A gender audit is the assessment of the extent to which gender equality is effectively institutionalised in policies, programmes, organisational structures and proceedings (including decision-making processes), and in the corresponding budgets.
A gender audit considers, normally in a participatory manner, whether internal practices and related support systems for gender mainstreaming are effective and reinforce each other, and whether they are being followed. It establishes a baseline, identifies critical gaps and challenges, and recommends ways of addressing them, suggesting possible improvements and innovations. It also documents good practices towards the achievement of gender equality.
A gender audit enhances the collective capacity of the organisation to examine its activities from a gender perspective and identify strengths and weaknesses in promoting gender equality issues.
See also: participatory gender audit
Council of Europe – Directorate General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs (2009). Gender Budgeting: Practical Implementation. Handbook prepared by Sheila Quinn.