Gender mainstreaming an essential tool in organisational development. Impact of gender auditing.
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By Tanyaradzwa Mtema

When there is a voice the majority listens....


A tip toe into the 21st Century has diversified the common objectives and mentalities that have always been laid out to define the gendered perspectives within organisational frameworks. Back in the 80's and 90's gender equality has been a pipe dream. Women being at the fore front have always been deprived of their rights due to certain cultural practices that always favoured the masculine voice over feminine demands. Societal socialization and the gender binaries of defining the roles and duties of men and women have formed the basis of defining gender in the constraints of culture. This has been the platforms that define the organisational frameworks even in the modern day. Research still shows that most organisations have failed to essentially define their gendered objectives and policies. This has exacerbated the rates of gender inequality at office level. Coming into an age where human rights advocates have screamed the need for an equitable environment we have seen the rise of other genders such as homosexuals, transgender, bisexual individuals calling for a voice inside the workspace. However, a certain clash between the individual and society has been resurrected.

Gender auditing 

This is an internal and external way of ensuring that the organisational programmes, objectives and frameworks speak of a gendered environment. Carrying out an internal audit is the best way to ensure that staff have a better understanding on the issues of diversity and inclusion. This is where gender experts have to come in and address the main issues of equality inside the office space. A review of the organisational framework including the hierarchical structure is the first way to understand an organisation gendered objectives. Most organisations such as hospitals, restaurants and military spheres still have a challenge of enco-operating a gender equality framework. Women and homosexuals voices are still missing within the structure of these organisations because they are still embedded in the cultural distortions and patriarchal voices.

Be the voice....

It doesn't matter who you are? What matters is your voice and your tone. We live in a society that still believes in giving women a voice but not many women have the courage to stand up and speak for themselves. A gender audit that involves assessment tools such as face-face interviews, focus group discussions, questionnaires and surveys can be really impactful in voicing out the concerns of the voiceless. Countries such as India still define women according to their office dressing and this clearly depicts a society that's still embedded in maintaining an external culture inside the organisation framework. Women still lack the voice inside these spaces and their office hence their voice are trapped. !

Reviewing the findings of Gender auditing

The gender auditor doesn't have to be gender biased when reviewing the outcomes of the consultations. This also includes an analysis on the use of gender-sensitive language to ensure that no one gets hurt in the evaluation processes.Tabulation and analysis of data should be shared in order to draft a gender equality plan that creates a safe environment for all.


When an organisation impacts a gender friendly environment there is a higher probability of achieving the set objectives. Although, issues of sensitivity still challenges the operation of some organisations involving homosexuals it is rather essential to involve a gender expert to help the internal staff to understand the issues of inclusivity and diversity before reaching out to the external stakeholders with polices and programmes on gender dimensions.

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