Women’s Empowerment


Source: www.undp.org

UNDP promotes equality between women and men through 'gender mainstreaming.' The organization’s corporate strategy on gender is designed to integrate the promotion of women’s empowerment and equality fully in the organization's core business. This strategy calls for gender mainstreaming to become everyone’s job – not the responsibility of a small number of specialists. It rests on three pillars:

  • Developing capacities – both in-country and in-house – to integrate gender concerns in all practice areas;

  • Providing policy advisory services that promote gender equality and women's empowerment; and

  • Supporting specific interventions that benefit women and innovative models such as those developed and tested by the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).

Priorities of the corporate gender action plan include monitoring the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); reducing the incidence of HIV among vulnerable women; promoting women's empowerment through democratic governance, decentralization and civil society participation; and developing women's capacities through training, knowledge-sharing and networking.

UNDP's multi-year funding framework includes a mechanism to ensure that gender equality is effectively integrated in all UNDP service lines and programmes. Accountability tools include a gender mainstreaming scorecard, which tracks overall progress at the corporate level; the review of manager and staff performance in gender mainstreaming as part of the yearly appraisal process; and new indicators to track results.

'Gender mainstreaming' was defined by the United Nations Economic and Social Council in 1997 as 'a strategy for making women's as well as men’s concerns and experiences an integral dimension of...the policies and programmes in all political, economic and societal spheres so that women and men benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated.'

The relative status of men and women; the interaction between gender and race, class and ethnicity and questions of rights, control, ownership, power and voice all have a critical impact on the success and sustainability of every development intervention.

In practice, gender mainstreaming means identifying gaps in gender equality. Despite good intentions and some real progress, the development community, UNDP included, is still falling short in delivering on its promises. Many of the problem areas were identified in the UN Secretary-General's Review and Appraisal of the Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action. These areas include the development of accountability mechanisms; allocation of sufficient resources; attention to gender equality; targeting not just 'soft' areas for gender mainstreaming (such as health and education), but also supposedly 'gender-neutral' areas, such as infrastructure development and economic policies; and strong political commitment and will.

Source: www.undp.org

 
 

 

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