Capacity Building / Training

Published: 20/10/2010

Women Research Institute (WRI) aims to promote and strengthen the capacity of local researchers to establish extensive research community, particularly in the regions. Therefore, WRI organizes a series of capacity building activities in developing the knowledge sector in the form of ‘Gender Analysis Training’.

This capacity building program aimed to reinforce the mastery of gender analysis skills to review research findings as well as women’s issues and/or other gender for high quality research results and to provide input to decision-makers. In particular, each participant was expected to exchange their experiences or information to sharpen the ability of the application of gender analysis related to women’s interests.


  1. To increase the capacity of researchers and other participants who are interested to the development of knowledge
  2. To increase the comprehensive understanding of gender as perspective and analysis tools
  3. To foster a forum of mutual learning


This training was attended by 15 participants consisting of three participants from three respective institutions outside the WRI network namely: Yayasan Jurnal Perempuan, RAHIMA and SMERU and 12 participants from WRI. This training was guided by a facilitator (Myra Diarsi) and two observers (Sita Aripurnami and Edriana Noerdin).


Monday, October 11, 2010

The materials discussed were:

  1. Gender as an analytical tool with a feminist perspective
  2. Mapping gender related issues from the experience of the researcher’s findings
  3. Main points in gender analysis

The discussions explored more on the understanding of participants about what gender is. During the discussions, the original question asked was: ‘To which extent do I understand gender?’

Each participant was encouraged to think critically on about the definition of gender. From the discussions, it is known that formulations about gender are a socio-cultural construction or formation that is attached to men and women (the type of work and character.) The word ‘gender’ is more politically acceptable because it is considered ‘softer’ than using the word feminism to speak about the issue of women’s rights and equality between men and women relations.

An understanding of gender differences with genitals in men and women led the discussions into the definition of feminism, which is a critical consciousness based on the experiences of women to change unequal multi-layer power relations. Feminism determines the perspective to see social reality. As a feminist uses women’s experience in looking at social reality, she would appreciate the experience that comes from the private sphere. The point is knowledge can be used to ‘dissect’ and analyze the relationship of unequal power relations.

Through this discussion, it is known that critical awareness about rights and obligations to achieve equality is not static but dynamics. ‘Feminist’ is not just a label or a mention, but more than that, she could alter the unequal relationship that is not fair to be fair both to others and herself. The important point is honesty when identifying and reflecting on (and introspection) to where our critical understanding and awareness to make an unfair situation to be more fair. Based on the results of this discussion, the next question asked was: ‘What is needed in sharpening gender analysis?

A Feminist Researcher has to recognize her experience. She must have a guidance, she knows what measuring instrument to use; she should not be ‘laity’ by using only a personal experience.

It is known that gender analysis can be done in various areas of Personal, Family, Social Institution, Religion, Justice and State. Gender is not only about women. Gender ≠ Women. Men can also be victims of gender-biased construction. Participants were encouraged to think again about what gender is and how to sharpen gender analysis. The next question was: ‘How to apply gender analysis in everyday life?

There exists the hegemony of male dominance in social reality that sanctifies segregation (division) of the gender construction between male and female to keep it intact and can not be exchanged. Hegemony is sometimes not realized, or even if they aware, some people (both men and women) maintain their comfort zone.

Speaking of gender segregation between men and women, it affects labeling, achievement and, to a certain extent, stigma against men, but in particular against women. Social reality of our lives is very strong and assertive in forming gender segregation between men and women. Gender segregation actually relates to power relations between men and women.

Examples in daily life:

  1. Women do not have the rights and authority of her body – or ‘bodily”
  2. Women do not have access and knowledge
  3. Women are not involved in decision making.

Each participant in this discussion understood that there is inequality in power relations between men and women. Facilitators attempted to give an analogy of a scale on the position of women and men in society. In an effort to change the unequal relationships between men and women, it needs a parallel and equal weight instead of scales that lighten the position of women to be more ‘superior’ to the position of men. Efforts to create equal and equitable relations for women need:

  1. Control
  2. Access
  3. Participation
  4. Women receive and feel the benefits
  5. Women’s interests are represented

Monday, October 18, 2010

The materials discussed:

  1. The sharing of case studies from each agency to map the participants’ understanding of gender analysis, challenges and constraints
  2. The integration of feminist stand point into the gender analysis; applying the theory into praxis
  3. The special needs of individual researchers to develop feminist research methods

At the beginning of each session, the participants were invited to review the materials that had been discussed in the previous week to examine whether there were difficulties in using gender analysis. The facilitator posed the question:‘What is the relation between feminism and gender analysis?’

