How to Do a Gender Analysis: Practical Guidance for the UN Community

Authored by: Phoebe Donnelly

Categories: Human Rights, Violent Conflict
Sub-Categories: Countering Violent Extremism, Violent Extremism
Region: No Region
Year: 2021
Citation: Donnelly, Phoebe. "How to Do a Gender Analysis: Practical Guidance for the UN Community." International Peace Institute. February 2021.

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Executive Summary

Feminist activists have long called for the United Nations community, including member states and UN agencies, to incorporate a “gender perspective” or use a “gender analysis” in their work. In particular, there has been a link between the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda and policies on countering violent extremism (CVE). For example, UN Security Council resolution 2242, the WPS resolution focused on CVE, advocates for a “gender analysis,” “gender perspective,” and “gender-sensitive research” throughout the resolution. Though the inclusion of such language in resolutions is important, many within the UN community are not clear on what a gender analysis entails. While a general understanding of gender as having to do with men and women exists, this is not enough guidance for conducting a gender analysis or gender-sensitive research.

This report frames a gender analysis as a mapping exercise with multiple steps occurring at the same time. The mapping exercise can be applied to understanding gender dynamics within environments where violent extremist organizations (VEOs) are operating. These steps include: asking questions; tracing power dynamics; recognizing intersectional identities; accounting for context; and challenging existing knowledge and conventions.