7. Bringing gender into a Cabinet paper

In this step, you will write up what you have identified in a way that it can be incorporated into your policy process, in particular the Cabinet paper.

I’ve come straight to this step – what’s the minimum I can do within limited time?

The basic elements to consider in the tool are the questions in Step 2. Other steps work through the implications of those answers. At a minimum, we encourage you to consider the questions in Step 2 and then return here.

Summarise and shape the thinking you have done to date

Summarising the key messages from your thinking (preferably two to three key messages) will help take your gender analysis forward effectively. You could consider storylining your messages.

Consider the material you’ve collected. Think about how you can effectively use this thinking in:

  • the key documents setting out your policy advice (e.g. policy advice paper, presentation materials for ministers, Cabinet paper, Regulatory Impact Assessment, communications strategy, implementation plan)
  • the key conversations you’ll need to have about your policy thinking

You can run your key messages by:

  • ‘critical friends’ or peer reviewers
  • experts from inside or outside your agency
  • your manager and then other decision-makers.
Make some notes around your answer to this question
What do I have to do inside the Cabinet paper?

Gender implication statements are a requirement for Cabinet papers submitted to the Cabinet Social Wellbeing Committee. Showing that you have considered gender in your Cabinet paper is desirable for good policymaking beyond this formal requirement.

More info on CabGuide guidance

The CabGuide notes: ‘Gender analysis assists decision making by examining how gender differences are affected by government action and communicating that information to decision makers. A gender implication statement is required for all papers submitted to the Cabinet Social Wellbeing Committee.’

The gender implication statement should say whether gender analysis has been undertaken, and if not, why not. The length of the statement will vary according to the complexity of the proposed policy, the number of alternatives considered, and the extent of the costs and benefits.

Make some notes around your answer to this question
How significant might gender implications be for your policy proposal?

If your policy proposal involves impacts on people directly, and a reallocation of resources, then it is likely you will have some gender implications to consider. This will include most Cabinet papers, excepting papers that deal with technical adjustments where policy is previously established. Gender implications may not be immediately obvious and may involve unpacking larger groups e.g. decision-making bodies, community groups, the families you may be targeting.

You will however need to weigh gender implications relative to the impact on other groups and against the aims (and risks) of your policy proposal more widely. Gender implications need to be considered proportionally. Remember that if a small group is marginalised, this can still have significant consequences for this group.

If you’re thinking that your policy proposal will have no significant gender implications or that the issue is gender-neutral, how will you demonstrate that? At a minimum, you should collect and present evidence that you have identified:

  • whether groups of women and men are affected by the policy problem(s), providing data if possible
  • how these groups may have different needs, experiences, or levels of relative power within the existing situation.
Make some notes around your answer to this question
What makes for a good gender implications statement?

Is it useful to start with who is affected: Are particular women more likely to be affected? It is useful to provide demographic evidence of those affected by a policy. It is often best to start with gender but then also consider other identity factors such as age, ethnicity or location.

Disadvantage/needs: Are women currently disadvantaged, or in any way situationally different, in this context from men? Compounding effects of disadvantage for different groups of women should be considered e.g. wāhine Māori, along with different values and cultural context.

Impact: How might gendered advantages or disadvantage in the status quo change as a result of the proposed policy option?

Voice: How have you/will you consult with the identified groups or their representatives? How has this shaped the current response?

Evaluation: How will you monitor the impacts on women of the proposed policy option?

An example from a recent Cabinet paper

“Gender Implications

Family violence and sexual violence are gendered in terms of victimisation, perpetration and impacts of violence. Women are nearly twice as likely as men to suffer partner abuse in their lifetime. Women are more likely to be killed by a partner than men are, and girls are more likely to be killed by a family member than boys. Men are more likely to perpetrate sexual violence, serious assaults on adults and children, and to be arrested for family violence. Women suffer more repeat victimisation, harm, fear, stalking and negative health impacts of partner abuse than men.

Māori women, Pacific women, young women, women on a low income, rainbow people, women in gang-involved families and women with disabilities are at a higher risk of experiencing family violence than other women, and are more likely to experience secondary victimisation when seeking help. Family violence and sexual violence have a significant impact on women’s physical, psychological, sexual, reproductive, and spiritual wellbeing.

A strong gender analysis is a critical component of the Government’s response to family violence and sexual violence. The Minister for Women will help to ensure this gender analysis through the Social Wellbeing Committee’s oversight of this response, as one of its priorities. The Ministry for Women also has an important advisory role to the joint venture of the Social Wellbeing Board to support the Board’s delivery of this priority work programme.”

Ministry of Justice (2018) Leadership of Government’s collective efforts to reduce family violence and sexual violence

Make some notes around your answer to this question
Gender analysis complete

As you consider your responses to the questions above, you may want to capture your thinking in the downloadable worksheet below.

Download the worksheet

When you feel you have answered the questions to the best of your ability, congratulations! You have completed using Bringing Gender In. We encourage you to use the tool again on future policy work and to share the tool with others.

This is a first iteration of Bringing Gender In and the Ministry for Women intends to continue revising and developing the tool. Please contact info@women.govt.nz if you have feedback, further questions or ideas for development.

Download my notes
  • 1. Bringing gender in at the start
  • 2: Bringing gender into the policy issue
  • 3: Bringing gender into the policy options
  • 4: Bringing gender into engagement
  • 5: Bringing gender into implementation
  • 6: Bringing gender into monitoring and evaluation
  • 7. Bringing gender into a Cabinet paper
  • Wellington Summit 2019