Mainstreaming Gender or “Streaming” Gender Away: Feminists Marooned in the Development Business

  • Maitrayee Mukhopadhyay


This article is about taking stock of experiences of mainstreaming gender. It addresses two related concerns. First, that after three decades of feminist activism in the field of development — both at the level of theory and practice — most development institutions have still to be constantly reminded of the need for gender analysis in their work, policymakers have to be lobbied to “include” the “g” word and even our own colleagues need convincing that integrating a gender analysis makes a qualitative difference. Second, by constantly critiquing their own strategies, feminist advocates have changed their approaches, but institutional change continues to be elusive (except in a few corners). Gender and development advocates cannot be faulted for their technical proficiency.1 Making a case for gender and development, developing and implementing training programmes, frameworks, planning tools and even checklists, unpacking organizational development and change from a gender perspective, have all contributed to building technical capacity and pushed forward technical processes for the integration of gender equality concerns in development. The literature also acknowledges that gender equality is as much a political as a technical project and efforts have been directed towards creating “voice” and influence, lobbying and advocacy.


Gender Equality Development Business Household Food Security Gender Analysis Political Project 
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  • Maitrayee Mukhopadhyay

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