Talking Gender


A blog about gender, culture and organizational change

By Gender at Work Media / August 7, 2015 / Loading Disqus...

What happens when a friend is accused of sexual harassment in the workplace? Watch Kalyani Menon-Sen, an activist based in India and a Gender at Work associate, tell this powerful story.


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Nine women’s rights activists enthralled the audience packing the Netherlands Permanent Mission to the UN on the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women. They performed passionate stories about personal and professional struggles with discrimination, violence and the power dynamics at play. Read more here.

Gender at Work and the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex jointly held a course, Doing Gender, in June, at the University of Sussex. Watch this short video created by Aditi Bhonagiri to find out how it went!

Global Fund for Women, a nonprofit grantmaking foundation that advances women's human rights worldwide, uses the Gender at Work Framework to measure social change. Watch this video to see how they do it!

By Gender at Work Media / February 20, 2015 / Loading Disqus...

Through its Capacity Development program in India, Gender At Work supported a group of women and men leaders of grassroots NGOs to explore the gender and power dynamics within their organizations and evolve strategies for gender transformation. After an initial workshop to arrive at a common framework for understanding gender issues in organizational settings, participants designed and implemented change projects in their own organizations, then met again to share their lessons and learn from each others' experiences.

In India, as in most other cultures, story-telling is a familiar method of teaching and learning.  In many Indian folk-tales, the preceptor begins a story that poses a philosophical or ethical dilemma, challenging the student to take the narrative forward and resolve the conundrum in a way that upholds the moral, ethical or legal principle in question. Stories and story-telling continue to be widely used  to encourage deep reflection on complicated concepts and abstract ideas, or to validate precepts and principles by grounding them in everyday reality.

The G@W program was structured around peer-learning. Story-telling became the method of choice for the group to delve deeper into change processes. Change stories were fleshed out collectively through a process of critical questioning. Questions from the listeners helped story-tellers to re-examine elements of the change process that had been edited out from the first telling, endowing them with new significance. Often, a question rooted in the experience  of one organization became an “a-ha moment” for another, resulting in an entirely new angle to on the change process.  Telling and re-telling these stories added rich layers of detail and complexity to the understanding of change, throwing into sharp relief the ways in which personal histories, values, beliefs and ways of being and doing contributed to building the organizational culture and shaped its trajectory.

To close the program, we invited participants to create digital stories of each others' personal journeys. Along with giving participants a chance to learn a useful skill and honing the craft of building stories through asking questions, this process also resulted in a bouquet of engaging and inspiring life stories that we are happy and proud to share with a wider audience.       

As one participant put it, “I felt so proud when I saw the film that my partner made about my life – in telling my story, I realized how strong I am, how many battles I have fought and won....” 

By Gender at Work Media / November 14, 2014 / Loading Disqus...

This is a video (in Portuguese) of the Gender Action Learning process we conducted inMozambique with 26 people of the Union of Rural Workers of Cabo Delgado with support from Oxfam Solidarité Belgium e Oxfam Canada. The process ran for 18 months and was facilitated by Solange Rocha. 


By Gender at Work Media / September 30, 2014 / Loading Disqus...

We had a great time at The TMI Project workshop last month. Here's one of the moments!


By Gender at Work Media / September 18, 2014 / Loading Disqus...

Freedom Traveller is a project that encourages women's mobility in countries where their freedom  is limited or curtailed. It was one of the winners of our End Gender Discrimination Now! Contest which invited ideas and stories on gender innovation and change from around the world. We have great reason to bring this up now—Momal Mushtaq, the person behind this great idea, has been featured by TEDx and we're thrilled to share her talk with you.

A women's rights activist and aspiring social entrepreneur from Pakistan, Momal speaks eloquently and honestly about her relationship with freedom and equality and how traveling inspired her to launch The Freedom Traveller. 

By Gender at Work Media / August 18, 2014 / Loading Disqus...

Last year, we began a Gender Action Learning (GAL) process in Mozambique with 34 people from CARE. The process started in October 2013 and it will run until October 2015. It is being facilitated by our Associate Solange Rocha and Sylvie Desautels. This blog post talks about the process and here is a glimpse into it. The montage has been put together by Solange.    

Fabulous Fashionistas is about the style and attitudes of 6 women from the UK with an average age of 80. It tackles gender norms about women in a light-hearted manner. We thought this video was a perfect example of how women can break the 'deep cultures' of social expectation around gender and age. By redefining what women can look like — and behave like — at 80, the women are challenging age-old narratives and notions embedded in our culture. That they're doing this in a stylish and fun manner doesn't make the message any less powerful. In fact, it makes it even more so because it foregrounds something else that's important to remember: that we have the right to have fun, and to be fun, no matter what our age.


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