Gender inclusive rights based manual

ACT Alliance is pleased to share this training manual on Gender-Inclusive Rights-Based Development with our members, their partners and other development practitioners.

The manual aims to facilitate the integration of rights-based and gender equality development programming.

Training materials explore key concepts, introduce practical analytical tools, and facilitate reflection on strategies for integrating gender equality and human rights principles and standards.

Modules are all designed to allow for participatory learning and reflection.


This manual consists of 5 parts. Each part has sub catagories that enables you to choose and pick what is your specific need. It is also possible to download the entire manual. Below you will find the 5 parts and sub catagories – the parts and sub catagories being:

  1. Introduction: Introduction to facilitators & Introduction
  2. Concepts : Discrimination, inequality and social relations; Power, gender and social relations; Social change; Human rights and gender equality; Gender inclusive rights-based approaches in development & Panel+
  3. Analysis: Analysis from gender-inclusive rights-based perspective
  4. Strategies: Non-discrimination and equality; Empowerment and participation & Accountability
  5. Organisation: Organisational change; Handling resistance to rights and gender equality & Action plans

gender_Introduction_1_1_91x74Introduction to facilitators

This paper introduces the conceptual framework that underpins the manual. It describes the content of the modules, the target participants and the profile of the facilitator. Advice on how to use the modules is given with an explanation of the model of learning used throughout the manual. Some practical aspects related to setting up a training workshop are outlined in the Annex entitled ‘Practical Considerations’.

Download content: the introduction paper, a module map, suggested of ice- breakers, daily and final evaluation forms, a sample training needs assessment form and a sample workshop programme.

Gender_Intro_1_2_91x74Introduction to participants

This module includes activities for introducing participants to each other and to the workshop´s programme and methodology. It offers guidance on how to create a rights-based gender sensitive atmosphere.

Download content: module description

gender_2_1Discrimination, inequality and poverty

This module addresses issues of discrimination, inequality and poverty as the fundamental principles of Gender-Inclusive Rights-Based Development and serves as the starting point for this Manual. The module consists of three separate units. The module can work well also as a stand-alone session.

Download content: module description and 3 background articles.

Gender_Concept_2_2_91x74Power, gender and social relations

This module provides participants with a basic knowledge of socially constructed identities, such as gender, class, caste, ethnicity etc. and gives an introduction to how key institutions relate to power structures.  This module sets the scene for the introduction to gender equality and human rights by introducing a framework for understanding unequal relationships and power, and for the stakeholder analysis by introducing the key institutions where power relationships are perpetuated. The module consists of two units.

Download content: module description and 1 PowerPoint.

Gender_Concept_2_3_91x74Human rights and gender equality concepts

This module introduces key human rights and gender equality concepts e.g. what do we mean by equality and gender equality, what are human rights, who is a duty-bearer, what is accountability etc. The main human rights treaties are introduced and there are exercises to explore the most frequent criticisms of human rights

Download content: module description, 7 hand-outs, 2 PowerPoint’s and cards for exercise

Gender_Concept_2_4Gender-inclusive rights-based approaches in development

The module reviews the essential elements of gender equality and rights-based approaches with a clear gender equality perspective included. It explores how easily the gender perspective can be overlooked and reinforces why it is essential to keep the gender equality perspective in the forefront of right based programming. It is often difficult for practitioners from one discipline to ‘cross the floor’ to accept the other perspective and this module explores some of the rationales for making that journey.

Download content: module description, 8 hand-outs, and 1 PowerPoint.


In this module we explore the meaning of the human rights principles of Participation (P), Accountability (A), Non-discrimination and Equality (N), Empowerment (E), and Link to international human rights frameworks and mechanisms (L): the PANEL principles. PANEL principles are key to making rights and equality real in projects and programmes. In this module we explore the practical integration of these principles, how gender equality is integrated across these principles, and the implications these principles have for our work and organisations.

Download content: module description, 3 hand-outs and 1 PowerPoint.

Gender_Concept_2_6_91x74Analysis from a gender-inclusive rights-based perspective

This module presents the main elements of a gender-inclusive rights-based analysis.  It lays emphasis on the fact that a rights-based analysis is incomplete without a gender component. The analytical framework proposed combines the social relations framework with human rights-based analyses. This module builds on three previous modules: the Power, Gender and Social Relations module, the Human Rights and Gender Equality Concepts module and the PANEL+ module

Download content: module description, 4 hand-outs and 2 PowerPoint

Gender_Analysis_3_1_91x74Non-discrimination and equality

This module addresses how we develop strategies to work for equality and non-discrimination. This is important both in relation to programming and to targeting practices.  The module consists of case studies allowing participants to critically reflect on their own work. The module has close links to the module linking discrimination, inequality and poverty and the module on power, gender and social relations, where the conceptual aspects of non-discrimination and equality will have been dealt with. If this module is done as a stand-alone exercise there is a need to draw on the conceptual knowledge from these modules.

Download content: module description and 1 hand-out

Gender_Strategies_4_1_91x74Empowerment and participation

An understanding of power dynamics is often missing from development strategies. This module explores the different concepts of power and highlights the importance of social, legal and political empowerment strategies in our Gender-Inclusive Rights-Based Manual. The module does not promote any specific empowerment tools or strategies but encourages participants to be critically aware of the different tools available.

Download content: module description, 2 hand-outs and 1 back-ground article


The module provides an overview of the concept of accountability in Gender-Inclusive Rights-Based Approaches to Development. It looks at a selection of strategies and the ways in which they can be implemented, and explores the difficulties of implementing accountability strategies that do not simply reinforce the status quo.

Download content: module description, 3 hand-outs and 1 PowerPoint.

Gender_Strategies_4_3_91x74Organisational change

This module introduce processes of organisational change in relation to human rights based development and gender equality. The module offers participants the opportunity to achieve some familiarity with the issue. The module is linked to terms and concepts introduced in the module of power, social relations and institutions. If this module is not included the concepts of “institutions” and “organisation” should be introduced here. The module needs to be tailor made depending on the concrete circumstances of the organisation(s) participating in the training.

Download content: 1 PowerPoint, 2 background articles and 1 self- assessment format.

Gender_Org_5_1_91x74Handling resistance to rights and gender equality

This module addresses the issue of resistance that people are likely to encounter when working with issues of rights end gender equality mainly in the context of organisations

Download content: module description, 2 hand-outs and 1 PowerPoint.

Gender_Org_5_2_91x74Action planning

This module helps participants to review their current practice against PANEL+ principles, identify gaps and establish an action plan for following up on the learning from the workshop.

Download content: module description and 1 hand-out.