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Training for Gender Equality: A Review for Beijing +25

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UN Women Training Centre

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The overall aim of this paper is to help strengthen understanding of training as a strategy to achieve transformative change for gender equality, rather than an instrumental or transactional activity. This involves reflecting on what has worked well and what challenges remain. In the context of the Beijing+25 review, the paper explores how training for gender equality has evolved from the Beijing Platform for Action in 1995 to the present day. Through an analysis of a range of relevant documents including regional reports and the Secretary General report the review maps out key developments and issues in training for gender equality. The paper is aimed at gender trainers and specialists but may also be useful for decision makers and development practitioners working on gender equality.

A decline in gender-transformative approaches to training can be identified since 2005, in favour of more transactional and instrumental approaches. In many cases, power relations are not explicitly tackled in training design, implementation and evaluation. This needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency in order to reclaim the transformative potential of training to contribute to gender equality across all critical areas of concern, as well as a broader gender mainstreaming project. The paper develops recommendations in line with the Secretary General’s Report of the 25-year review – by thematic area and by cross-cutting priorities for action. In conclusion, the paper argues that training should be acknowledged as a key component of gender-transformative change.