Levels and opportunities for gender transformative approaches
Taking into account the structure and conception of the NIPN, there are opportunities where gender can be considered, including gender-transformative approaches at different levels of the project cycle, including the organisational culture.
• Political will and institutional awareness: NIPN platforms rely on the institutional and political commitments of their respective countries. Suggesting recommendations that include budget allocations from a gender equality perspective (i.e., investing in studies that address the root causes of women’s/girls’ malnutrition or how gender roles are affecting access to food and development) will contribute to discussions between ministries and partners aimed at increasing investments to support gender-responsive actions and ultimately include GTA into their interventions. Bringing about structural changes, especially at the institutional level, requires a deeper review of internal processes as these might exclude or inadequately consider the rights of girls and women.
• Building leadership within the implementing partners’ organisation. Identifying gaps regarding gender expertise and analysing the principles of the NIPN implementing partner (IPs) organisations should be the first step, before extending into governmental institutions. NIPN teams may need capacity building to identify gender gaps and opportunities in questions formulation, data management, analysis and dissemination. The NIPN team can then network with governmental counterparts to share ideas and experiences, as well as facilitate cross-organisational dialogue, outline concrete strategies, practices and lessons learned to gain a common understanding of gender approaches and the value of addressing gender inequalities.
It is important that the organisation’s staff, contractors and partners are committed to gender equality principles and are able to call on expert support to promote the empowerment of women and girls through the programmes they manage.
• Refine data, evidence and measurements related to gender. More data and evidence on nutrition-related gender issues are needed. This includes measurements that capture the relationship between gender roles and inequalities in malnutrition status and food and nutrition security. The NIPN platform can generate evidence on how women’s and girls’ empowerment can contribute to the fight against malnutrition and food and nutrition insecurity.
• NIPN platform teams might have the capacity to create tools that can reveal gender inequalities and help direct attention to the most effective interventions through communications with key actors.
• Support partners to strengthen data/information systems at disaggregated level, promoting a systematic intersectional approach to generating, tracking, analysing and using disaggregated data (i.e., data broken down into detailed sub-categories), such as on diets, anthropometry, micronutrient status and other outcomes, down to the local level by sex, age, wealth group, education, location, ethnicity, disability and other context-specific disadvantaged groups.
• Ensure a situational analysis with a gender approach. Analyse the causes of malnutrition and food and nutrition insecurity and their relationship with gender inequalities, identify the most disadvantaged groups and understand differential needs and access to services.
• Place girls and women at the centre of programming efforts. The latest users or beneficiaries of the NIPN platform are best positioned to provide feedback on their preferred nutritional interventions, gaps and bottlenecks related to gender inequalities in nutrition.
NIPN can play a role in advocating for a better consideration of girls and women within nutrition programming by: i) supporting the identification of data that excludes gender perspectives; ii) sharing this information in its communications with decision makers; and iii) developing gender-oriented recommendations for future actions.
Programmes and policy decisions that address income-generating activities for women, support jobs with caregiving (workplace childcare) or empower women to develop a business will decrease the gender gap in nutrition and food insecurity and contribute to achieve gender equality.
Note: approaches to women’s empowerment, should in the longer-term, move from focussing on the division between men and women to addressing broader social norms and contexts.