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The existing gender analysis frameworks start with a premise that men and women are equal and should be treated equally. These frameworks give emphasis on equal distribution of resources between men and women and believe that this will bring equality which is not always true. Despite equal distribution of resources, women tend to suffer and experience discrimination in many areas of their lives such as the power to control resources within social relationships, and the need for emotional security and reproductive rights within interpersonal relationships. These frameworks believe that patriarchy as an institution plays an important role in women’s oppression, exploitation and it is a barrier in their empowerment and rights. Thus, some think that by ensuring equal distribution of resources and empowering women economically, institutions like patriarchy can be challenged. These frameworks are based on proposed equality principle which puts men and women in competing roles. Thus, the real equality will never be achieved. Contrary to the existing gender analysis frameworks, the Complementing Gender Analysis (CGA) framework proposed by the author provides a new approach towards gender analysis which not only recognises the role of economic empowerment and equal distribution of resources but suggests to incorporate the concept and role of social capital, equity, and doing gender in gender analysis which is based on perceived equity principle, putting men and women in complementing roles that may lead to equality. The paper reviews the mainstream gender theories in development from the viewpoint of the complementary roles of gender. This alternative view is argued based on existing literature and an anecdote of observations made by the author. While criticising the equality theory, the paper offers equity theory in resolving the gender conflict by using the concept of social and psychological capital.

For further reading, please see the attached full Paper. 

To cite this paper: Anant Kumar (2015): Complementing Gender Analysis Methods, Journal of Evidence-Informed Social Work, DOI: 10.1080/15433714.2014.997097

Complementing Gender Analysis Methods. Available from: [accessed May 10, 2015].

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Thanks for this. It seems like a simple but powerful premise. Will read with interest and integrate into my work with the proper citation.

Lots of food for thought! Thanks.

Thanks Rituu,

Its really a worth reading piece of paper.

Thanks a lot to Anant Kumar.


Thanks for sharing article..

I personally think that, the argument "Men and Women are different" itself support the need of equality. because they may be different but equally important component of society. So they need equal space.

I have a couple of comments:

1. If we are talking gender, can we include transgender within the equation since they are part of the gender discussions, or should be.

2. The assumption in this article is that those of us who work in the South have taken on a model given to us by the North and have then used it. I do not agree with this and I think the Gender Analysis Frameworks have been used by many of us keeping in mind the specificities of the work that we do.

3.Men and women often do not complement each other and do compete and that has to do with the overarching system of patriarchy. Without taking that into account, I think its a futile exercise to simplify gender. Gender is a political term and we have to understand that there will be a process of disempowerment and empowerment. There has to be some loss of power for equality to be achieved.

Really reminds me of GAYATRI UPANISHAD it talks about  how entire existence  works on the principles of  Complementary coexistnece.

Thnx for sharing this useful resource.



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