An accountability indicator for gender equality projects run by non-governmental and international organisations

David Lempert


Abstract


The article offers an easy-to-use indicator allowing scholars and practitioners to measure whether the criteria for the goals of gender mainstreaming and gender equality − established by various international treaties and recognised by experts in the field − are met by national and international organisations (NGOs/INGOs) as well as by the government policies and projects that focus on this area. Use of this indicator on more than a dozen standard interventions, currently funded by United Nations (UN) organisations, country donors and NGOs, reveals that most of the major actors in the field of gender (and women’s rights) are actually failing to promote gender equity. They have substituted a political agenda to promote women’s
interests over men’s (or those of a small group of mostly urban women), or an agenda of only symbolic equality that actually promotes global exploitation and cultural destruction, rather than overall gender equality interests and the protection of society. The indicator points to the specific areas where organisations need to improve in order to fulfil gender rights and other international legal criteria. This article also offers a
sample test of the indicator using UNIFEM (now UN Women) as a case study.

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