Date of Meeting: 03 May 2016

Meeting Organizer: Permanent Mission of Dominican Republic, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and University of Pittsburgh

ISJC Staff Present: Major Victoria Edmonds

Reporter: Major Victoria Edmonds

Which SDG does this topic cover? 5, 16

Type of meeting: Informational Meeting

Brief summary of presentation of information made

Information was presented on showing where women are now in the leadership roles in public institutions. 

  • The focus of this event was to show that the 2030 Agenda is looking at how we put into practice leaving no one behind.  There must be a focus explicitly on both equality between women and men.
  • In spite of public institutions being the foundation of government and the means by which national policies and programs are implemented the role of women serving in the public sector has remained largely underexplored..
  • The gathering in New York at UN Headquarters was called to reiterate that without good data, governments will not have the evidence they need to design the right policies.
  • Based on several years of analysis the United Nations Development Program has partnered with the University of Pittsburgh to begin closing the massive data gap on women in public institutions.  This will be a building block toward promoting and supporting the imperative of putting tracking mechanism in place for constant monitoring of women’s access to decision-making roles in the public sector where no country can claim to have reached the global target.
  • Gender Equality in Public Administration Report had six findings.
    • Across all regions women continue to be underrepresented at top levels of administration
    • Women hold less than 30 per cent of decision-making position in public administration.  Women occupy 15 per cent or less of decision-making positions.
    • Constitutions, national legislation and policies, including those governing the public administration are often discriminatory both overtly and systemically.
    • Women continue to hit glass ceiling and glass walls that prevent their equally participation in decision-making positions.
    • The organizational cultures of many public administrations (stereotypes, human resources practices, etc.) often disadvantage women and need to be reformed.
    • Gender equality issues generally and including in relation to women’s participation and decision-making in public administration are rarely prioritized in post conflict settings.

UNDP’s Key Recommendations

A.  Strengthen constitutional legislative and policy framework

  1. Comprehensive review of constitutions, national laws and policies
  2. Harmonization of relevant laws, policies and regulations in public administration
  3. Development and implementation of temporary special measures

B.  Promote institutional changes within public administration

  1. Change in organization culture in public administration agencies and units
  2. Human resource policies (recruitment, retention, promotion, performance, work-life capacity-building, networking).
  3. Capacity and commitment to collect analyze and discuss data to improve accountability.

C.  Promote synergies and linkages with the broader gender equality agenda

  1. Address systemic gender-based discrimination and bias
  2. Support women’s education and preparedness for civil service careers, with a focus on young women.  Develop national gender quality plan with concrete strategies and implementation mechanisms.
  3. Support networks and multi-stakeholders platforms to exchange knowledge and experience
  4. Promote women’s visibility and gender equality in traditional and social media
  5. Strengthen national oversight, monitoring and accountability
  6. Highlight that women’s empowerment and leadership in public administration benefits not only women but public administration as a whole.

There are four reasons the Gender Equality in Public Administration Movement Matters

  1. It benefits everyone
  2. Companies perform better
  3. It sets an example
  4. Women have been leading in public administration for decades

What was of particular significance to share with The Salvation Army globally?

  • A lot of the information presented in this event can be relevant to women in The Salvation Army especially to married women, women of colour who often don’t get the same opportunities as single women. I would say this more in a western context.
  • Many married women and single women within the Salvation Army and especially women of colour are hitting that glass ceiling and walls that prevent their equally participation in decision-making positions especially in western culture.
  • In the organizational culture where are the women of colour, married women in the top decision-making positions?  Especially in western culture

Web links for more information

Global Report on Gender Equality in Public Administration

UNDP Global Initiative on Gender Equality in Public Administration

Country Case Studies – Gender Equality in Public Administration

Tags: United Nations, SDG16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, SDG5: Gender Equality