Episode 1 - Are we critical enough of gender expertise?



Are we critical enough about gender expertise?

In recent years, the field of international cooperation has seen the growing presence of a new professional figure: the gender expert. Gender experts support and advise policymakers and practitioners to make sure their work has a gender perspective and supports gender equality. But why is gender expertise important? Who gets to decide who these experts are? And can gender expertise stray away from feminism or become exclusionary when it doesn’t recognise multiple forms of oppression?

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    In the first episode of ECDPM’s podcast series 'Minding the gap: conversations on gender', Kawsar Laanani and Maëlle Salzinger navigate key tensions and obstacles around the concept and practice of gender expertise. Drawing from their own experiences and using an intersectional feminist perspective, they delve into the rising presence of gender experts in international cooperation and offer insights on how we can collectively do better to advance gender equality.

    Listen to the episode


    The views expressed in this episode are those of the authors and not necessarily those of ECDPM.

    Episode breakdown


    01:00 - Why do Kawsar and Maëlle care about this issue?

    03:00 - So what is gender expertise?

    04:00 - Why would we make a whole episode about gender expertise?

    05:25 - Can gender experts actually undermine feminism?

    07:05 - The issue with short-term thinking

    08:00 - Gender projects there but managed here?

    10:00 - Are we including local gender experts in the right way?

    12:04 - Paying more attention to power dynamics between gender experts

    13:54 - What do we want to hear from local experts when we invite them to events?

    14:45 - Can feminism show us the way forward?

    18:18 - Embedding gender in a Central Asia project

    21:45 - When you exclude gender, you're missing half the story

    23:19 - Holding ourselves more accountable as gender experts

    24:13 - What you should keep in mind

    25:05 - Looking ahead

    Coming soon


    Why is it difficult to engage boys and men in the fight for gender equality?

    In the second episode of the series, Karim Karaki and his guest will delve into the power structures of the patriarchy to see how these affect boys and men, and what we mean when we talk about masculinities.


    About the podcast series


    'Minding the gap: conversations on gender' is ECDPM's podcast series entirely devoted to shedding light on topics in which gender is often overlooked, but where promising lessons are emerging. 

    Who is a gender expert? Why is it important to engage men and boys in fighting for gender equality? How are women empowerment, climate action, and urban development interlinked?

    Throughout the episodes, you will hear from researchers, activists and experts working in Europe, Africa and the MENA region to gain insights into what we can collectively do to build a society based on gender equality.

    Recommended readings


    For a deep dive into this topic, Kawsar and Maëlle recommend the following works:

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