Yes, I am, and will be here until Sunday. I am currently participating in the Gender Evaluation Methodology workshop, GEM for short. This methodology will help us researchers in determining whether ICTs, that’s Information and Communication Technologies, are improving women’s lives and gender relations as well as promoting positive change at the individual, institutional, community and broader social levels.
ICT use is increasing everywhere. ICTs, however, can also pose a potential threat to women. ICTs can be used in ways that replicate or perpetuate gender stereotypes and biases, and can have unintended negative impacts. The GEM Tool provides an evaluation methodology for organisations like IDRC wanting to learn about how their projects, specifically the iREACH Project, change gender roles and relations in communities and how these changes impact on women’s lives.
– GEM Guide
For us staff of the iREACH project, our capacities will be developed in gender-sensitive project monitoring and evaluation. The training will equip us with basic gender and development concepts to enable us to determine gender indicators for project outputs and outcomes and ultimately developing a gender policy for iREACH project that can include criteria for women and men’s participation in project implementation and management.
I know, these stuffs sound foreign to most, my apologies 😀
I think it would be interesting how this workshop goes because, apart from myself, all the field staff are men! There were female applicants short-listed during the recruitment period and all of them preferred to work in Phnom Penh and declined the job offer. Although I have no problems with the all-male field staff (they are all wonderful to work with and are all promising and bursting with enthusiasm to work in the rural area), I still wish there are other female staff. I am curious… will I see changes in how the male staff see women after this workshop? Will this mean we will be more aware of gender issues in the community? That we will see.
Earlier today, we reviewed all current information and data related to gender that have been so far collected from our baseline survey and PRA. Right now, the facilitators are bombarding us with gender concepts, GEM principles, quantitative and qualitative indicators, gender analysis, among others, and I think our brains are frantically pushing its many compartments to make space for these new knowledge.
On the other side of the room, Sothea, the researcher from Kamchai Mear pilot area is staunchly lobbying for the inclusion of a half-day field trip to Angkor Wat, where he says, jokingly, there are gender-related issues that could be identified there and cited the apsaras (referring to the heavenly dancers carved in the temple walls) to support his case. He pouted like a five year old child when he was rebuffed. However, he was appeased when our all-female trainers (from the Philippines and Malaysia) told him that they will look into the workshop schedule and see if it can be accommodated.
Ok, back to workshop now before they catch me sneaking this post :D.