This method helps to explore the norms that govern work environment, understand the power division among both sexes, and study the ways in which gender affects the nature and organisation of an activity. 3R stands for,
1R — Representation
How equally are both sexes represented in the decision making process, i.e, number of staff, decision-makers and users?
2R — Resources
How equally are the resources, including time, money and space, distributed between both sexes?
3R — Realia
How are the representation and resource distribution determined? To what extent did gender norms interfer and shape it? Providing an answer to this question requires knowledge of gender studies, constructions of gender and the conditions of both sexes.
The 3R Method was born as a result of the project “Kommunerna och jämställdheten”, meaning county and gender equality, in the late 1990s. Headed by Gertrud Åström and supported by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities, the effort aimed to integrate gender equality in all municipalities.
The method stresses that all three Rs are required to Gender Mainstream an activity. The first two involve compiling statistics, and serve as a platform for initiating a discussion on the third R.
Gender analysis is not an easy task since the concepts and phenomena, which need to be analysed, are usually perceived as “natural” and “normal”. To achieve a reliable analysis, collecting quantitative data through R1 and R1 is not sufficient. Quantitative studies need to be supplemented with qualitative ones in the form of interviews with decision makers, employees and/or users.
The results from various investigations should be compared with the existing objectives, based on which one could decide whether reform is needed and, if so, how.