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Past future now road sign.
Issues of inequity transcend time.

Think again

Putting ideas into practice.

How do we play the long game?

Gender and development initiatives have a long history. One of the major points of contentions and debate in this work is how it might be possible to effect real change while also attending to the immediate and urgent needs of women and communities.

Achieving gender equity involves confronting power, law, norms, economics, government, culture and more. So how is it possible to plan for change across all these areas while also working with women in their communities? How does development ‘play the long game’ - driving systemic change in the face of urgency?

Feminists, activists, and gender and development workers are constantly engaged in creating new and more relevant approaches to such planning.

Frameworks for the Long Game

‘Gender Analysis’ is a planning framework that has produced a range of tools for assisting local, national and global organisations to analyse the most effective, context-relevant types of interventions.

One of the most original and enduring of these approaches is one devised by Gender and Development scholar Caroline Moser. In her approach it is necessary to devise interventions and approaches to meet both, what she terms, practical and strategic gender needs.

Listen to Maree explain these tenets in more depth.


Your task

We’ve heard all these different approaches from WuDunn and Kristof promote giving to charities and NGOs as a path to ending gender inequity through to Moser who promotes the longer more strategic approach. It is not easy to translate any of these frameworks or approaches into successful outcomes.

Thinking about these tensions what do you think are some workable solutions. What would you suggest as first steps? What would the barriers be to these steps being successful? How would they contribute to the long game?


Moser, C 1989, ‘Gender planning in the Third World: meeting practical and strategic gender needs’, World Development, vol. 17, no. 11, pp. 1799 - 1825,

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This article is from the free online course:

Gender and Development

Deakin University

Course highlights Get a taste of this course before you join:

  • Chalkboard with 'Change the Story' written on it.
    Single stories

    Simplifying gender or development to a single narrative distorts our perceptions. Read Dr Maree Pardy and watch a video of Nigerian writer Adachie.

  • Female celebrity in gold sparkly dress signing autographs.
    So hot right now

    Watch videos of Madonna and Angelina Jolie speak up about Gender and Development. Read as educator Dr Maree Pardy examines celebratainment.