1.1. Policy Statement
Gender equality is high on the agenda of INTERNATIONAL PEACE COMMITTEE FOR INTERFAITH HARMONY
. We believe that gender equality is inextricably linked to the primary goal of the financial mechanisms, which is to reduce economic and social disparities in the newly enlarged INTERNATIONAL PEACE COMMITTEE FOR INTERFAITH HARMONY
. Men and women must have equal rights and opportunities in all areas of the economy and society if real sustainable economic and social development is to be achieved. Furthermore, gender discrimination is a violation of fundamental human rights.
INTERNATIONAL PEACE COMMITTEE FOR INTERFAITH HARMONY
recognizes that not all projects will lead to a maximum impact on gender equality. However, the inclusion of gender equality as a cross-cutting issue acknowledges the fact that to be effective the grants available through the financial mechanisms should include gender equality considerations.
The purpose of this document is to ensure that the activities carried out under the mechanisms shall contribute to furthering gender equality. Together, these documents indicate how gender equality considerations, and the considerations of the other cross-cutting issues, will be evaluated
This gender equality policy is intended to be complementary to the strategies of other actors with similar objectives.
- Definition of Gender
The term ‘gender equality’ to mean:“that all human beings are free to develop their personal abilities and make choices without the limitations set by strict gender roles; that the different behavior, aspirations and needs of women and men are equally considered, valued and favored”.
Implementing gender equality fully requires equal representation and participation of both men and women in the economy, decision-making, as well as in social, cultural and civil life. Only in this way will men and women reach their full potential in society. It implies a fair distribution of resources between men and women, the redistribution of power and caring responsibilities, and freedom from gender-based violence.
Closely linked to the concept of gender equality, is that of gender mainstreaming. Gender equality cannot be achieved by dealing with the issues of one gender seen in isolation from those of the other, nor from those of society as a whole. Hence, gender mainstreaming is used in order to ensure that gender issues are dealt with at all levels and at all stages. It involves all general policies and measures, so that they may specifically bring about equality by actively and openly taking into account, at the planning stage, their effects on the respective situations of women and men in implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
- Key dimensions of Gender
INTERNATIONAL PEACE COMMITTEE FOR INTERFAITH HARMONY
will be taking these in to consideration. This consideration – combined with persistent underrepresentation of women in politics and economic leadership, as well as violence against and trafficking in women – shows that despite the legal framework, structural inequalities persist.
Although the dimensions of gender equality often contain overlapping elements and may be divided in different ways, for the purposes of the financial mechanisms they have been broadly grouped into the following categories:
- Economic and social rights
- Human Rights
- Prevention of violence
- Participation and decision-making
The overlapping characteristics of the categories listed naturally results in the outcomes not being linked to a specific category of gender equality, but rather that activities in one area are likely to have outcomes in one or more of the others.
3.1. Economic and social rights
The essence of the economic rights element of this dimension of gender equality is that women and men must have the opportunity to participate equally in economic development. It entails the full integration of women into the economy and is therefore very closely linked to social rights. The economic dimension of gender equality is also found to some extent in both of the other two categories of gender equality listed below. Failure to protect social rights relates directly to the feminization of poverty, which emerges as a result of dated models that do not take into account the family role. This can be due to career breaks, part time work, lack of education and training, etc.
By its very nature, there is a wide range of activities relating to economic and social rights in gender equality. Initiatives that may contribute to the inclusion of gender equality issues into the economic dimension include:
- Eliminating gender gaps in the labor market,
- Equal pay for equal work,
- Access to education,
- Provision of day-care facilities, more flexible work environments, etc.
Initiatives that promote gender equality in social rights may include such initiatives that take into account parental leave, maternity protection, working time, part-time and fixed-term contracts, and particularly those that impact women’s daily life such as public transport, public health, etc. Due to the nature of economic and social rights in gender equality, the initiatives in these areas are closely linked.
3.2. Human rights
As affirmed at the UN Conference on Human Rights in Vienna in 1992, and reaffirmed at the UN World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, women’s rights are human rights; they are not a special category of rights. Hence this dimension of gender equality relates to the issue of the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms. This element focuses predominantly on women who are subject to multiple types of discrimination.
3.3. Prevention of violence
This dimension includes issues relating to women who face gender-based violence, domestic violence/violence in intimate relationships, and sexual exploitation. However, this dimension relates not only to the prevention of gender-based violence, but also to support to those that have been the victim of such violence. Furthermore, issues relating to reproductive rights and sexual health also fall under this category. Initiatives include those activities that seek to reduce discrimination, promote women’s rights as human rights and prevent trafficking in women.
3.4. Participation and decision-making
This dimension includes representation and participation in decision-making both at a political and an economic level. The political level encompasses the equal participation and representation of women in the societal systems and local decision making processes, including elections. Decision-making at an economic level relates to the step from education and training into working life, including recruitment and career development aspects.
There is a general under-representation of women in all areas of decision-making, which represents a fundamental democratic deficit. Initiatives include, among others activities, promotion of the involvement of women in political, economic and social decision-making at all levels.
- Gender consciousness in projects
A key aspect of the success of any gender equality policy is to translate it into action. This primarily entails its incorporation into projects and the project cycle, starting at the project application stage. In essence, the potential and actual impact of the inclusion of gender equality must therefore be assessed both in project appraisal and followed-up within project monitoring.
Due to the differences in nature of projects possible under the INTERNATIONAL PEACE COMMITTEE FOR INTERFAITH HARMONY
, some of the gender equality issues relevant to the project will vary. Therefore the checklist must be used in a flexible way, declaring the ‘not applicable’ questions as such, and focusing on the relevant ones.
When developing the gender equality element of projects, a number of elements should be considered in order to give an indication of its potential impact on gender equality issues. In particular, the applicant should address how the project takes the following issues into account.
4.1 General methodology
- How does the project take into account gender specific needs and address gender specific conditions?
- How does the project take past experiences and/or current gender equality activities in the country into account?
- How does the project address the gender equality issues and targets relevant to the project?
- How does the project provide qualitative information on gender issues where necessary?
Economic and social rights
- How does the project encourage lifelong learning and access by women to the labor market?
- How does the project enhance the income earning opportunities of women?
- How does the project strengthen social rights and/or contribute to participation in civil life by women?
- How does the project reduce the social exclusion of women?
- How does the project contribute to strengthening organizations and public institutions working to improve the opportunities and rights of women, including NGOs?
Prevention of violence
- How does the project support awareness-raising actions and campaigns empowering women?
Participation and decision-making
- How does the project contribute to participation by women in decision making at both a political and an economic level?
- How does the project involve male and female stakeholders in the consultative process?
- How does the project promote women’s participation within the project, for example as project staff, members of steering committees?
Project with a discriminatory gender bias or that may contribute to reinforcing existing gender inequalities that should be avoided.
- Implementing the gender policy
The implementation of the gender policy has to address the entire project cycle:
- When projects INTERNATIONAL PEACE COMMITTEE FOR INTERFAITH HARMONY
- When the beneficiaries makes their prioritization of the projects
- When the projects are appraised
- When the grant decision is made
- When the project is implemented and monitored
This gender equality policy must therefore be implemented in all parts of the project cycle based on the principles and activities that this policy is an integrated part of the organization and must be adopted by the organization.