By using feminist lens, it is possible to specifically look at women’s experiences as a basis for mapping the relation inequality between men and women in social reality. Through the “glasses” of the feminists, we could understand the background of: 1) The purport of work, 2) The reward for the work.

In social reality, it is possible to exchange the division of men and women. However, due to the deeply-rooted gender segregation in society, the division becomes very rigid and constant to the extent that it is non-exchangeable. The impacts are Stamp-Label-Stereotyping and, even, Stigma.

It is understood that we can dismantle the construction that has been hegemonized (deconstruction) by using a feminist perspective. Furthermore, feminist perspective could train us to be more critical to view social reality.

Through discussions and mapping by the participants, there were some social structures of the various elements where gender inequality exist covering: Personal, Family, Social Institution, Language and Culture, Religion, Justice and State.

This gender inequality has created a local term that the burden borne by working women ‘start from sun rises until father’s eyes set’, meaning that from morning till night, dozens of jobs to be done by women without any respect and a fair division of labor.

Unconsciousness about double burden borne by women is due to the Power, which works very systematically. Power becomes invisible because it has been hegemonized by men in patriarchal systems. However, there are also women who follow the hegemony by being ‘passive’ (nrimo) and assume that what happened to them is a “nature”.
This discussion was later reached the stage where the facilitator posed the question: ‘What is the good and the advantage in learning Gender?’

The advantage is that both men and women become critical and have the initiative to re-think (deconstructed) the hegemony to prevent women from being marginalized.

Lessons Learned

Lessons learned from the training process, particularly when entering a session discussing aspects of gender analysis in research findings: Case study experiences from each institution. Each participant, who represented their respective institutions, revealed obstacles they have faced and the needs they expected to get.

  1. The experience in conducting research ‘Participation of Women in Politics’. The elections were done based on ‘majority vote’, however, in reality there was no balanced proportion between men and women.

  2. In particular, women did not rule or held the control of resources that they could not make their own decisions. Eventually, in the decision-making, men are always the virtue. More over, there were few representations of women in the political realm because women were assumed not to have extensive relations.

  3. The main difficulty raised was finding statistical data. The existing data divided men and women only without gender analysis.

  4. Another obstacle is how to build a rapport (relationship) with sources in order to build trust. An example was the case when a researcher was required to interview commercial sex workers (PSK), who were indicated as People Living with HIV-AIDS (PLWHA).

  5. So far, this ‘gender analysis’ helped researchers to think critically in search of data that is considered ‘confidential’ and sensitive. By using a feminist frame work, it is easier for researchers to map the power relation to view, analyze and conduct research.

  6. Due to the number of the silent majority among sources (women’s grass roots); data sometimes become flat, without dynamics. There was a constraint on the selection of data for analysis.

  7. The issues on resources were also touted as obstacle in conducting research. Often, researchers did not have sufficient knowledge base and ability to conduct gender analysis. Eventually, the research coordinator (not researchers) was forced to take the role in tracking back interview transcripts and interview verbatim transcripts.

  8. It is important to use gender analysis in order to avoid researcher bias. Gender bias in the results of research commonly exists among researchers who are also activists, or researchers who come from academia. It has mentioned earlier that the bias can occur when researchers look at the issue: gender, social class, background sources, the position of sources ‘those who know’, the position of sources as ‘the informed’

How can researchers avoid bias in themselves? After each participant shared, the facilitatator made a map of Feminist Framework as a gender analysis tool in various aspects, covering:

  1. The strength of resources for economic capital
  2. Women’s ways in its relation with their experiences as leaders
  3. Social conditions that are altruistic
  4. The difference between men and women’ sources of knowledge
  5. The language that is still dominated by patriarchal nature
  6. Normative assumption Image

By using gender analysis, linked to factors and actors, a researcher can understand Who and Why, women’s participation in the public sphere must involve three things:

  1. Present
  2. Represent
  3. Influence

The training was closed with a session of evaluation and recommendation from the participants regarding the training, which lasted for two days. During the evaluation and recommendation session, each participant was given five questions to reflect on herself whether an increased capacity has been obtained. ***