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Gender Equality in the Public Administration (GEPA)


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Presentation: Gender equality in public administration (GEPA): UNDP research findings on gender balance in this region presented at UNDP Regional Forum on Equal participation in decision-making, Istanbul, 16 November, Session V: Integrating gender equality in public administration

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Gender Equality in the Public Administration (GEPA)

  1. 1. Gender equality in the public administration (GEPA):Gender balance in Public administration : UNDP interim research findings By Soma Chakrabarti Fezzardi
  2. 2. UNDP GEPA project• 2011/12 global stocktaking project to assess gender balance, obstacles and issues, as well as identify initiatives and models in the PA• 2 European case studies: Kyrgyz Republic and Romania, also 2-3 from other regions, covering a range of contexts• Publication in 2012• PA definition: executive branch of government, or ‘civil service
  3. 3. GEPA status in region• Wide variation in the extent, to which GEPA is ‘on the agenda’• Women in Leadership is often almost synonymous with women’s political representation and private sector, rather than PA• As much on the agenda of high GDP countries eg France, UK as on that of emerging economies
  4. 4. Wide variation in entry points…but some common themes:1. PA reform: after independence, regional integration, conflict or economic crisis eg Azerbaijan2. Gender mainstreaming: (a) top down through GE legislation, NAPs eg Croatia (b) bottom-up eg regional police initiative3. Women’s political representation eg Kyrgyz Republic4. Individuals and leaders eg France
  5. 5. Different issues at different levels1. Top leadership eg ministerial positions: 2 mainroutes, entailing different sets of issues andpossible approaches:• Career-based system, where employees work their way up• Lateral entry through competence-based or political appointment2. Senior and ‘decision-making’ positions, rest of PA(recruitment, career planning, retention, work-lifebalance)
  6. 6. Some trends and patterns: Numbers• All countries appear to have the classic ‘pyramid’ structure, with few women decision- makers at top and more women at bottom, and more administrative rather than professional positions• Wide variation in pyramid dimensions, with some countries like Finland & ex-FSU having more women than men as a whole (eg Ukraine, 75% - but 13% at top)
  7. 7. Lessons learned from Kyrgyzstan 1• 30% PA quota was a result of civil society action for political representation, and civil society is now established partner for gender equality machinery and parliament, appointed to key positions by President• Quotas not well understood/ appreciated, ex- Soviet legacy• 45% women in PA, 15% in senior management, but 30% quota was ‘heard’ despite downward trend…and therefore became a ceiling
  8. 8. Lessons from Kyrgyzstan 2• Many good policy measures were not implemented due to weak enforcement, organizational culture and other priorities• Capacity building for officials implementing relevant legislation and at entry level for public servants in general, rather than for women in particular, as they have high education levels – visibility more an issue.• Political will of the (woman) President has clearly moved this agenda forward
  9. 9. Lessons from Romania 1• EU a major catalyst in GE generally BUT…PA not a priority in EU Strategy for Equality between Women and Men 2010-2015• PA shrinking so gender biases in performance evaluation systems potentially impact on who is made redundant• New government means new executive due to lack of separation between the legislative and executive• Lack of transparency in promotions• Long working hours
  10. 10. Lessons from Romania 2• Media portrays stereotypical images• Parental leave cut in austerity measures• Lack of women in parliament so nobody to lobby for legislation• Lack of systematic data on women’s numbers in the PA, especially at local level• Resurgence of patriarchal values and public discourse
  11. 11. Quotas in the PA• Albania: 30% decision-making• Azerbaijan, 30% quotas, 2006 GE Law• Bosnia & Herzegovina: at least 40% each sex• Croatia: as above + Affirmative action• Kyrgyzstan: 30%• Serbia: 30%Others eg Sweden, UK, introduce targets & specialmeasures when representation is considered toolow at 34% & 35%
  12. 12. Special measuresAzerbaijanUNDP-supported GEPA project, building on PARproject, focus on legislation & staffFranceGuegot report 2011 on equality in the PASwedenWomen’s Career Advancement in Swedish CentralAdministration 2009-2010, €2mUKSenior Women’s network, LeadersUnlimited
  13. 13. Some initial recommendations1. Get it on the (PA) agenda: civil society, women’s caucuses , PA (data: use it and demand it)2. Quotas are important but not enough3. Affirmative action eg fast-track schemes with top political backing4. Focus on top levels offers potential short-term gains as lateral entry (including via politics) possible5. Visibility opportunities for women6. Life-work balance7. Regional initiatives?8. Budget9. Oversight eg parliamentary committees
  14. 14. Synergies between women’s political decision-making & PA• Quotas – can they be included in advocacy for political quotas?• Oversight – could Equal opportunities Commissions ask for public hearings on GEPA?• EMBs – could lessons in EMB gender parity be applied to the PA?• Gender-sensitive cabinets?• Could women’s caucuses and civil service/ senior women’s networks work together to advocate for GEPA?• Capacity-building measures for women and sensitization of men?• Male champions?