Articles authored by Smyth, Ines

Conference Report

In September 1992 a workshop was held in Oxford, bringing together activists, researchers and academics with the joint aims of sharing diverse perspectives on South Asia's population policies as well as revising a research proposal on all aspects of women's reproductive health. The most tangible outcome of the workshop was a proposal for a project addressing the question of how women are taking decisions about reproduction, and providing a forum designed to facilitate exchanges between activists, NGOs and academics.

The Gender in Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Congress held in Manila 19–22 October 2008) was the Third Global Congress of Women in Politics and Governance. Its purpose was to provide a forum for decision makers to formulate gender-responsive programmes related to gender in climate change and disaster risk reduction (DRR). Over 200 people participated, including parliamentarians, representatives of environmental and women’s organisations, and donor agencies.

Practical Notes

This paper looks at a Gender Review conducted for Oxfam GB of their programme in Uganda. The Review found that the programme lacked a coherent strategy and gender work was invariably considered an add-on rather than an integrated part of development planning. They advocate developing a strategy for social change, including monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, and provision for capacity-building among staff and with local women's organisations. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader Development and Management.


This article reflects on the vocabulary commonly used within development organisations to communicate about ‘gender and development’. It argues that the relevant terminology, though frequently used, remains problematic. Some terms are almost entirely absent, while others are used loosely and inappropriately – with the subtleties of carefully developed and much-debated concepts often lost. Terms such as ‘empowerment’, ‘gender’, and ‘gender mainstreaming’ which originated in feminist thinking and activism have lost their moorings and become depoliticised.