The United Nations Development Programme Midterm Gender Equality Strategy 2008-2013 Review says the body is now a gender aware organization, with personnel at all levels aware of the linkages between gender mainstreaming and development results.
This has resulted in significant programme successes, primarily in the development of gender relevant inputs into policy and planning systems; a range of interventions supporting women’s political and economic empowerment; and greater availability and use of gender-relevant data.
The Midterm Review which was made available to the Ghana News Agency on Saturday by Randi Davis, Director, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Director Gender Team.
It said: “UNDP responded forcefully to the findings of the 2005 Gender Equality Evaluation, systematically putting in place the approaches and leadership noted then as being lacking.
“These included the establishment and strengthening of programme tracking and monitoring mechanisms and the development of an overall strategic framework.”
The report said the strengthening of the Gender Team was also important as organizational and individual capacities have improved considerably.
It said while both remain a continuing challenge, especially in country offices, there have been advances, and the means to address the remaining problems are now clear and remain only to be implemented and monitored.
“UNDP has developed a range of innovative gender mainstreaming tools and methodologies for gender integration in economic policy management and dialogue processes,” it said.
The report said UNDP has developed a particular strength in the promotion of women’s political participation through its programming in electoral assistance, parliamentary support and constitutional and legal reform.
It added that these investments were yielding returns, and that the work should be expanded.
“About one third of Country Offices have been engaged in initiatives for preventing and responding to gender-based violence, especially in developing gender-based violence legislation and building more gender-sensitive legal and judicial institutions.
“There is now strong awareness within UNDP that the situation of women and girls in post conflict countries requires specific support, and that it is critical for women to participate in recovery and reconstruction processes.
“UNDP is playing a leading role in bringing gender equality issues into the global and national environmental policy dialogue,” it noted.
It said despite notable improvements, gender mainstreaming in project and programme activities remains uneven and ad hoc.
The report said it is important that global, regional and national Human Development Reports address the gender equality dimensions of their individual themes and that all programming units use the findings of these reports to spark programme action at the country level.
It recommended that UNDP leads the United Nations system in adopting accountability mechanisms for promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment.
It also suggested that discussions with United Nations Women (UNW) are required, on how to strengthen cooperation and ensure coordination in areas of overlapping mandates.