Introduction to GBA+

Illustrating the GBA+ process: Forest sector case study

3 - Challenge assumptions

To assess the potential relevance of gender and other intersecting factors to the proposal, begin by challenging your assumptions. This will help inform the types of questions asked and the answers that are sought.

In this case, we could ask: what do we assume about the forest sector and the people and communities that depend on it?

We may be assuming that:

We may be assuming that:

  • All forest-dependent communities use forest land resources in the same way and that they would benefit equally from the new program.
  • All forest-dependent people want to engage in the forestry sector. Indigenous people have a special cultural and spiritual link to the forest, and there has been considerable opposition to forestry without the direct consultation and engagement of Indigenous peoples.
  • Forest sector workers are a homogenous group, or that they are simply the same as workers in the other industrial sectors we know about.

The assumption that an issue or initiative will have an impact on all stakeholders equally without exploring how people with differing experiences and characteristics will experience it differently can have unintended consequences.

It is critical, throughout the policy development process, to continually ask: “What am I assuming about women, men and gender-diverse people and about other factors (e.g. geography, culture, age, etc.)?” This will ensure that any potential negative impacts can be addressed.