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Gender, Environments and Marginalized voices:
GEMs Framework

The GEMs framework can help us capture the intersections between:

  • Gender equality

  • Environments, and

  • Marginalized voices


The GEMs framework is a framework for systemic intersectionality, to help us navigate complexity.


Each 'dimensions' contains concepts that can be linked to marginalisation. The nature of the content varies but rarely are the issues and concepts found within a GEMs dimension siloed concepts. The GEMs dimensions overlap, and we can see interconnections across them. 


The practical guide "Inclusive, Systemic Evaluation for Gender, Environments and Marginalized voices" (ISE4GEMs) uses the GEMs dimensions as a focal lens to refine analysis on issues of power and oppression that matter to the stakeholders and participants impacted by an intervention. 

Gender equality

We understand Gender as  a continuum that goes beyond biological and binary determinations. Gendered attributes, opportunities and relationships are socially constructed, Gender equality is defined broadly to refer to women and men, transgendered and intersex identities, captured partly in terms such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, and intersex (LGBTQI).


We use the term environments to capture both human-made and natural socioecological landscapes and systems. The effects of climate change and resource depletion are exacerbating a number of game-changing dynamics. These include energy infrastructure challenges, water scarcities, land disputes, soil  degradation,  slum  urbanism  and food insecurity, all of which need appropriate consideration in terms their impacts.

Marginalized voices

We capture marginalization in human but also in non-human voices. Unfortunately, groups of people and their attributes  are pushed to the margins of society and assigned lesser importance, discriminated against or excluded. Moreover, there is the need to pay more attention to non-human ‘voices’ such as flora and fauna, culture, languages, ideas, etc. 


Intersectionality and intersectional analysis provide the foundational understanding that the GEMs dimensions. The degree of importance of one dimension or another, and the nature of their intersection, will vary within different contexts and at different times and spaces. For example, not all women experience the same oppression, not all members of a marginalized group experience the same marginalization, and no to ecological systems are the same.

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