The Gender Lens: Sharpening Our Focus
The gender intentionality session enabled partners to develop an understanding on the various ways and mechanisms through which they can apply an enhanced gender lens to their organizations thereby creating greater impact on communities they seek to serve.
Program Manager – WSH, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Political will is at the center of gender mainstreaming at orgsanizations. Without it, nothing much can happen.
Director - Gender Integration, Global Center for Gender Equality at Stanford University School of Medicine
It’s important to remember that gender intentionality is both a strategic and an organic process. One has to find the root cause of gender biases and see how it manifests into the organization. And there is no one-size-fits-all solution to ensuring gender intentionality at workplaces.
- While partner organizations have attempted to incorporate gender in their WSH programmatic interventions, it is crucial to apply gender mainstreaming into organizational policies, strategies, and culture of an organization. Organizational and programmatic gender intentionality work in parallel to amplify impact.
- Gender mainstreaming is important as it is linked to organizational effectiveness and staff welfare. For instance, women tend to be more invested in their work, if they find that the organization respects and values their work.
- The gender mainstreaming process provides an examination of opportunities available to women and how gender norms can be dismantled. Gender mainstreaming is a strategic as well as an organic process. It is strategic because it challenges the organization to examine the root causes of gender inequality and understand how they manifest within the organization. It is also an organic process, takes time and a “one size fits all” approach cannot be applied to this process.
- Political will is the base of gender intentionality and organizations cannot begin the process of gender mainstreaming without strong buy in and will from the senior leadership
The Gender Lens: Getting to 20/20 Vision
- Start publicly speaking about the organization’s commitment to gender mainstreaming
- Allocate adequate resources to carry out gender mainstreaming and develop a budget for implementing actions to achieve gender balance (e.g salary analysis)
- Actively encourage organization to facilitate women’s progression to leadership roles
- Strengthen HR and project team to develop required skills to address gender issues at the workplace and include gender training for all
- Form a gender taskforce within the organization
- Conduct internal workshops, debates & discussions, and develop and action plan for gender mainstreaming
- Work towards consistently weave in gender mainstreaming in day-to-day practice, and conduct internal reflection checks
- Ensure women are safe, heard, valued and free from any discrimination at the workplace and create and nurture platforms that will contribute to fulfilling gender transformative initiatives
- Ensure conscious use of gender sensitive language and behaviour and be more conscious of things that may contribute to unequal behaviour such as mansplaining
STRATEGY & POLICY
- Conduct Gender Audits at the individual and organizational level
- Constitute a sexual harassment committee and build awareness
- Create, operationalise and display Gender Policy in the organization
- Implicit mention of Gender Transformation in 5-Year Human Resources Roadmap
- Establish policy for better dissemination/communication of gender policy
- Conduct mandatory gender equality trainings and monthly meetings to ensure awareness
- Nominate dedicated SPOC at the middle level to drive the accountability process/ Identify Gender Conscience keepers
- Develop feedback systems and include Gender Awareness as an indicator in performance reviews