Gender equality in European Union development policy : incorporating women's voices or confirming hierarchies?
Faculty of Social Sciences. Political Sciences
Afrika focus / Afrika-Vereniging Rijksuniversiteit Gent. - Gent, 1985, currens
, p. 31-45
This paper examines gender mainstreaming in European Union (EU) development aid towards Sub-Saharan Africa. The aim is to detect how gender (in)equality in Sub-Saharan Africa is framed by the EU by critically assessing the nature and range of the differences between EU and civil society framings of gender (in)equality in Sub-Saharan Africa. Using the method of Critical Frame Analysis, 28 EU programming documents have been analysed and compared to 10 civil society texts on gender equality. I conclude that the EUs approach to gender mainstreaming in its development aid towards Sub-Saharan Africa is to a large extent integrationist and predominantly instrumentalist as it is framed as a way of more effectively achieving existing policy goals. The more transformative issues that are put forward by Sub-Saharan African civil society organisations do not fit within the EUs dominant development paradigm that is focused on achieving the Millennium Development Goals and does not significantly challenge gender relations or power structures. The gap between the analysed civil society views and those expressed by the EU can be explained by the EUs reluctance to include in its policy drafting the promotion of gender equality by civil society organisations. Moreover, the gap seems to have both practical and ideological grounds.