2.4 Project Conception
The information obtained earlier must play a role in the
formulation phase, when measures are conceived and the implementation of
the project is planned.
In particular, while cultural and traditional mores should be respected, those aspects of traditional gender roles which limit or prevent the individual, societal, and political development of women should be targeted for elimination. The degree of gender-equity achieved in Europe was also unthinkable a few decades ago. In many project countries, men forbid their wives to take part in project activities, or represent women in cooperatives, because women are not allowed to leave their homes without a male escort. Women frequently require the permission of their husbands to participate in project activities. Under such conditions, not only should measures be undertaken to enlighten the men, but local women, engaged as temporary experts or local staff, should direct project activities. Potential female out-reach personnel should also be identified, to facilitate contact with a wider spectrum of women.
In addition to the aforementioned socio-cultural factors, the many pressures placed on women, including child-rearing, house work, and employment, make their participation in project activities difficult or even impossible, especially when measures last several days and take place at a distance from their homes. Events must be carefully organized, so as not to jeopardize the attainment of the project aims, by taking into account, for instance, how much time women have at their disposal, the provision of child-care, and the proximity of the event facility.
In order to motivate women to take part in project activities, despite the many obstacles to participation, the issues and topics must be chosen with an eye to their interests. The analysis and assessment of problems as well as the development of solutions must ensue a women's point of view. The topics for discussion should therefore not be restricted to the classical "women's issues", and should be defined flexibly so as to allow the tackling of new issues.
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