The power of narratives: Explaining inaction on gender mainstreaming in Uganda's climate change policy
Acosta, M.F. ; Wessel, M.G.J. van; Bommel, S. van; Ampaire, Edidah L. ; Jassogne, Laurence ; Feindt, P.H. - \ 2019
Development Policy Review (2019). - ISSN 0950-6764 - p. 1 - 27.
Expectations that gender‐mainstreaming efforts would effectively advance gender equality have been disappointed in contemporary sub‐Saharan Africa. Examining this apparent disconnect, we focus on the narratives through which policy‐makers relate to, and dis/engage with, gender issues. Using in‐depth interviews and stakeholder meetings, our multi‐step analysis identifies story episodes from which we reconstruct stories and narratives. The analysis reveals a complex ecology of 22 stories, clustered in five main narratives. While most stories unfold a gender equality narrative, four competing narratives emerge. Shifts during conversations from the gender equality to other narratives reveal that the discursive engagement with gender mainstreaming is accompanied by simultaneous resistance, deconstruction and revocation. These narrative shifts exercise four distinct power effects: They (1) shift blame for ineffective gender implementation; (2) legitimize policy inaction; (3) foreground and naturalize patriarchy; and (4) promote the diversion of resources. The implicit communicative strategies exercise power through ideas (persuade listeners that the equality narrative is inappropriate), power over ideas (gender equality ideas are rejected or frustrated) and power in ideas (entrenched patriarchy ideas are reproduced). Attention to ideational power through policy narrative contributes to explain implementation issues with gender mainstreaming in Uganda, and is likely to be relevant beyond this case.
Gender in climate change, agriculture, and natural resource policies: insights from East Africa
Ampaire, Edidah L. ; Acosta, Mariola ; Huyer, Sofia ; Kigonya, Ritah ; Muchunguzi, Perez ; Muna, Rebecca ; Jassogne, Laurence - \ 2019
Climatic Change (2019). - ISSN 0165-0009
Gender mainstreaming was acknowledged as an indispensable strategy for achieving gender equality at the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action. Since then, governments have made substantial efforts in developing gender-responsive policies and implementation strategies. The advent of climate change and its effects, which have continued to impact rural livelihoods and especially food security, demands that gender mainstreaming efforts are accelerated. Effective gender mainstreaming requires that gender is sufficiently integrated in policies, development plans, and implementation strategies, supported by budgetary allocations. This study analyzes the extent of gender integration in agricultural and natural resource policies in Uganda and Tanzania, and how gender is budgeted for in implementation plans at district and lower governance levels. A total of 155 policy documents, development plans, and annual action plans from national, district, and sub-county/ward levels were reviewed. In addition, district and sub-county budgets for four consecutive financial years from 2012/2013 to 2015/2016 were analyzed for gender allocations. Results show that whereas there is increasing gender responsiveness in both countries, (i) gender issues are still interpreted as “women issues,” (ii) there is disharmony in gender mainstreaming across governance levels, (iii) budgeting for gender is not yet fully embraced by governments, (iii) allocations to gender at sub-national level remain inconsistently low with sharp differences between estimated and actual budgets, and (iv) gender activities do not address any structural inequalities. We propose approaches that increase capacity to develop and execute gender-responsive policies, implementation plans, and budgets.