Afghanistan: Gender Mainstreaming within the Company Entry

Our Objectives:
Thank you for holding this competition entry on Gender. We have had three goals in mind encouraged us participating to this competition and committed to implement and achieve the below objectives.
1- To contribute relevant to the subject-matter and we hope some information and experiences mentioned could be found useful for the company’s future consideration in Gender field of intervention.
2- There is a 19 years old young boy who suffers from syndrome disorder; motivated us if win partial of category entry, to support his further treatment.
3- We have also in plan, if our paper passed through esteemed jury committee for any portion of the GG3 category entry, also to support conducting three gender awareness workshop to social activist, for a group of 50 men and women junior student in the government university and also one session to vocational trainees (men/women) that they learn skills to be out of home for work in future and always will be among the community and serve through their skills.



1: Corporate culture:
Gender quality is a key value and part of how we see ourselves. Describe your contribution, for example the measures, processes and or approaches you use to make gender equality visible as part of our corporate culture and to champion it both internally and externally as a goal in itself and as a principle to guide action.

The purpose of this paper is to address the gender mainstreaming within the organizations and practical methodology in enhancing and strengthening gender equality in all aspects of a company and an organization.
The main failures of gender equality in the institutions is wrong interpretation and understanding gender equality and gender equity. These two are part of every organizations’ gender strategy which are always mistaken. We have observed in many of the national and international NGOs and companies that wrong perception exist. If the institutions set principles or guidelines for gender, they put measures and factors for one part, for instance gender equity while measure of equality is missing and the institutions not able to describe a well-defined internal gender mainstreaming.
In order to achieve sustainable approaches for gender equality is mainly refers to findings, challenges and look after gender policies that the organization set up and incorporated in its mandates. This could be measured that how employees feel and see themselves in the institutions structure and memberships. It is a reality that there is no single model of gender equality for all institutions, all culture, all communities, and all times, unless looking and reflecting the concern of male/female employees or other men/women in social living/communities have equal opportunities. The opportunities of whatever exist in area where they are involved.

The starting point of gender equality is that, male and female employee play substantial: through different- roles as defined in the company’s strategy. It is the right point that everyone see them part of the company’s member;

Gender Mainstreaming analysis factor: all approaches, process and else needs to be set in the strategies or developing policies start with an analysis. The gender analysis is the point to look after any area and assess how gender perspectives and attention are often available to the goal of gender equality, how activities in this term (mainstreaming) are centralized such as policy development, research, advocacy/dialogue, legislation, resource allocation, planning, implementation and monitoring. It is important to examine which part of strategies are irrelevant or does not fit in measures reaching to the goal of gender equality. We have experienced from several analysis and assessment that enabled us which area to contribute through that facts correcting policy, put more resource for conducting workshops, re-develop context of gender policy in line with government legislation and Islam/shareha considering Afghanistan context, educate more men and women in gender context era, balance opportunities, ensure control and access, differentiate abilities and powers etc.

Gender awareness: in this process, conducting workshops for male and female employees play an important role in which they learn many aspects of gender such as gender equity, gender equality, gender violence based and barriers, gender in organization or company’s’ growth, organizational behavior changes, staff changes attitudes and many other learning processes.

In house gender capacity trainings: is another factor through which they educate knowledge through gender specific subject, learn skills on the job, lean through hesitation sessions to enhance their talent and capability. We achieve outstanding improvement through specific trainings especially to female staff.

Gender in policy: To support further gender equality, its involves the institution or company to determine place of women within the operating system. Apart from the mandate, a specific gender strategy needs to be developed in which rates opportunities among men and women. It covers both new comers and empowering of those already are staff member. Inductions, orientations, access to the organizations’ documents are process to increase understanding and direct employees to the culture and behavior of the organization. Gender can not be mainstreamed by only hiring few female employees in different positions. It can neither be achieved by hiring gender focal point, conducting only gender awareness workshop or celebrating women’s international day but it should be involvement of all staff in the organization and it is the regular process to integrates men’s and women’s needs and concerns in in planning, developing process, decision making, developing policy, implementation, monitoring and evolutions. Equality in terms of access and control to resources and task delegation and power.

Establishing gender unit and focal person: It is a requirement and depends to the resources and the interest of the organization but is not a high priority. This option has positive and negative impacts. Negative are: if it’s not well established under organizations’ structure and its strategy not well explained that men and women employees do not see their participatory role in the unit. If the unit strategy fails to teach staff for their understanding about its purpose and male staff feels that it is for women; has a role to watch men behaviors and push for punishment etc. The positive impacts are measures for companies, institutions, organization, directorates etc to see gender equality through the lens of establishing a gender unit. This support the institutions to further growth in their operational capacity and overall vision. It is a need that every staff, men and women need gender awareness but works to ensure the gender design, gender behaviors in company’s culture, gender influencing factors, gender relation within the company requires a unit and focal person to assure gender planning, monitoring and implementation process, counselling, developing indicators, provide opportunity for individuals’ couching and mentoring.

Gender equality commitment: Commitment is one of the important factor in all aspects of the companies and or organization. This is like a seed needs to be planted in whole company involved bodies and supported for grow. Therefore, it a high priority to increase staff commitment in gender equality. Apart from awareness, trainings, code of conducts, gender code of conduct policy, this could be maintained through open door policy and equal treatment, shared opportunities, shared advantages and privileges where/when applicable, pre-determined roles, responsibilities and authorities among men and women employees as per their positions.

Empowerment: This fundamentally demonstrates a well-defined process and visualize the male and female employee’s areas lacking in decision making power, having control over rights that companies defined in contract paper and outlined in code of conduct, enabling to build self-confidence, and develop self-reliance. In order to involves individuals’ ability to make choice in empowering themselves by improving skills, enhance knowledge, the organization or institution also should ensure open platforms for greater participation in awareness and capacity building that create space for employees to develop their self-confidence, and self-reliance. This requires a specific training plan in which equal staffs’ participation is considered.

