Grantmaking with a Gender Lens

All donors have one thing in common – they want to make a difference to the most marginalized populations. Dasra’s whitepaper In Sight will help grant makers realize how adopting a gendered approach will create deeper impact and improved returns. Think of a gender lens as putting on a pair of spectacles. Out of one lens of the spectacles, you see the participation, needs and realities of women. Out of the other lens, you see the participation, needs and realities of men. You vision is optimum only when it is a combination of what each eyes see.

Why is this important?

Men and women are often impacted differently and disproportionately by social issues such as poverty, health, domestic violence or education.  And gender lies at the heart of these differences. The better you understand how a particular group experiences a situation, the greater your ability to design, identify or fund programs that meet the needs of your target population.  

A gender lens:
  • Helps design more effective programs by ensuring that both men and women can benefit equally from programs
  • Ascertains if you are indeed solving the issue by bringing underlying social determinants such as gender, age and caste to light
  • Ensures that you reach the most marginalized sections of your target audience, be it women or men

What are the priority areas of action?

Apply the Gender lens to the 4 P’s within your organizations and while setting grant making priorities:
  • Priorities: Identify women and girls as a high-priority beneficiary group & use an intersection of lenses – gender, caste, religion – when setting priorities
  • Process: Institutionalize a gender lens through internal policy directives and impact assessment.  Provide learning opportunities for staff to understand gender equality
  • People: Drive the gender lens agenda through the founder and leaders of the organization – promote gender diversity and equality across all sections of staff for better decision making
  • Portfolio: Build capacity of each grantee to drive gender through their priorities, processes and people, and create platforms for peer-learning among grantees