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WID, GAD, WHAT? A Bangladesh Gender Audit Case Study
MRIC 2006/07

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"WID, GAD, WHAT? A Bangladesh Gender Audit Case Study"

May 1st 
Jeannie Harvey
Women’s Center

Abstract: Aid to developing countries totals in the billions of dollars and nearly every major industrialized country has a government agency that provides assistance to poorer countries, with projects focused on health, governance, education, economic development, and the environment. Women in Development or WID and Gender and Development or GAD, initiated in the 70’s and 80’s, critiqued development for maintaining gender inequalities. Their proposal to mainstream gender challenged development organizations to integrate women into all aspects of development. Gender analysis tools were developed to assist organizations in mainstreaming gender. One tool called a gender audit, would help organizations reduce once and for all, the inequalities that continued, through in-depth self-assessment. This is the study of one gender audit process conducted in the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) office in Dhaka Bangladesh from June 2003 through July 2004.

The goal of the study is to gain a greater understanding of how a gender audit actually helps an organization to mainstream gender. What does a gender audit offer an organization? Using case study methods and a qualitative research approach, data generation and analysis utilizes Atlas.ti computer software to develop a full story of this gender audit process. In-depth interviews were conducted with participants of the gender audit process. With little published research on the effectiveness of gender audits and no other completed audits within the USAID system of more than 100 global offices, this study attempts to fill a gap for academics and development practitioners. It offers a thorough exploration of the literature and theory related to gender audits, and will provide recommendations about potential uses of a revised gender audit process for USAID. Finally, the study will help us to understand how a gender audit aids an organization to mainstream gender.

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