Gender mainstreaming has been at the core of many industries recently as more and more people demand equality across all sexes, genders and people at large. While the idea will bring about vast opportunities for many people and economies, adapting to it may have its challenges, especially in previously underdeveloped areas such as Africa. For Africa to fully adopt gender mainstreaming, the three levels of gender mainstreaming must be performed – analysis and planning, implementation, and monitoring and assessment. This article will explore these levels and how Africa can join this universal idea of bringing more equality to different sectors and industries.
Analysis And Planning - The Beginning Of It All
Gender mainstreaming is the vessel we all need to get to gender equality. We echo the words of the UN, which said, “It is clear that there are global patterns of inequality between women and men. For example, women tend to suffer violence at the hands of their intimate partners more often than men; women’s political participation and their representation in decision-making structures lag behind men’s; women and men have different economic opportunities; women are over-represented among the poor; and women and girls make up the majority of people trafficked and involved in the sex trade. These issues – and others – need to be addressed in efforts to promote gender equality”, and we know the first step is to address these issues. The analysis and planning stage of gender mainstreaming is where we go to the root and collect data that will help us identify problem areas. This starts with having conversations with both men and women from marginalised backgrounds or the areas we are trying to shift towards gender mainstreaming.
Achieving gender equality will take action from different sectors, both public and private, and the change begins in systems – from the justice to the health system, education and even politics. More and more industries have to start having conversations and taking accountability for not employing gender mainstreaming steps.
Implementation - When We Act
The second step has to be the implementation of gender mainstreaming ideas. We are seeing that more and more women and girls are getting into tech careers, politics, medicine, advertising, high-ranking government positions and more, and the representation is sparking a lot of change. We know that once you place a relatable role model for young people to aspire to, you may see a future of gender equality among industries. While this is not easy, implementation that is bound by some form of agreement or legal clause also helps. Encouraging more businesses and sectors to employ equal numbers of people of different races and genders may also help implement gender equality, and allowing a fair hiring process will be pivotal to the shift too.
We understand that it may not be easy to achieve this as many women and girl children struggle with getting access to opportunities due to different social reasons; however, we can start at the core too. Our implementation processes don’t have to cater to the workforce only, but in the education sector too. If we start educating both boys and girls and arming them with equal opportunities in sectors such as tech, finance, medicine, education and more, then we stand a better chance of having both men and women that are qualified for jobs.
Monitoring And Assessment - How We Do
Gender equality through gender mainstreaming is not a once-off goal. In order for the change to actively happen, there has to be constant monitoring. This helps with accountability as well as acknowledging the impacts of all the work being done. We have to keep monitoring progress across all sectors and industries, and this can be done with surveys and gender-sensitive reporting strategies. We have to ensure that the work is always being done and that women and girls are no longer silenced. It has been noted that industries that have women in high ranking positions tend to do well, and it is no secret that countries with women presidents have been dealing and reacting to the Covid-19 pandemic in the most impactful ways. So, it is clear that gender equality is a need in the world.
While change won't come overnight, there is merit in how far the world has come in acknowledging the lack of inclusivity among different industries. The road to gender equality is long; however, with the likes of DBSA, a development finance institution, supporting gender mainstreaming initiatives, we believe everyone can play a part in ensuring the future is bright for ALL of us.