A gendered engagement approach considers which groups might be affected by your policy. This will help you target those you want to hear from.
Policy engagement activity can be seen as a spectrum, at one end informing the public or those groups affected by a policy, and at the other, targeting diverse experience and inviting co-design of policy options. The IAP2 spectrum captures this range. You will need to work out what type of engagement fits your project at different points in the policy process, and overlay your engagement with a gender lens.
“As public servants, we are expected to act in the long-term public interest. This means we have a duty to those who are unable or unlikely to voice and assert their interests effectively in public life….”
Bromell, D. The Art and Craft of Policy Advising, Springer, 2017
To create value for all citizens, policy analysts need to understand something of their interests, constraints and the social licence government has for its activity. This implies a strong understanding of those affected by policy at a disaggregated level. Consultation is a tool for that understanding, particularly those “unable or unlikely to voice and assert their interests”.
When you can’t canvas women, look for people who work with women, either service providers or advocates. This can include NGOs and population agencies such as the Ministry for Women. You could also conduct a literature search and/or look for outcomes of previous consultation.
Here is a list of NGOs who have expressed an interest in participating in engagement with government agencies on women’s issues.