The aim of a gender strategy To effect government commitments to gender equality at the local level. Practical steps for ensuring that gender is mainstreamed in and through the government.
Why gender? What is gender? - the different societal expectations, norms and values ascribed to women and men/boys and girls in a society. What is gender stereotyping? - the way that society expects women and men to behave and the roles they are expected to play.
Women and men in Namibia Population: 51% women, 49% men. 35% urban, 65% rural. Gender equality is enshrined in the Constitution but does not translate to equality on the ground.
Women and men in Namibia 56% of men are employed compared to 41% women. 42% councillors in local government are women but only 27% members of parliament are women. 28% increase in incidences of rape and gender based violence. HIV/AIDS means many fragile gains women have made are being reversed.
Why gender? What is gender equality and equity? - ensuring equal opportunities for women and men to enjoy their human rights. - more than equality of opportunity, it is about equality of outcome and results.
Commitments to gender equality and equity International and regional - Southern African Development Community Protocol on Gender and Development 2008, ratified by Namibia - International Union of Local Authorities (IULA) Worldwide Declaration on Women in Local Government - CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) - Protocol to the African Charter for Human and People’s Rights of Women in Africa National - The Constitution: outlaws discrimination based on sex, gives women and men equal rights as citizens. - Laws that provide for affirmative action: Local Authorities Act 23 of 1992, Traditional Authorities Act of 1995, Affirmative Action (Employment) Act of 1998 - The Labour Act 6 of 1992 - National Gender Policy updated in 2010 and the National Gender Plan of Action (2010 – 2015)
What is gender mainstreaming? To assess the implications for women and men of any planned action. To make the concerns and experiences of women and men an integral part of policies and programmes. The ultimate goal of gender mainstreaming is to achieve gender equality.
Practical and strategic gender needs Practical needs - related to daily needs and activities Strategic needs - changing the relationships, roles and responsibilities of men and women Gender mainstreaming meets practical and strategic gender needs.
Gender management system Tools and structures in place to make sure that gender is mainstreamed in policy formulation, programming and in all areas of organisational work.
Planning Make sure that those marginalised voices form part of the overall outcome of the envisaged activities. Strategy: - women and men to be consulted prior to the drawing up of local government plans
Gender structures Headed by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, some ministries and local government have gender focal points or units. Strategy: - each local authority should have a gender coordinator who is gender aware
Gender budgeting A tool that looks into the needs of various targeted groups (for example, women). How does the budget relate to their needs? Strategy: - women and men to participate equally in public consultations on planning and budgets
Centres of Excellence for Mainstreaming Gender in Local Government Empowers local authorities in Namibia to engender their policies, programmes and guidelines. So far, COEs have been implemented in 10 Namibian councils.
Stages of COEs Stage 1: Meetings with management teams of councils Stage 2: Situational analysis Stage 3: Council level policy and implementation workshops Stage 4V: Community mobilisation village level meetings on the SADC Protocol
Stages of COEs Stage 5: Capacity building through on the job training Stage 6: Application of skills in running major campaigns Stage 7: Gender and local economic development Stage 8: Gender and sustainable development Summit: Best practices, case studies, lessons learned
Cascading the COEs Cascading is about comparing notes, sharing experiences within local governance structures. 10 councils have become COEs and this has to be replicated to others across the country.
Ways to cascade COEs 1.Train gender champions (individuals or structures) in the current COE councils as trainers. This ensures continuous support, ownership and sustainability. 2.Peer learning among the councils: it is important for the councils to learn from each other, use each other as resources and share skills. 3.Big sister programme: cities and towns working with village councils to assist them in becoming COEs.
Group work Identify the clusters Councils to work in clusters