The purpose of the paper was to understand the effectiveness of evaluation programs that assess initiatives for gender equality. This paper is a literature study on evidence published in existing academic literature on the various conceptualizations of gender equality within the development context.
The main finding was that there were many different ways of conceputalizing gender equality depending on the perspective taken (e.g. economic, psychological, feminist development, human development, etc.) It is important to consider the lens that is being taken, as they all imply unique ways on monitoring and evaluating change.
This research was conducted using a systematic literature review, in which existing literature and discussions with scholars working in the same space were used as data. 52 papers and their reference lists on the topic of gender equality assessment programs were explored using a software program that mapped out various clusters of citations. These clusters informed the way that gender equality assessment was conceptualized.
The focus of the paper was on assessments, rather than gender equality itself. Understanding how people conceptualize assessment requires boiling down/simplifying complex topics to a point where they may not represent a more complete and complex reality of the situation.
|Conceptualization||How do people think or define, often implicitly, concepts for themselves.|
|Assessment||How programs evaluate or define a situation, usually done through research.|
|Gender equality||Tearing down of inequalities that perpetuate women’s barriers to being able to have equal access to roles and opportunities as men, and to make their own decisions (i.e. the definition in the Beijing platform for Action 1995)|