It is generally conceded that issues of poverty, reconstruction and national development cannot be addressed without first looking to gender mainstreaming (Sweetman, 2004; Whitebread, 2004; Zucherman & Greenberg, 2004). Political representation of women, as well as women actively taking part in unofficial decision-making processes at the community and family level need to be incorporated into any programs that aim to change gender roles and political power (Kalunga-Banda, 2004). Evaluation of NGO programs that challenge gender polarization are a necessary step to identify opportunities and constraints of this political action, and to determine the benefits and possible negative effects the programs have on women, and their community (McKay, 2004; Sweeman, 2004; Zuchermann & Greenberg, 2004) .
In September, 1995 the United Nations signed the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action that dictates two main objectives: to confirm women's equal access and full participation in decision-making, and to increase women's ability to fully participate in leadership roles and decision-making processes (SURF, 2003). ...
Kymlicka considers culture to be the most characteristic element of a society, and that policy changes are dependent on how they affect culture. He supports "group-differentiated rights" (King, 2000, p. 5) as a way to negate unequal opportunities. Kymlicka emphasises culture, as the options available for policy changes, and community changes in values and beliefs are predetermined by culture. It is within a cultural community that an individual reflects on its goals.
Specific Research Questions
What are the cultural values within Congo, pertaining to gender roles, equality and empowerment of women
What are the cultural values of social change in Congo
What are the cultural values of each community regrading gender equality and cultural change
What women focused programs are in use
What other women based activities exist in the community
Is there coordination between Monuc programs and community empowerment programs, if any exist
How do Monuc programs compare with gender equality programs of other NGOs
How is gender inequality and disempowerment of women defined in Congo
What are the patterns of disempowerment for women in Congo
What are the patterns of empowerment for women in Congo
Have the women experienced meaningful change due to the programs
Have women experienced meaningful change to all of the Monuc programs
Do the women consider that their communities and families have experienced positive change due to the programs
Do the women consider that their families and communities have experienced negative change due to the programs
Have the women been exposed to negative experiences because of the programs
At a policy level, what are the