One of my favorite sessions at the recently held InterAction Forum focused on highlighting the Minimum Standards for Mainstreaming Gender Equality. Though it was only by chance that I walked by the room on my way to attend another session, I could not resist the urge to forgo my original plan and join this discussion. My passion for human rights and promoting gender equality definitely won this time! After all I strongly believe there is still so much more to learn despite my experience of being an advocate for women rights for over 5 years.
The session in fact delivered on my hope of gaining new knowledge. Firstly, I learned of the Gender Practitioners Collaborative which is an informal group of gender advisors and technical gender experts based in the U.S from international development and humanitarian organizations. These individuals have a keen interest in promoting the practice of gender equality mainstreaming within organizations and programs across every sector.
Eight minimum standards
That said this group has, through a multi-year collaborative process, developed a set of 8 minimum standards for mainstreaming gender equality. These standards are meant to be clear enough to set a minimum level of quality, but broad enough to allow each organization/program to define what is appropriate for its context. Importantly, these standards are meant to represent the minimum bar for acceptable programming as there is still much more that can and should be done to advance the process of mainstreaming gender equality.
Having participated in this very stimulating session I strongly believe that in order to progress on achieving gender equality globally all organizations should review, adopt, and work systematically toward implementing the standard. The full document containing more details about each standard can be accessed here.