Gender Mainstreaming Initiative

Fast Facts:
• Project Document
Location: National
Duration: March 2006-September 2007 (Operationally Closed)
Focus area: Achieving the MDGs and Reducing Human Poverty
Donors: UNDP Gender Thematic Trust Fund (GTTF)
Total budget: US$ 50,000
Partners: UNDP Arab States Sub-Regional Resource Facilities,
UNDP Regional Policy Adviser on Gender
Delivery for 2007: US $ 30,928.26
Contact person in UNDP: Fatima El-Sheikh, Senior Programme Officer
In 1997, the United Nations Economic and Social Council defined gender mainstreaming as “the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programmes, in any area and at all levels. It is a strategy for making the concerns and experiences of women, as well as of men, an integral part of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in all political, economic and societal spheres, so that women and men benefit equally, and inequality is not perpetuated.

With a total population of approximately 37 million in Sudan, women account for nearly 50% of the population. Despite their active role in society, their socio-economic situation is still precarious. For decades they have remained marginalized both economically and socially, and sidelined in the political sphere. A large number of women have little access to health and education, and limited access to various resources. Women’s health is often threatened by harmful traditional practices, such as female genital mutilation, and yet their limited participation in the decision-making mechanisms deprives them from voicing their concerns. Combined with two decades of conflict, that have consumed much of the country’s resources, these factors have played a major role in slowing down the process of empowering women.

In the past decade, UNDP has put in place a number of policies and strategies to mainstream gender throughout its programmatic activities. In an attempt to reach women in all aspects of society and from wide ranging dimensions, UNDP began the Gender Mainstreaming Initiative, with the support of the UNDP Gender Thematic Trust Fund, in early 2007.

In aspiring to achieve the gender mainstreaming goal, the UNDP Sudan country office is committed to identifying and implementing a sound gender strategy that aims to empower women, so as to bring gender equality and development to the Sudanese society.

The project’s specific objectives are:
• Institutionalize gender mainstreaming in the country office through the development of a gender mainstreaming strategy.
• Strengthen the capacity of UNDP staff in addressing gender issues through basic and periodic training courses.
• Clarify and reaffirm UNDP’s mandate, policies and commitment to the promotion of gender equality.
• Integrate a gender perspective into all polices and programmes across each core priority of UNDP to ensure that men and women fully participate in and benefit from the development outcome.

Snapshots of the project's major achievements
• Developed a UNDP Gender Mainstreaming Forward-looking Strategy 2007-2011. The Strategy was developed based on UNDP’s international gender policy, a gender lens review of documents and interviews and consultations, which were carried out by a consultant in the UNDP CO. The Strategy was founded on UNDP’s gender policy that is based on a two –pronged approach to achieving gender equality. The aim of the Strategy is to sustain the efforts to reach the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). The first phase (2007-2008) will be followed by a mid-term review and the feedback received will enhance the implementation of the Strategy up to 2011.
• The project helped identify the priorities and future entry points for gender equality and women’s empowerment to be considered in UNDP Country Programme Action Plan 2009- 2012,
• The project flagged a critical need for assessing national counterparts needs for training and capacity development. For this end, UNDP mobilized a total 150.000 USD to asses and help bring up the capacities of the Ministries responsible for gender issues such as the Ministry of Social welfare Women and child affair in northern sudan and the Ministry of Gender in Southern Sudan

Future Priorities
• Invest dedicated resources in specific interventions that empower women, reduce their vulnerability, build their leadership, provide them with access to resources, and protect their human rights.
• The Gender Mainstreaming Strategy will strengthen the capacity of the UNDP CO to address Sudan’s critical gender issues: the feminization of poverty; HIV/AIDS; the vulnerability of women and girls to crises and internal conflicts and violation of their rights; their exclusion from decision-making; and their lack of access to resources and energy sources. These are core UNDP priorities, and each has a gender dimension that UNDP needs to address.
• To improve the internal capacities of UNDP Country Office staff, it is important to provide gender analysis training, building on the workshop on “gender mainstreaming in UNDP work” that was organized in Khartoum in March 2004.
• Enhance the capacity of staff to apply gender analysis techniques in the pre-planning stages of policy advisory services, knowledge products, and services that promote gender equality and women’s empowerment.

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Contributes to MDG 3