Classification framework for gender responsiveness of policies and programmes

Policies and programmes that are:

gender unequal:
  • privilege men over women or vice versa;
  • have clear and undisguised inequalities; and/or
  • deny women's rights or gives men rights and opportunities that women do not have (or vice versa);
gender blind:
  • Ignore gender norms;
  • are blind to differences in allocation of roles and resources; 
  • are not intentionally discriminatory but reinforce gender-based discrimination; and/or
  • often ignore the lack of opportunities/discrimination that underpins what appears to be fair practice;
gender sensitive:
  • consider and acknowledge gender norms, roles and inequalities but take no action to address them; and/or
  • are similar to gender aware (awareness of the issue), which does not necessarily mean that something is then done about it;
gender specific:
  • recognize differences in gender roles, responsibilities and access to resources, and take account of these when designing interventions; and/or;
  • do not try to change the underlying causes of these differences;
gender transformative:
  • recognize differences in gender roles, norms and access to resources; and/or
  • actively try to change these, to promote gender equality.

This framework is part of a WHO headquarters training manual.