Today ACDI/VOCA will join ten other international development and humanitarian organizations in launching a set of minimum standards for mainstreaming gender equality.

Developed by the Gender Practitioners Collaborative, a group of U.S.-based gender advisors and technical gender experts from international development and humanitarian organizations, the Minimum Standards for Mainstreaming Gender Equality offer guidance and key steps for organizations to promote gender equality in their programs.

Gender Minimum Standards

Jenn Williamson, Senior Director for Gender and Social Inclusion at ACDI/VOCA and Gender Standards co-author, affirms the need for a common set of standards.

“Both the UN and USAID have their policies on gender equality, as do several other donors and global platforms. However, there has been no central set of operating standards on gender equality for organizations working to help implement international development initiatives. These standards help change that.”

The Gender Practitioners Collaborative will unveil the Gender Standards on International Women’s Day

“the perfect moment to launch this initiative. The Standards draw from the wisdom of gender equality and female empowerment movements from around the world – as well as a diverse set of gender experts, implementers, donors, and advocates – to promote specific steps that development practitioners should take to advance gender equality.”  –Kelly Fish, Senior Gender Advisor at Mercy Corps, one of the organizations that helped spearhead the standards.

Gender equality is one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as a well as a means towards achieving additional goals such as zero hunger, good health and economic growth. Evidence is ample. If women farmers had an equal amount of resources to men, it would reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 100 – 150 million. A more equal involvement of mothers and fathers in child rearing would improve health outcomes in infants. And closing the gap between women’s and men’s economic participation could add 26 percent, or US$28 trillion, to global GDP in 2025.

ACDI/VOCA Colombia ACIP Indigenous youth participate in job training and cultural events

Yeva Avakyan, Senior Gender and Evaluation Advisor at World Vision, and Gender Standards co-author, highlights the importance of this launch.

“This initiative is about committing ourselves as development practitioners in prioritizing gender equality in our agencies and programs. It requires looking at ourselves in the mirror to see what we can do better at our different organizations, partnering with gender equality movements around the world, and holding ourselves to an even higher level of accountability.”

Review the Gender Standards.

To join the conversation on the Gender Standards follow the Gender Practitioners Collaborative on Twitter @GenderPC and use the hashtag #GenderStandards in your messaging.