FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 8, 2017, 4-6PM — BUSBOYS & POETS, 2021 14TH ST NW, WASHINGTON, DC
A collective group of gender specialists from 10 different international development and humanitarian organizations will launch a proposed set of minimum standards for mainstreaming gender equality, to be held in Washington, DC, on March 8, 2017.
“International Women’s Day is the perfect moment to launch this initiative,” said Kelly Fish, Senior Gender Advisor at Mercy Corps, one of the initial organizations that helped spearhead the standards. “The Gender Standards draw from the wisdom of women’s and men’s movements from around the world – as well as a diverse set of gender experts, implementers, donors, researchers and advocates – to lift up specific steps that development practitioners should take to advance gender equality.”
Gender equality is one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, as a well as a means towards achieving additional goals such as a zero hunger, good health and economic growth. Evidence on this is ample. For example, if women farmers had an equal amount of resources to men, it could reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 100 – 150 million. A more equal involvement of both mothers and fathers in child rearing would help improve health outcomes in infants. And closing the gap between women’s and men’s economic participation could add 26 percent, or US$28 trillion, to global GDP in 2025.
Advancing gender equality is a goal of most international development organizations. However, the path to get there is not always clear. “We came together as a group of gender specialists seeking support and answers on what it takes to do this within our organizations and our programs,” said Elise Young, Senior Advisor for Gender Mainstreaming and Thought Leadership at FHI 360, and one of the co-authors of the Gender Standards. “When we realized that we were all struggling with the same challenges, we decided that creating a common set of standards could help not only us, but other practitioners in the field as well.”
Jenn Williamson, Senior Director for Gender and Social Inclusion at ACDI/VOCA and Gender Standards co-author, affirms the need for a common set of standards. “Both the UN and USAID have their policies on gender equality, as do several other donors and global platforms. However, there has been no central set of operating standards for organizations that are working on the ground to help implement international development initiatives. These standards help change that.”
The Gender Practitioners Collaborative will unveil the Gender Standards at Busboys and Poets on 14th and V, a symbolic place for discussing social justice. Yeva Avakyan, Senior Gender and Evaluation Advisor at World Vision, and Gender Standards co-author, highlights the importance of this launch. “This initiative is about committing ourselves as development practitioners in prioritizing gender equality in our organizations and programs. It requires looking at ourselves in the mirror to see what we can do better at our different organizations, partnering with gender equality movements around the world, and holding ourselves to an even higher level of accountability.”
To review the Gender Standards, visit www.genderstandards.org. To join the conversation on the Gender Standards, visit #GenderStandards, or follow the Gender Practitioners Collaborative on Twitter: @GenderPC.
The Gender Practitioners Collaborative is an informal group of U.S.-based gender advisors and technical gender experts from international development and humanitarian organizations with a vested interest in promoting the practice of gender equality mainstreaming within our organizations and programs across every sector.