Designing effective gender equality training

1. The existence of a legal framework and policy commitment to gender mainstreaming.

2. The availability of sufficient resources for the fulfilment of the organisational strategy.

3. Staff being actively encouraged to attend gender-equality training, either through introducing attendance requirements or adopting innovative engagement strategies.

4. Existence of an adequately resourced accountability system to monitor and evaluate implementation.

How is the effectiveness of GET defined?

Individual level

At the individual level, gender-equality competence development initiatives – such as gender-equality training – can increase gender-equality awareness, reduce knowledge and capacity gaps, and encourage a process of change. Such initiatives can provide civil servants with the theoretical and practical tools necessary to understand why and how they can mainstream gender in their work. They can demonstrate the practical relevance of gender equality and make staff members more willing to work on related activities.

Organisational level

At the organisational level, benefits go beyond simply encouraging greater gender-equality competence (1). Gender-equality competence development can lead to changes in the organisation’s work, such as:

  • The implementation of new policies, practices and activities to mainstream gender;
  • Changes in the outputs and public image of the organisation; and
  • Clearly formulated performance indicators that can be used to plan future initiatives.
  • Greater gender-equality competence can also lead to changes in the institution’s culture in favour of a more gender-equal environment, such as:
  • Changes in the internal decision-making process or changes in the organisation’s internal procedures.

More generally, by promoting gender competence development, commissioning authorities strengthen the analytical skills of policymakers, enabling them both to create and contribute to a more gender-aware policy process. This feeds into the long-term achievement of the goal of gender equality.

In order for these benefits to be realised, the quality of gender-equality competence development initiatives needs to be ensured to guarantee they are of high standard. Quality assurance mechanisms in competence development initiatives have been acknowledged as a necessary requisite for effective gender mainstreaming.

However, gender-equality competence development comprises a broad range of activities, each one of them responding to different needs and producing different outcomes. Thus, policymakers at national and local level, civil servants responsible for competence development, and gender-equality bodies willing to commission training activities need to be able to choose the right form of training, select a good gender-equality trainer and contribute to the sustainable development of training.

Illustration of a ministry