could have a considerable influence on the implementation model. Leaders in many societies
assume that their statement will be valued as correct. Who would think that they carry out
such jobs themselves? On the other hand, the purpose of the interview is accurately guessed
and the answer given accordingly. The implementer would like an as even distribution of
work as possible; he could consider the regulations of labor division to be ’bad’. And so, the
answer is given accordingly, so that noone has to be ’ashamed’. Unfortunately this changes
nothing as far as the later reality is concerned. Especially in the case of traditionally
underprivileged groups, often including women, it has to be expected that the ’leaders’ as
well as the ’laborers’ find it very difficult to give correct statements on the division of tasks.
It can be concluded that:
• On the one hand an extensive preliminary investigation which can often refer to
literature is essential. If there are general strong tendencies towards division of labor
within a target region, statements concerning the even delegation of jobs within the
target group have to be treated with caution.
• The local interviewing of the target group does not initially refer to the future project,
but to comparable, existent job routines. If there is a strict division of labor here, no
promises of an egalitarian division of work within the proposed biogas project should
Women are kept out of many decision-making processes as far as they exceed the family,
are connected with the allocation of finances or are concerned with ’technical measures’. On
the other hand, women may be the main interested parties concerning biogas for cooking.
Once a plant is constructed, they are the most affected by the malfunctioning of a plant.
Forms of participation
Which form of participation is appropriate for women cannot be decided from outside. It is of
little use to the women if they are ’forced’ into a decision-making body without being truly
accepted by other members. Their impact could be even less than by influencing of the
husband. When there are problems with the plant, it is the women who can be a stabilizing
element. As they are more affected by malfunctioning of the plant, they are more interested
than men in, for example, a well functioning repair service.
Different models should be considered according to the standing of women in society:
• the careful integration of women into decision making bodies
• women committees for the regulation of consumer problems whilst matters of finance
are left to the men
• specialized committees with a mixed central body
Special female committees
The impact of a female committee should not be underestimated. Even if it has no direct
influence on decisions it embodies a greater confidence of the women and so indirectly
influences decisions. This sort of special committee can also be an initial step towards full
participation in the future.
It is necessary to take not only the women but also the men into consideration when
discussing gender specific questions. A participation model which is not effective for these
will also not help the women.