The European Union funded Technical Assistance project Civic Space organized the Gender Mainstreaming Workshop with the attendance of 11 participants from 8 CSOs on the 30th of March 2023 at the Home for Cooperation.
The workshop aimed to assist civil society organizations (CSOs) in mainstreaming a gender perspective in their policies, actions, and daily activities.
Gender equality is a fundamental human right and crucial for building a peaceful, just, prosperous, and sustainable world. To achieve gender equality, a proactive and holistic approach is needed, and gender mainstreaming is a strategy that can help realize this goal.
Before explaining what gender mainstreaming is, the facilitators demonstrated the concept of gender by using The Genderbread Person tool, which visually explains the components of gender as an umbrella term: biological sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
They then explained the gender mainstreaming as a concept that aims to reach and maintain gender equality in all spheres of life. The concept is defined in the EU Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025 as "including a gender perspective in all policy areas, at all levels and all stages of policy-making".
Gender mainstreaming in a civil society organization includes creating a safe space for all members, valuing their opinions equally and incorporating them into the decision-making processes, equal inclusion of all genders in decision-making bodies. CSOs should adopt gender mainstreaming to maintain meaningful equality first in their own organisation and to help transform the society. They should be aware of their responsibilities for not reproducing the patriarchal norms.
The facilitators also explained what is NOT gender mainstreaming: it is not merely focusing on increasing the number of women involved, should not be understood as a women’s issue that only women should take action about or benefit from, does not mean having well-written statements on gender equality but not implementing them, etc.
The workshop was conducted by two activists recently trained by Civic Space at the Training of Trainers organized in November 2022. Civic Space will be involving more activist trainers in upcoming workshops and trainings.
Civic Space distributed the printed version of the Gender Mainstreaming Guideline developed for CSOs, which was launched one year ago. The soft copy of the Guideline can be downloaded from the Civic Space website and its hard copies are available at the Civic Space office. Upon request, Civic Space can provide tailor-made support to CSOs determined to implement gender mainstreaming measures.
Civic Space is a project funded by the European Union with a total budget of 3,499,550 euros. Its objective is to contribute to building a stronger civil society in the Turkish Cypriot community that supports democratic changes and confidence-building measures.