PhD defence

"Doing Gender". Impacts of local meaning making on gender mainstreaming in agricultural and climate change policy in Uganda


Despite high levels of attention to gender issues in development policy, reductions of gender inequality and changes to the underlying social factors that disadvantage women have been limited. Analyzing the case of agricultural and climate change adaptation policy in Uganda, this thesis explores the disconnect between dominant gender equality norms in official discourse  and the continued inequality on the ground. The thesis uncovers significant tensions between generalized discourses on gender equality and local meaning making processes that often naturalize inequality and depolitize gender equality. By uncovering these tensions, the thesis shows how global gender equality strategies might be helpful but not sufficient for advancing gender equality in local contexts. The findings of this thesis are expected to contribute to the design of more effective policy development programs for gender equality, particularly in contexts where the compliance with gender equality norms is often assumed as given and frequently eludes critical reflection.