Vision needs Attitude – Attitude meets Action.
With this already well-known motto, GIZ Kyrgyzstan office has started its new approach in promotion of gender equality. We call it a ‘reboot’ in the internal system of GIZ Kyrgyzstan office and projects regarding gender related issues. The reboot started by bringing some fundamental changes into the existing system as it has proved to be inefficient. After analyzing the existing system, the fact that Gender Focal Persons are mainly appointed by their supervisors was brought to attention. The assumption that such position is taken by GFPs as an assignment but not as a topic of interest was made. Therefore, the Country Director together with the Safeguard and Gender management specialist initiated a process of self-nomination for the position of Country Gender Focal Point among all the personnel of GIZ Kyrgyzstan.
The idea behind this innovative internal procedure is not only a result of finding a motivated person for the vacancy but also to include elements of leadership to allow equality within the organization and to bring change in the whole system of appointments for voluntary positions.
Since this person would be responsible for is gender equality, the process had to provide equal possibilities for everybody from the beginning. Therefore, any interested staff member could apply, there were no restrictions on the position they held, international or national status. Terms of Reference for the position were created in order to make this procedure system based rather than a one-time campaign. The ToR included several elements on duties and responsibilities as requirements, however, between the lines, it clearly stated that motivation is the key aspect for the position of Country GFP.
After announcing this new self-nomination process, 2 weeks were given to interested staff members to make their decision and provide a letter of motivation. According to the procedure, names of applicants were taken to the Country Management Meeting, and all project managers had to vote for the candidates. Such a procedure was necessary to avoid the appointment of the Country GFP exclusively by the Country Director but by the whole management team. This year, the self-nomination process was used only by one staff member. The candidacy of the applicant was taken to the Country Management and after discussing the qualification of the applicant with the majority of supportive votes, Mr. Erlan Amiraev was elected.
Consequently, the new Country GFP was elected. Mr. Erlan Amiraev in his motivation letter made clear his passion for the topic of promoting gender equality by providing a personal story thus highlighting his dedication, which was the most essential part for the position.
As a result, the new procedure of self-nomination was introduced to the company. For now it is too early to speak about outcomes of the GFP’s work but there are several
positive sides that can be already stated now: all staff members of GIZ Kyrgyzstan are informed about the company’s continued strong interest in the topic of gender, about the possibility to make their own contribution to the topic by nominating themselves actively rather than waiting for appointment by their supervisor. Important to mention also that Country GFP position and the topic are clearly positioned at the level of the Country Director, which emphasizes the new structure and importance of gender topic in GIZ Kyrgyzstan.
During the procedure of self-nomination, several preconceptions and stereotypes regarding the position were raised, for example that this position could only be filled with an experienced woman. However, now the face of gender equality in GIZ Kyrgyzstan is male, and a tandem of two male specialists are holding the positions of Country GFP and Safeguard and Gender management specialist. But isn’t the elimination of such stereotypes the point of promoting gender equality? We believe that in the future, our company will not differentiate females and males but according to their professional skills and expertise. There is much work lying ahead, but some first fundamental steps were taken.
More to come…