Gender mainstreaming means bringing the experience, knowledge, and interests of women and men to bear on the development agenda. Within a project context, gender mainstreaming commonly includes: identifying gaps in equality through the use of sex-disaggregated data, developing strategies and policies to close the gaps, devoting resources and expertise for implementing such strategies, monitoring the results of implementation, and holding individuals and institutions accountable for outcomes that promote gender equality.
Gender mainstreaming in GEF projects is critical, both for successfully achieving the environmental objectives as well as for contributing for gender equality. While gender mainstreaming is not an end goal by itself for the GEF, making gender issues part of the GEF’s six focal areas (biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, persistent organic pollutants, and ozone depletion) and multi-focal areas programs and projects, presents opportunities to further enhance the value of projects and advance gender equality.
While the degree of relevance of gender dimensions to may vary depending on the GEF focal area or type of engagement, accounting for gender equity and equality is an important consideration when financing projects that address global environmental issues, because gender relations, roles and responsibilities exercise important influence on women and men’s access to and control over environmental resources and the goods and services they provide.
The GEF is committed to furthering its systematic engagement addressing gender mainstreaming during GEF-6, based on the GEF Policy on Gender Mainstreaming, which was adopted by the GEF Council in May 2011.
The policy has been developed to assist the GEF and its Partner Agencies to promote gender mainstreaming in GEF projects through appropriate tools, including conducting gender assessment, preparing gender mainstreaming strategy and plan, and monitoring results through gender-disaggregated indicators.
The GEF has adopted, since its early days, a Public Involvement Policy that aims to ensure both women’s and men’s involvement in GEF projects. This policy is a key GEF policy that relates specifically to social issues, including gender, and provides the basis for public involvement in the design, implementation, and evaluation of GEF-financed projects. It applies to all GEF focal areas programs and projects; spells out the rationale, terms, and principles for public involvement; and solidifies the operational requirement for stakeholder involvement and partnership in the design, implementation, and evaluation of GEF-financed activities.
All GEF Partner Agencies also have their own policies and strategies on gender mainstreaming and on promoting gender equality in the context of project interventions. The GEF Partner Agencies also apply these policies to GEF projects.