a participatory information and communication initiative whose goal
is to improve the visibility of rural men and women, recently
Gender for Rural Development: Integrating Gender in Communication for
Development.” This handbook is designed for all
development practitioners (not only communication/ information
specialists) and was born out of the observation that all too often,
gender is overlooked in the design of communication initiatives for
development in rural areas and that rural populations, women
particularly, are rarely viewed as primary sources of information.
This has an impact on the action of communication with consequences
that vary from reduced efficiency to adverse results.
reviews the concepts and approaches of gender and communication and
the reasons for including gender in communication for development
initiatives in rural areas; it also provides practical guidance on
achieving this successfully.
conventional communication initiatives that often deliver top-down
messages to a sometimes passive audience, communication for
development initiatives are based on a dialogue process that aims to
achieve sustainable changes within a community. They are implemented
on the premise that change will take hold only if the community takes
ownership. Therefore, this type of initiative promotes a
participatory process that involves all the members of the target
population from the start and empowers them to shape the project as
populations face serious challenges in accessing information and
means of communication: they are geographically isolated with very
limited access to services and infrastructure, have low rates of
literacy and no possibility to seek out information, and their
knowledge and skills are for the most part undervalued and
unsolicited. Rural women, particularly, are disadvantaged. Customary
practices often prevent them from accessing education and
participating in public life, farmers’ organizations, and
decision-making authorities such as village councils.
FAO - Gender)