Gender equity in the organizational context

Gender equity in the organizational context

Gender equity in the organizational context

“Gender equity” is the equally fair treatment of women and men. To ensure fairness, some societies adopt measures to compensate for historical and social disadvantages that prevent women and men from otherwise operating on a “level playing field.” Gender-equity strategies eventually attain gender equality. Equity is the means; equality is the result (Interagency Gender Working Group, 2000).

Data Requirement(s):

Scores from items selected from the menu of indicators in the box below

External assessment by an individual familiar with organizational behavior; gender issues; and reproductive health programs. Alternatively, a self-assessment by senior management, based on international standards, adapted for the local setting.

This set of indicators is presented as a menu from which evaluators may select those most applicable to a given work setting. (Evaluators may expand this set to include other items of interest to the organization in question.)

Menu of Indicators:  Gender Equity in the Organizational Context
  • Percent of managerial positions held by women;
  • Average salary of men versus women in comparable managerial positions;
  • Representation of women’s health advocates on Board of Directors;
  • Participation of women in the conceptualization and design of projects;
  • Explicit organizational policy statement that prohibits gender discrimination in hiring, promotion, and retention policies, salaries, and benefits;
  • Similarity of supervision procedures for male and female staff (of equal rank);
  • Percent of personnel (including supervisors of service programs, receptionists) who receive training in gender sensitivity;
  • Elimination of overt gender bias in organization’s standards and guidelines;
  • Existence of written policies or guidelines to prohibit sexual harassment of staff;
  • Organizational commitment (demonstrated by explicit interventions) to:

o Women’s participation (in project activities);
o Human rights (lobbying for specific causes);
o Empowerment (e.g., attempts to change community norms regarding women’s mobility);
o Equity (e.g., micro credit systems);

  • Disaggregation of program data by sex (where appropriate);
  • Equal distribution of opportunities for training and career development between men and women; and
  • Equal protection for men and women in organizational policies regarding clients’ rights to privacy, informed consent, confidentiality, and delivery of high-quality services.

In IPPF/WHR’s “Manual to Evaluate Quality of Care from a Gender Perspective” (2000) recommends that the evaluation team include (among others) a locally hired gender specialist. The question of gender equity is sensitive, and the process of evaluating gender equity can become highly politicized. For this reason, the organization must select an evaluator perceived to be objective and to have excellent credentials. The evaluation must take place in a climate of impartiality if the results are to carry weight.

Interagency Gender Working Group. 2000. Guide for Incorporating Gender Considerations in USAID’s Family Planning and Reproductive Health RFAs and RFPs. Washington D.C.: USAID. RFA Subgroup. Program Implementation Subcommittee.

International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region Inc. 2000b. Manual to Evaluate Quality of Care from a Gender Perspective. New York, NY: IPPF/WHR.

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