Gender and Governance

Put simply, governance refers to decision-making by a range of interested people (or 'stakeholders') including those in formal positions of power and 'ordinary' citizens. These decisions have a huge impact on the ways in which women and men lead their lives, on the rules they are expected to abide by, and on the structures that determine where and how they work and live. They also shape how public resources are allocated and whether services take account of both women's and men's needs and interests.

Yet women are often excluded from decision-making, from the household to the highest levels of government and beyond to the global level. Governance processes - emphasising accountability, transparency, responsiveness and inclusiveness - should be a means to social transformation. But they are failing to deliver. This Cutting Edge Pack hopes to inspire thinking on gender and governance, including how we can ensure that the principles of inclusive, accountable governance go beyond rhetoric. It includes an Overview Report outlining key challenges and opportunities for change, a Supporting Resources Collection providing summaries of key texts, tools, case studies and contacts of organisations, and a Gender and Development In Brief Bulletin with three short articles on the theme.