Some Principles of Gender Analysis:
Implementing Gender Equality in Organizations

An analysis of gender equity policies in an organization and elsewhere has resulted in the conclusion that, while no single defined set of principles exists, the following are important elements of a conceptual framework:

1. Accountability.From a management point of view, accountability tends to revolve around different processes. In a mature equity culture, accountability for equity issues is not be singled out for attention. However, the culture to date tolerated comments of the kind that "it is someone else's responsibility" or "that's what the gender unit is for". Until there is more mainstreaming of responsibilities accompanied by accountability, only the committed few will fully carry out those responsibilities, and only restricted outcomes will be possible. In order to overcome this difficulty, a wider framework for gender equity responsibilities across an organization needs to be established to promote stronger forms of accountability. It is also essential that staff in management and supervisory roles accept responsibility for gender equity policies and practices within their units.

2. Comparability.While there are no gender equity absolutes, comparison is a strong mechanism to lift the performance of like institutions. The benefit arises from sharing statistical data, policy and practices.The adoption of this principle involves policy and best practice at other organizations and comparative data analysed. Benchmarking with other organizations, particularly in terms of staffing profiles, can be a valuable tool in assessing progress in various areas. Gathering information on policy and practice elsewhere is likely to assist, for instance, in identifying successful ways of increasing the number of women on committees and enhancing the career prospects of women.

3. Networking.The absence of an effective internal gender equity network can result in two undesirable consequences. Firstly, inequities due to lack of knowledge about opportunities can flourish and secondly, the effectiveness of the system in drawing the organization's attention to such inequities is diminished. Networking within the organization can therefore be enhanced with the aim of furthering staff awareness, understanding of, and commitment to, gender policies, principles and practice.This can include an organization-wide information capture, the establishment of communications mechanisms to ensure that the organization is aware of, and responsive to, the needs of its staff, and grievance advice.

4. Cultural Values.This is probably the most important and wide-ranging of the principles. By focussing on its cultural values, the organization can have the opportunity to identify possible improvements. It is only by addressing cultural values that the core business of the organization will be seen from a equity standpoint. Policies, procedures and education programs need to be developed, implemented on an integrated basis and evaluated to promote workplace attitudes towards gender equity. Diverse issues in relation to gender equity needs to be examined in consultation with all staff and information on best practice promulgated. One strategy can be to include gender equity in the terms of reference of the organization's reviews.

5. Strategies.The four areas listed above constitute major focal points for considering the health of the organization with regard to gender issues. In Strategies, a fifth principle is added.This captures the organization's commitment to developing knowledge and understanding of how the system can be changed in order to meet overall equity objectives. Under this members of the organization are empowered through knowledge of existing strategies. New programs which identify and address inequalities, special needs and the status of women in relation to employment at all levels also need to be established and evaluated.

Source: The ANU Gender Equity Plan
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Gender Analysis Framework