Men are From Mars, the UN is from,...?
A month after the United Nations last summer announced the creation of a new, $500 million-a-year organization to promote equality for women in global affairs, the U.N.’s own investigators revealed that 15 years of “gender mainstreaming” efforts within the UN Secretariat have been a sweeping and costly failure. (Isn't that the Untied Nations by definition?)
The report, issued in August 2010, evaluates how gender mainstreaming -- the term that the U.N. uses to describe achieving equality between the sexes in all walks of life -- is being incorporated in all U.N. work to “ensure that the different needs and circumstances of women and men are identified and taken into account when policies and projects are developed and implemented.”
The evaluation carried out by the U.N. watchdog, the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), looked at 20 of the U.N.’s most important departments and offices. It found glaring deficiencies almost everywhere.
- A fundamental lack of knowledge among U.N. staffers about the gender policy, with less than half of program managers polled saying they “always” or “mostly” believed their staff understood what gender mainstreaming is or why it should be implemented.
In other words, there was little evidence that anyone was even trying systematically to make the programs work. In the 20 departments and programs surveyed, only 12 had policies or strategies or had distributed specific guidelines on how gender mainstreaming was supposed to operate.
Click here for the full report.
Those conclusions were not for lack of U.N. efforts -- and hundreds of millions of dollars in spending -- on behalf of women’s rights, as the report documents a welter of U.N. officials, many specifically appointed to the task, running off in various directions to promote improved attitudes toward sexual equality, without necessarily indicating what they were trying to promote.