This week’s Fist Bump Friday goes out to VL Ethiopia for establishing a Gender Task Force to ensure gender mainstreaming efforts are prioritized, even against the challenging backdrop of COVID-19. Persistent challenges in improving women’s participation in IRS led the team to conclude that focused effort and new approaches were necessary. An equitable IRS workforce is aligned with the Ethiopian Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs’ vision to “ensure women’s equal participation in and benefit from economic, social, political, and cultural spheres; to protect the right and welfare of children and promote gender equality in Ethiopia.”
The task force, including Getinet Mitiku (ECO and chairperson of the task force), Habtamu Berhanu (an operations manager), and one Zonal Coordinator from each of the three regions (Tomas Haile, Girma Alemayehu, Hailu Turura), developed a detailed gender mainstreaming plan to ensure universal understanding of the objectives listed in the work plan among regional and district-level partners. The task force meets regularly with the VL Project Gender Advisor to ensure gender mainstreaming efforts are aligned with project best practices.
VL Ethiopia is sharing plans with the regional and district authorities, including recruitment targets and identifying one representative from each district to raise issues women are facing. VL Ethiopia seeks to continually improve conditions for IRS personnel and beneficiaries, recognizing districts that performed well in 2019 to motivate other districts to improve in this area. The task force is identifying women from previous campaigns and encouraging them to apply for leadership positions.
VL Ethiopia is also connecting with other VectorLink country teams and gender focal points who have had success in gender mainstreaming and have been recognized by PMI for their accomplishments to exchange ideas and apply best practices that are appropriate to the Ethiopian context.
Kudos to the VectorLink Ethiopia Gender Task Force for their leadership in prioritizing the women’s empowerment agenda and setting an example of how to ensure gender mainstreaming is everyone’s business.