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Gender and some key ares of focus in the technical cooperation programme

Gender and human resource development

The most obvious and immediate opportunity to support gender equality and to address gender concerns is through the provision of training for female technicians and scientists. Efforts should be made to ensure that women are offered opportunities to participate in all training activities supported by technical cooperation projects. If women do not apply for training opportunities, host country institutions should be asked to make extra efforts to support female applicants, e.g. by exploring distance learning or training options. Member States should be asked to seek out and encourage qualified female candidates for fellowships, training and participation in meetings, and to consider qualified female candidates for the role of counterpart.

Gender and health

A large portion of IAEA technical cooperation support focuses on improving human health, including the management and treatment of cancer. TC cancer projects often include a focus on building capacity in the use of radiotherapy to treat cancer. Typically, such projects provide training to technical experts in Member States to enable them to use high doses of radiation safely. A gender focused approach for these projects not only ensures that both female and male technicians receive training on radiotherapy use and operation, but also draws attention to the potentially different impacts of the use of this technology on men and women.

Gender and radiation protection

IAEA radiation protection programmes recognize that gender is an important consideration in the development and strengthening of national radiation protection infrastructures. The Agency works closely with its Member States to enhance awareness and programme effectiveness through gender analysis and an understanding of gender perspectives. Three areas of radiation safety offer opportunities to address gender and strengthen national programmes and policies.

-    Occupational radiation safety: Rules and procedures can differ between men and women depending on culture and tradition.
-    Medical radiation safety: Women's requirements differ from men’s depending upon age and status such as pregnancy.
-    Emergency response: Guidance, planning and delivery of services must recognize the intrinsic difference in men and women's responses to radiological incidents.

IAEA technical cooperation projects and programmes can improve Member State gender awareness for more effective programmes in radiation safety.

Gender, agriculture and natural resource management

Social science research has shown that men and women have different approaches to the use of water and land management. Women are very active in agriculture, especially in developing countries, but they are often not landowners, nor are they involved in decisions about how land will be used.

Project and programme planning should ensure, for example, that all farmers benefit from improved crop varieties and land use opportunities. Although it may be assumed that both male and female farmers will benefit equally, women may have less access to the opportunities and benefits that result from the use of nuclear technologies because of prevailing societal practices.

Gender and nuclear technology

Research shows that women’s attitudes towards nuclear technologies and particularly nuclear power differ and tend to be more negative than those of men. Although their perspectives are rarely reflected in policy discussions, women constitute an increasingly important interest group that should not be ignored because of their ability, as part of the electorate, to influence national policy.

Women are under-represented in scientific and technical positions. As a result, these positions remain male dominated, with a decreased likelihood for gender sensitive programming. The IAEA must be proactive in identifying qualified women professionals for decision-making positions in the organization and must strive for gender equity in positions related to formulating policy, defining programme priorities and allocating resources.

Gender main page

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Gender and some key areas of focus in the technical cooperation programme


Gender mainstreaming resources

Responsible/Contact: Department of Technical Cooperation | Last update: 10 Apr, 2015

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