Transformation potential: In addition to the empowerment, considering how merits and women capacity can be met in a way which has transformatory potential. For instance, if a female employee is in an unequal gender power relation, the transformation potential approach helps to evaluate performances and capacity and access to potential exist for a re-assignment or re-enforce the female staff power to reduce inequalities. To contribute further to this approach specific indicators of rights, rewards, goods and services, energy expended, interest and ideas also measurable factors to be used achieving transformation potential.

Open door policy: we believe open door policy is excellent approaches to further strengthen the goal of gender equality. This approach assure staff to reach their managers, line superior for them to talk and openly address their challenges/concerns. Having such an opportunity increase self-reliance of them in work environment and certainness of being listened.

Division of Responsibility and fairness: In fact, organization to be committed of being fair to men and women in particular and to demonstrate the equal value in division of responsibility and workload. Considering this factor, the organization keeps its position in the form of work justice where men and women role assigned for playing. This will be bringing transparency in gender equality and its sustainment.

Promoting participatory democracy and ownership: establishment participatory frameworks for staff in the organization is important. It is impossible to reduce or eliminate gender-based violence, gender inequality or be sure of 100% gender equality is achieved, if the equal rights of men and women as well as their role to participation, development and implementation is not promoted at all the times. It is a need to getting staff male and female to the right and same directions. The platform of ownership to developing and intervention areas including all operating units sustain continued employees’ commitment and contributions to gender equality.

2. Gender competence:
Describe the context, your organizational unit and the challenges faced by your ogranisational unit or country and explain how you contributed to enhancing gender competence among your colleagues or in your organizational unit, a specific team or the company. Share the approaches that have proven successful.

The organizational behaviour and country political measures conveys the gender prospective among the the employees as well as the community. It affect both men and women in living condition and has negative effects on them. The diverse circumastances and challenges to gender role, gender culture in the organizations and communities created varies of discriminations. The gender competence measures, therefore the main roots to aknowledge and deal with discrimination by increasing knowledge and abilities and apply possible changes such as change in knowledge, change in skills, change in attitudes, change in individule behaviours, and change in organizational behavior. These changes are the process to be focused through frequent trainings and couselling process.
To further illustration, refering to an example: We work in GIZ-Provincial Risk Management Office, and it has advisory role in risk management, risk mitigation measures, developing risk management standard operating procedures, and ensure safety and security to all German Cooperation (GC) program and projects. It is understood by some staff that GIZ gender meanstreaming policy applies to all projects including Risk Management Offices in Afghanistan but some staff believes that apart from low level position such as cook and cleaner the rest of positions are difficult for women to be recruited, especially positions in shift rotations. Additionally, the position for International colleagues are also required those male internationals that have military background. While in reality the risk management does not require someone to have military background unless to have managerial background with career of law and political sciences, public administration, law enforcement career etc but not mandated for military background. These wrong persons-based thoughts and perceptions of some staff causing low rates of women in RMOs’ structure.
Apart from the organizations, in government also similar discrimination factors and challenges exist in participation process and women in leadership. For example, the merit-based recuritment policy of Independent Administration Reform and Civil Service Commission (IARCSC) developed to contribute in transparency of recuritment process, and to ensure gender equality to be achieve in the recruiting process by government entities including at the sub-national level. There were series of indicators to bring confidence to women for participation to civil service directorates but non of these indicators implemented due to low commitment, corruptions and curropt facilators. One indicator was to add an additional three -five marks to the women’s result sheet who went through the written test but this merit indicators seldomly applied.

To contribute in gender competence, we experienced that there need to have intention and ability to reflect gender role among employees, knowledge on how to create gender role considering the key qualification of job-related, common understanding and knowledge on prospective of gender relation in the organization where a complex gender structure extant. Provide awareness session, relevant trainings and counselling methods to tackle down gender based violence environmet. Ability acquired to propose tangible changes to the goal of gender equality and ensure acceptance. Ability to monitor skills, attitudes, behavior, talent, expertise, knowledge, work culture and conduct mentoring, coaching to groups, individule or specific team. We have some of these mentioned measure and methods that falls under our responsibility but not yet all due to financial resources as well as low rate of company’s interest in the field of gender in Afghanistan.


3. Cooperation:
Gender equality can not be achieved by individuals along. It is a joint task – how did you go about it? who did you cooperate with? What were the major challenges you encountered individually or together? What were the three key success factors? what were the outcomes?

We believe that some tasks especially tasks or areas that most of time fall under conflict of individuals’ interest, routine men and women’s behavior, different prospective and discriminatory intentions CANNOT be achieved lonely. One of the fundamental approach is to create a group, networking to gain effectiveness. For gender equality this fundamental approach requires networking and group work for better collaboration towards gender equality. Group work in such a category prevents repeating of mistakes either made or put in place by the organization or individual. For this approach, we connected the HR focal person with gender focal person of the organization and developed terms determine from the recruiting process to qualification performance level. The groups from two units (HR and Gender) continued to support each other through pre-identified indicators as well as sharing lessons learnt, emerging conflicts areas. They also were able to work together on substantial measure of resource sharing, sharing expertise and help out each other in linking male/female employees to the sources of gender information. This collective effort process was found successful that benefited each individuals and access to the easy references to the gender role. Before establishment of collective efforts, the HR who was only responsible person for gender role faced resistance, was not able to collect gender data. He was not welcomed by staff when collection data or info about gender. Staff always were trying to pretend and affirm their irrelevance to gender matters as this process was unilateral.

The end,

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