Engendering organisational practice in NGOs: the case of Utthan
In the late 1970s, feminist social scientists began to challenge some of the assumptions underlying the dominant paradigms on organisations, arguing that they reflect and are structured by the values articulated within the larger institutional arenas in which they are embedded, thus reproducing gender-discriminatory outcomes. This paper unpacks the ‘deep structure’ of one NGO, Utthan, based in Gujarat, India, to understand the extent to which it is an engendering organisation. It suggests that, while gender-sensitive leadership, training, and resources play a critical role in addressing gender equity in development practice, organisational transformation is a much harder and longer process requiring sustained commitment from the leadership, staff, and funding partners.
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