Gender Action Learning System (GALS) is a community-led empowerment methodology which aims to give women and men more control over their lives, catalyze and support a sustainable movement for gender justice. Illustrations and drawings are used in GALS for setting vision, specifically on developing new relationships between women and men as equal being and work in changing gender inequalities in resources and power. GALS is implemented across the world in different development contexts like value chain, rural finance, rural livelihood, food security among others. GALS is proven to be successful approach in providing solutions for an inclusive rural transformation, thus is promoted and used by IFAD.
Joint Program on Accelerating Progress toward the Economic Empowerment of Rural Women in Nepal (JP- RWEE), implemented by FAO, IFAD, WFP and UN WOMEN and IFAD funded programs in Nepal—Rural Enterprises and Remittances Project (RERP) have jointly initiated implementing GALS with the Women Farmers’ Groups generated by project in Sarlahi, Bara, Rautahat, Mahottari, Dhanusha, Siraha and Saptari districts. The RER project in its inception phase did two GALs Catalyst Workshops (from 25 Feb -2 Mar 2019, and 2-7 May 2019) trained a total of 42 rural women as change catalyst from 8 women farmer groups along with 5 volunteers working as group facilitator in JP-RWEE from Sarlahi and Rautahat of Province 2.
The follow-up of the first workshop noted that the participants had peer-sharing with their family and group members. This has already marked some second generation GALS leaders, the Champions. More Champions have been noted after several of catalyst workshop. Based on the learning from field review after first workshop 5 field facilitators were included in the second GALS workshop in order to closely facilitate the peer-sharing process and improve the understanding and missing information of rural women immediately in the field.
Although GALS has gained its credibility in its approach in other countries, it is being implemented first time in Nepal in IFAD operation. Ms. Anja Rabezanahary from Madagascar and Mr.Tribhuban Paudel from Nepal facilitated these workshops. The two Catalyst Workshops are the starts up of the GALS process which has introduced four basic tools: a) Soul mate Vision b) Road Vision Journey c) Gender Balance Tree and d) Social Empowerment Map.
RERP has adopted GALS in its project procedure to assist the high risk families among the total beneficiaries. Thus, RERP staffs also participated these two GALS workshop which was an opportunity for the team to learn from the experts and pilot in the project working areas.