Gender Training

Introduction and Objectives
For a long time breastfeeding protection, promotion and support has focused on the child, often to the absence of the mother, the woman and of the father or partner , the man. However, it is obvious that breastfeeding is a symbiotic relationship between the mother and the child, and thus any analysis and response (interventions) should take into account all persons involved in the breastfeeding act.

Gender inequalities – including the inequities in health status and access to and use of health services – not only make women’s lives more difficult, they also often make breastfeeding and other tasks (such as child care and nurturing), very challenging, contrary to the cultures where women & men have fixed roles such as women as mothers only and men as fathers only, defined strictly by the society.

Breastfeeding advocates can better support women to breastfeed when they understand the causes of gender inequality, and know how to analyse and address such unequal conditions. Thus, it is important that breastfeeding protection, promotion and support programmes are also gender-sensitive, in addition to being scientifically and programmatically sound.

To date WABA has organised five gender trainings. These trainings have been effective and gained much popularity over the years. WABA’s gender training is stimulating and acts as a catalyst to start the process of gender transformation for both men and women. Such a transformation involves personal change in the thinking, attitudes and behaviour of participants. As WABA’s gender training also aims to help participants apply a gender perspective to gender mainstreaming techniques in breastfeeding protection, promotion and support programmes, it should subsequently have the effect of making breastfeeding programmes more effective and meaningful to women, men and children the world over.

But the rising cost of conducting face-to-face training is prohibitive and has been one of the primary concerns in WABA’s aim to continue raising gender awareness in this format. As such other ways have been explored. One way to address this need is to develop an online self-study course that will enable individuals to build capacity in a flexible and cost free method.

About the Course

This Self-Study Course on Gender and Breastfeeding, is drawn from a three-day Gender Training Workshop organised by WABA in the past years. It includes four web-based educational modules, each based on a specific gender and breastfeeding related topic. These modules correlate with each other and therefore the course has to be taken following the numbered sequence.

The primary source of the module content has been adapted from WABA’s “Gender Training kit” that has been used in and evolved from the different WABA training workshops since 2004. The Kit is a compilation of various training materials used by our expert trainers, Renu Khanna from India, and Paul Sinnapan from Malaysia. Both these trainers have been conducting gender training for years: Renu specifically for people involved in health issues, and Paul in community organising and gender sensitisation of men.

Overall Objectives of the On-line Self Study Course

• To sensitise individuals to concepts of gender
• To equip participants with tools and skills of gender analysis
• To enable participants to develop a gender analysis of breastfeeding

Target Audience
The target audience for the On-line Self Study Course is breastfeeding advocates, and all others interested in breastfeeding and health issues (health care practitioners, students, parents, social activists etc.) who desire a basic introduction to gender and breastfeeding related issues.

How to Get Started
You will need a computer with internet access, running any of the major operating systems. To get started, click on a module from the menu on the left.

Module duration
The modules can be completed within one day (minimum) or extended to as many days possible according to the studying pace of the individual, although we suggest that you do it within a span of two weeks period to keep your mind focused on the subject matter.

Expected outcomes
Upon completion of the modules, individuals will be able to:
• Differentiate between sex and gender
• Understand the dimensions of gender as a system
• Analyse gender aspects of breastfeeding

Note: COMPULSORY Requirements before Starting the Self-Study Course:
1. Complete the pre-course questionnaire which is required for us to have a database of all the enrolled individuals. (FORM 1).
2. Begin by viewing the slide presentation and/or pdf documents of each module.
3. Complete each quiz/assessment/exercise question for the respective module.
4. Complete the post-course feedback.
5. Submit all documents – a total of 6 online forms (pre course questions, post course feedback, quiz, exercise questions, assessment ) – by clicking “submit”, which will electronically deliver all documents to the WABA database for information and reference.
6. An e-certificate of completion will be sent to you after the WABA secretariat has determined that you have submitted all the relevant documents as stated in item 5 above.

WABA is always open to comments and feedback on the contents of the modules and any questions you may have.

Please write to us at or if you need further clarification or assistance on the topics. However, please note that our secretariat consists of a small team of multitasking individuals and we appreciate your patience in expecting a reply from us. Thank you!

Also, please always send us an email on when you take up the training so that we are informed immediately and can prepare the result and your certificate well in time.


Session 1 :Gender and Sex

This is the first training module of the course. Upon completion of this module, individuals will;

1. Know the difference between sex and gender.
2. Understand gender as a system, and that gender is socially constructed.

Please follow the steps in sequence:

  1. Exercise on gender and sex graphics: Pictures of ‘sexless’ persons in various settings are displayed and individuals have to identify the sex (male, female or either) of the person in the picture and explain their reason to do so.
    (Click here for the Pictures)
    (Click here to give your answers to the pictures: FORM 2)
  2. Power Point Presentation on information related to Sex and Gender.
  3. Quiz to identify given statement as Sex or Gender.(click here for Quiz :FORM 3)


Session 2: Social & Economic Context of Women

Upon completion of this module, individuals will:

1. Understand the social and economic contexts of women globally.
2. Understand the need to examine sex disaggregated statistics, and the social and economic determinants of health, in order to understand the realities of women’s and men’s lives from the social and economic perspective.


Please follow the sequence of the documents;

  1. Power point presentation on information related to Social-Economic Context of Women.
  2. Sex-disaggregated tables/statistics.
  3. Refer to the document entitled FORM 4 , Based on the statistics shown in the sex-disaggregated tables from 1 to 7, you are required to select your responses accordingly.

Session 3: Gender Issues in Breastfeeding

Upon completion of this module, individuals will
Relate the concept of gender to the breastfeeding issue.
They will be able to formulate their understanding by giving their responses.


  1. Read WABA Gender Guidelines document.
  2. Power point presentation on information related to Gender Analysis of Breastfeeding.
  3. Exercise on Gender Challenges to Breastfeeding: Individuals are required to read the five different case studies below and choose any three (3) to answer.(Click here for Case-lets & FORM 5 for your responses)
  4. In each case study, you are required to answer the following question:
    • Identify minimum two or three gender issues in the selected case study.
    • What would be the advocacy issues for a gender-sensitive, rights-based breastfeeding campaign? (Give minimum two or three points)

Session 4: Feedback and Evaluation
In this last session, individuals will have to answer the following:

  • The Post Course Feedback (Form 6) to assess their level of understanding of this course and feedback about the training modules.
  • Form 7 :is simply a checklist for the candidates to provide us the list of documents submitted. WABA will check the completion of all forms and documents before issuing you the e-certificate of successful completion of this course.

Important Note:

Please give us at least one month or more to check and process your application for the certificate.