Gender and Development (GAD)

Gender equality is central to economic and human development in a country. Removing inequalities gives societies a better chance to develop. When women and men have relative equality, economies grow faster, children's health improves and there is less corruption. Gender equality is an important human right. One of SRSO’s key roles is promoting gender equality both internally, within its own organisation and externally, through its programmes and projects. This is particularly necessary because in rural areas, many women are deprived of their basic entitlements as a result of patriarchal systems that exclude them from decision-making, asset-ownership and the ability to engage in activities outside their households. This exclusion often results in economic poverty, illiteracy, scarce opportunities and lack of access to healthcare. When women are disempowered, their families and communities also suffer. When women are empowered through social mobilisation, awareness-raising, access to health, education, sanitation and livelihood opportunities, their families and communities also benefit. SRSO therefore believes that unless gender related inequalities are not addressed, its mission of the poverty reduction cannot be successfully undertaken. Accordingly, SRSO places its gender policy within the framework of gender mainstreaming, where gender is a cross cutting issue informing all SRSO activities.

SRSO realizes the vital importance of Gender and Development. Hence its interventions ranging from social mobilization to community physical infrastructures have been open for both, men and women. We understand that men and women would participate in the development initiatives and can benefit from the outcome equally.

SRSO has a strong Section called Gender and Development working towards mainstreaming the women hitherto ignored in the decision making. The sector does this by lobbying at the community and organizational level for the implementation of gender equality in SRSO programme interventions, policies and strategies. To this end, SRSO constantly undertakes internal gender analysis of each sector to fill ensure any programme deficiencies along in gender mainstreaming are identified and address quickly and exhaustively. The Section is alive to the sensitivities about men, women relationship and persisting inequalities. The section has been made responsible to achieve the following:

  1. Ensure that gender remains the integral part of all SRSO activities besides mainstreaming it;
  2. Develop new programmes and packages exclusively for women CO members;
  3. Take a lead role in formulating gender policy, strategies (Operational Plan) and monitoring mechanisms for gender policy implementation while pursuing the gender agenda and advocacy for resource allocation for gender related activities;
  4. Facilitate and coordinate capacity building of staff and community members in gender awareness and sensitivity through training sessions, discussions and exposure visits;
  5. Review and update planning tools and processes used at the field level to ensure women’s participation.
  6. To ensure clear understanding of gender mainstreaming and gender issues amongst SRSO staff so that they can advance the cause of gender mainstreaming in SRSO efforts.

GAD has formulated a gender policy and implementation plan with defined policy actions as a conscious and focused effort to bringing women in the mainstream development before the resource gaps widen the gender gap at the organizational and programme level.