SWOT is a tool used to identify the risks involved in work or a project. S stands for strengths and W for weaknesses. Together these fields (see figure) represent the current situation according to the different group members. A more future oriented view emerges where O and T are added, where O stands for opportunities and T for threats.

Basically, SWOT analysis is a planning tool used in business administration and economics, but it can also be used in other activities.

The analysis relates to factors that can be influenced in an organisation’s own activities, but also to factors of external origin that cannot be influenced. To facilitate the SWOT analysis, several analytical templates are available. These are then adapted to in-house activities.

Based on the analysis, one can obtain an understanding of how the organisation can act and prioritise in order to develop, and what the organisation needs to do in the long term. Finally, SWOT allows time schedules to be attached to high priority activities.

Follow these steps,

  1. Carefully think about the activity. Write down all strengths and advantages that will benefit the gender equality efforts.
  2. Now write down all weaknesses, obstacles and problems that may make the gender equality efforts more difficult.
  3. Once this has been accomplished, review the current situation and discuss what is particularly important to nurture and hold on to for the future (Point 1 – Strengths) and which problems must be solved in the short- and long-run (Point 2 – Weaknesses).
  4. Then list all threats you can think of that may counteract the gender mainstreaming process. In so doing, it may be useful to return to the weaknesses identified earlier and exaggerate their seriousness; ask yourself, ‘What will happen if this problem is not solved?’
  5. List all threats you can think of that may help facilitate gender equality and gender mainstreaming. Brainstorm, think out of the box and be creative – try to think of anything that may end up benefitting your gender equality efforts.
  6. Work with points 4 and 5 in the same way you worked with point 3. Finally, develop a concrete action plan for the work ahead. Some recommended headings in the action plan are ‘Who, does what, by which date?’
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