As we celebrate Human Rights Day, learn what ILC is doing to promote gender justice and human rights.
This is the fourth and last Lab of the “Women for Women 2022 Learning Labs series”. Topics are selected by women taking part in the ILC mentoring and solidarity network “Women for Women”. This Lab contributes to the celebration of Human Rights Day (10th December). Women’s rights are human rights: there is no social justice without gender justice. ILC work to promote Gender Justice is part of a broader effort to promote human rights.
All speakers focused on their personal and professional experience in promoting gender justice, describing one area of intervention that is part of their Gender Action Plan: Sonia focused on the impact of Gender Audit on the organisational work; Fridah described the importance of a gender justice approach for the ILC Council and the role played by the Gender Oversight Committee; and eventually Celine presented the recently launched ILC Gender Experts Network.
Stay tuned: in 2023 Learning Labs on Gender Justice will change shape!
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
- What’s the role of Gender Justice in ILC Strategy and how does the ILC Gender Oversight Committee work?
- How does a Gender Audit work and what are the benefits for the ILC members involved?
- What are the next steps towards a gender just coalition?
MEET THE EXPERTS
- Fridah Githuku - Groots, Kenya
- Sonia Bhattacharyya - SWADHINA, India
- Celina Salcedo-La Viña - WRI, USA
The Lab was moderated by Elisabetta Cangelosi, ILC Gender Justice Advisor.
THE CONFORMIST, THE AWARE, THE REBEL
Sonia described Swadhina’s engagement to promote women rights in rural India, where women are traditionally discriminated and lack financial assets and power. Swadhina largely operates following the ‘’motto’’ of Women for Women. However, thanks to recent engagement in the gender audit process (in the framework of the ILC Gender Action Plan), Swadhina is now including a gender lens in a more comprehensive perspective. One of the ideas that emerged through the auditing process is the importance of engaging men in the promotion of women’s rights and involve them in debating issues that might be taboo (for example menstruations). According to Sonia, three types of people emerged through their gender audit work:
- conformists: a lot of women also belong to this group;
- aware: educated people aware of the rights of women and bias affecting them;
- rebels: natural leaders and vocal people that can influence the society; however they sit on both sides, so those who are on the side of the conformists are to be driven to the ‘’women’s rights’’ side. Among the rebels, there are the young generations.
The Gender Audit itself contributes to this shift in terms of approach. The next steps for Swadhina include engaging with the new generations and mobilising both new and old generations towards gender justice, as a way to achieve true development, including through traditions that might speak to the ‘’conformists’’, such as the Indian tradition of considering Land as the Mother.
GENDER JUSTICE AS A CORE VALUE
Fridah highlitghted how Gender Justice is a core of value and a cross-cutting pledge for ILC. Justice is a bundle of rights, where women should enjoy and play a significant role; however, we are all aware that the land sector is male dominated. Hence it is very important for ILC and its members to be committed and actively engaged to promote gender justice.
In fact, both having a Gender Team and supporting Gender Audits are crucial to promote gender justice. The Global Council is actively involved to promote Gender Justice through ILC Gender Action Plan, to be implemented at global, regional and country level. The Gender Oversight Committee, a sub-committee within the Council, is in charge to support this work and ensure that resources are allocated to actions that promote Gender Justice.
THE ILC GENDER EXPERTS NETWORK
Celine, who works extensively with WRI in advancing collective land and resource rights of indigenous and local communities, underlined how gender justice plays a significant role in this context. Gender differential and gendered division of labour is extremely pertinent according to Celine’s experience in this framework. Research plays an important role to provide the basis to advocate for women’s rights, by identifying challenges, constraints and solutions for the enjoyment of women’s land rights. Gender sensitisation plays a significant role in impacting societies and challenge gender stereotypes.
According to Celine’s personal experiences, ILC Gender Experts Network is an amazing and enriching network, a place for like-minded people to gather, ask questions and find out from the experience of others. It’s also a space with potential to form coalitions and to conduct collaborative work to lift women’s voices. During December’s meeting, for example, the Gender Experts Network discussed the importance of an intersectional approach and of going beyond a binary vision of the society.
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