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How do I conduct a gender impact assessment?

Overview of the gender impact assessment process

This section:

  • Provides general guidance on the four steps involved in conducting gender impact assessments.
  • Is designed to be used by diverse organisations and adapted as needed to different contexts.
  • Includes questions and resources which provide more tailored guidance for defined entities.
  • Provides guidance on where you can find further information and resources to support you.

The four steps for conducting a gender impact assessment should be done alongside the templates in Templates and resources. These templates provide a way for you to record your analysis and aim to support your reporting requirements and obligations under the Gender Equality Act.

Practical example

Throughout this section a hypothetical example is included to demonstrate the four steps and use of the templates. You will find this at the end of each step.

In this hypothetical situation, a main road, connecting a residential area with the business district in a town, is increasingly congested during peak times. A team has been tasked with assessing use of the road and developing solutions to meet the needs of users including decreasing congestion.

Step 1: Define the issues and challenge assumptions

Define the problem your policy, service or program is trying to address and make sure this definition considers how gender shapes the issue(s).

  • Identify the issue(s) your policy, program or service is aiming to address.
  • Using key questions, think about how gender and other factors might shape the policy issue, program or service you are working on.

What else do you need to focus on to consider the different ways women, men and gender non-binary people access and experience this issue?

  • Do you think that everyone who accesses this policy, program or service has the same needs from it?
  • Do the different social roles and responsibilities that people take on affect the way people access and use this policy, program or service?

Template 1 supports this step. This step works best when incorporated early in the process of developing a new policy, process or service.

Step 2: Understand your context

Collect evidence to understand how gender shapes the context.

  • Consider the information you already have.
  • Think about how to use internal data, desktop research and stakeholder engagement to investigate further.

What can we find out from data, research and stakeholder engagement?

  • Who is likely to be affected?
  • What are the lived experiences of diverse groups?
  • What different impacts may be likely for different people?

Template 2 supports this step. If you are short on resources or time, thinking about the best way to get the evidence you need is crucial.

Step 3: Options analysis

Develop an option or options for your policy, program or service and weigh up the gendered impact.

  • Use the information you have gathered in Steps 1 and 2 to develop an option or options for your proposed policy, program or service.
  • Consider the gendered benefits and costs and overall gender impact of the option(s).

What are the potential policy options and what gendered impact might they have?

  • Will some people benefit more because they have greater access, or does this policy, program or service do everything it can to ensure resources are distributed and used equally?
  • Will it contribute to transforming gender norms in a positive way?
  • Does your policy, program or service potentially have negative unintended consequences for certain groups of people that will outweigh any benefits?

Template 3 supports this step. This step works best when incorporated early in the process of developing a new policy, process or service.

Step 4: Make recommendations

Make a final recommendation based on the evidence collected and analysis conducted.

  • Document what evidence has been used to inform your final recommendation.
  • Draft a recommendation and provide a rationale for the solution proposed.
  • Consider any mitigation strategies that may be needed.

Based on the evidence, what is the recommended approach?

  • How does this approach meet the needs of people of different genders, address gender inequality, and promote gender equality?

Template 4 supports this step. This step also contains a checklist to ensure you have completed all the necessary steps.