During the ESCWA 29th Session hosted by Qatar on 13-15 December 2016, ESCWA Centre for Women (ECW) delivered a presentation on the Gender Mainstreaming in Public Institutions project which aims to design the first unified Arab framework to measure progress towards achieving gender equality and women empowerment in public institutions, based on the success of ESCWA in implementing the United Nations System-wide Action Plan on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-SWAP).
ECW Director Mehrinaz Elawady underscored the major achievements made to improve gender equality in ESCWA, which include capacity-building and supporting relevant institutions in gender mainstreaming and gender equality in their work; preparing for the first UN system-wide gender audit; developing a system of flexible working hours; and devising a gender equality policy as well as preparing an ESCWA communication and knowledge strategy from a gender perspective.
Elawady added that the ESCWA project to transfer this experience to national machineries consists of six phases: designing and presenting the project to member countries for adoption, which has taken place during the seventh Session of the ESCWA Committee on Women held in Muscat, Oman, in January 2016; translating the UN-SWAP technical manual into Arabic; holding a workshop to review the technical manual for adaptation to Arab countries’ needs, which was done in cooperation with UN-Women; amending the technical notes as per Member States’ comments; launching a pilot implementation of the framework on a selected national women’s machinery, as per the request of the Member States; and mainstreaming the project in governmental institutions.
ESCWA in Brief
ESCWA is one of the five UN regional commissions. It provides a framework for the formulation and harmonization of sectoral policies for member countries; a platform for congress and coordination; a home for expertise and knowledge, and an information observatory. It aims at supporting economic and social cooperation between the region’s countries and promoting development process in order to achieve regional integration.
Mauritania became member of ESCWA in September 2015. By this new membership, the number of ESCWA countries rose to 18, including: Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
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