender considerations into humanitarian, development and campaigns work? As Jemma Stringer explains, if you’re pushed for time reading a Quick Guide would be a good start.

Colleagues regularly ask me about tools and guides on including gender considerations in their work. I have two answers. My long answer is: do your research – read this or that theoretical book on approaches to gender analysis, consult one of our many insightful reports on our programmatic learning, look at our range of great toolkits – and then consider which approach is most relevant to your needs and context. My short answer is: check out these Quick Guides.

Collecting qualitative gender sensitive indicators. This week, I spoke to a colleague in Haiti about how Oxfam is working with local NGO partners to ensure that women’s needs are built into post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction advocacy work.

Although things were going well, incorporating women’s specific needs into advocacy was progressing more slowly than expected. I assumed that perhaps it was external pressure, different priorities, or even lack of import placed on women’s rights; however, I was totally wrong. The reason for the slow progress was simply a lack of time.

These partners recognised that the needs of women and men were often different, understood the significance of having a deeper understanding of these differences in each of the contexts in which they worked, and appreciated the importance of supporting the realisation of women’s rights. The only barrier was time – the time to learn what changes were needed in their work, and the time to learn how to implement those changes.

This possession of the will to effect change, but lack of time to implement the way, is something we can all relate to.As I listened I realised that this possession of the will to effect change, but lack of time to implement the way, is something we can all relate to.

In our busy lives we all need something that will give us the headlines, tell us the basics, and flag up the key points in the time we have got available, which is often very little – a snatched 5 minutes here, a quick tea break there. And that’s why I love Oxfam’s Quick Guides – they do exactly this!

The Quick Guides to Gender Analysis, Gender Sensitive Indicators, Women’s Participation, and Rights-based Approaches, were developed
for Oxfam staff and partners to help them understand key principles around gender justice and the rights-based approach.

Collecting qualitative gender sensitive indicatorsIn places like Haiti, where Oxfam and its partners share a vital commitment to gender justice, but lack the time to progress quickly towards their goal, these Quick Guides provide the added knowledge and confidence needed start making it happen, whether in the planning, implementing or monitoring of their work.

The guides have been so useful that we have decided to share them on this site for the wider development community. They will provide you with a clear overview, allowing you to get started on incorporating gender justice and rights-based approaches into your work. What’s more, if you do find the time to delve deeper, there are also plenty of links to useful further reading.

We sometimes put too much pressure on ourselves to know it all, but in reality, there just aren’t enough hours in the day. So pop the kettle on, download a Quick Guide, and build the foundations for incorporating gender justice and rights-based approaches into your work in a fantastic five minutes!

Read more

Download the Quick Guides: Gender AnalysisGender Sensitive IndicatorsWomen’s Participation, and Rights-based

Download our Research Guidelines


  • Charitable at home in Haiti, she has four children and is pregnant with a fifth. Her house collapsed into a heap of rubble during the earthquake. Now, she’s re-opened her small restaurant business in a makeshift spot across the street. Credit: Toby Adamson/Oxfam
  • Gathering qualitative and quantitative data from the Quick Guide to Gender-Sensitive Indicators

Author: Jemma Stringer
Archive blog. Originally posted on Oxfam Policy & Practice.