What works for gender equality and women’s empowerment – a review of practices and results

Evaluation synthesis

The Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) has just released the evaluation synthesis report “What works for gender equality and women’s empowerment – a review of practices and results”. The report intends to support learning on what practices work for gender equality and women’s empowerment (GEWE) and under what conditions in the context of rural development and the agricultural sector. The report identifies transformative GEWE practices that should be further promoted and scaled up under the Agenda 2030.

The evaluation synthesis provides a conceptual framework for gender-transformative practices and changes in IFAD. It presents a systematic review of gender practices and results documented in IOE evaluations since 2010, drawing from a sample of 57 IOE reports. The review identified 121 GEWE practices, classified into four main areas: access to resources and opportunities, reducing time poverty, creating an enabling environment, and enhancing women’s and men’s awareness, consciousness and confidence.

The review identifies practices that have made an effective contribution to transformative change. They addressed root causes of gender inequality and women’s powerlessness, in particular illiteracy, exclusion from access to resources and limited social capital. Participatory approaches and capacity-building had a clear impact on women’s self-esteem, status and recognition, and in a number of cases challenged gender roles and power relations. But the report also highlights that policy engagement on gender is a critical element to support transformative change but has not yet received sufficient attention.


06 March 2017