Development organisations have learnt to talk the talk on ‘gender’. But in many if not most organisations male privilege and patriarchal attitudes and behaviour persist.
This article explores techniques that can be used to make visible some of the dynamics of gendered power in organisations, as part of strategies for changing the scene in the everyday work settings in which these dynamics create obstacles for the enjoyment of greater equality and respect.
It draws on anthropological and participatory methods borrowed, adapted and developed in a range of contexts, from action research on organisational culture to the delivery of ‘gender training’. Framed by bell hooks’ observation that patriarchy is a pernicious and life-threatening social disease that affects us all, the article offers some reflections on interventions aimed at changing the gender order.