At the core of GAIN's mission to enhance healthier diets and food systems is a commitment to gender equality, ensuring that all individuals, regardless of gender, have equal rights, responsibilities, and opportunities.

Definition of gender equality at GAIN

At the core of GAIN's mission to enhance healthier diets and food systems is a commitment to gender equality, ensuring that all individuals, regardless of gender, have equal rights, responsibilities, and opportunities. This commitment to gender equity is not just foundational; it's pivotal for achieving GAIN's ultimate objective of healthier diets for all, especially for those most at risk of malnutrition. To this end, GAIN is dedicated to cross-cutting gender awareness into all its programmes, striving for gender-sensitive or transformative approaches whenever possible and practical, all with the overarching aim of improving gender equity.

Recognising the unique challenges and barriers that both women and men  face in accessing nutritious food and engaging in sustainable food systems, GAIN places a strong emphasis on gender equality as a key factor in addressing these specific needs and constraints.

GAIN defines gender equality as the existence of equal rights, responsibilities, and opportunities for women and men, aiming for equal outcomes while addressing the different disparities to food access and services. While acknowledging that social change is gradual and social and gender norms are deeply entrenched, GAIN prioritises gender equity as instrumental to improving nutrition. The organisation's gender focus varies across programmes, aligning with specific objectives and country-specific contexts and needs.

Link to Nutrition, Food Systems, and Policy Pathways

Link to Nutrition, Food Systems, and Policy Pathways

Gender inequalities manifest in differences in diet quality and nutritional outcomes between genders, influenced by biological factors and social norms. These disparities are further compounded by systemic obstacles that limit women's effectiveness and equitable participation in food systems. Often, food policies fail to consider these gender dynamics, side-lining women's perspectives and needs, and perpetuating harmful norms. Central to GAIN's gender cross-cutting focus are those most at risk of malnutrition, notably women and girls, who disproportionately face challenges, especially in impoverished households. Malnutrition during key stages such as pregnancy and lactation not only affects women but also has lasting impacts on their children, creating a cycle of malnutrition across generations.

Despite women's integral roles at every level of the food system, from production to meal preparation, they face unequal access to resources, services, and information, which hampers their contributions and perpetuates power imbalances. This underinvestment in women's potential within the food system represents a significant loss. By fostering greater equity, we can enhance the food system's efficiency in delivering safe and nutritious food to everyone.

Our approach - how do we act on this?

GAIN supports the integration of gender considerations – women’s and men’s distinct concerns and experiences – into our activities.

Direct technical support is being prioritised to key portfolios such as Nourishing Food Pathways and CAtalyzing Strengthened policy aCtion for heAlthy Diets and ResiliencE (CASCADE) to ensure that gender is effectively considered through the project lifecycle.

Standardised tools and metrics that are being developed to facilitate and broaden support across all GAIN projects to help ensure gender is considered throughout the project lifecycle. This includes tools to facilitate the substantive integration of gender into activities, evaluation, and tracking impact.

Strategic Focus:

Resources: GAIN produces knowledge products such as working papers to disseminate findings and lessons learned in gender mainstreaming. Examples include "Impact of Gender Norms on Children’s Diets" and "Integrating Gender into the Governance of Urban Food Systems for Improved Nutrition." Further resources include case studies like "Choosing to Challenge Gender Inequality in Pakistan." As new tools come on line, they will be documented

Safeguarding the vulnerable is a core behaviour at GAIN, expected from all staff. To identify and tackle gender biases, GAIN has recently updated and implemented various internal policies, such as the .

The Workplace Gender Equity and Diversity Policy addresses all aspects involving staff recruitment, promotion, management, training, career development, and accountability. It prohibits discrimination against individuals based on age, gender, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy, maternity, family responsibilities, political beliefs, race, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. The Code of Conduct underpins ethical behaviour across all areas.

The Director of Strategic Operations and Head of Human Resources manage, supervise, and update all internal processes and policies.

GAIN has improved its performance on gender equity in the workplace and has been categorised as a high performer by the Global Health 5050 Report 2022 and the Global Health Report 2023 which analyses the gender policy position of almost 200 organisations that influence global health and scores them according to the depth of their commitment. This Programmatic Gender Strategy complements our internal policies, ensuring that GAIN’s commitment to gender equity is visible both within and outside the organisation.

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