Gender mainstreaming is one of the key thematic areas of SPO. SPO believes that a sustainable change is only possible when women, men, youth, people from minority and persons with disability work together towards a just and equality based society.
To bring this belief in to reality SPO follows a structured and formal approach of addressing gender disparities both at organizational level as well as in its programs. SPO’s gender action plan is based on an external gender audit conducted periodically. The current gender program includes the following.
- Gender is mainstreamed in all the policies of SPO including equal opportunity employment, policy on inclusion of women in procurement process, crèche policy for working mothers, flexible leave policies for women etc. There are specific policies to address gender issues at work place.
- SPO is committed to zero tolerance against sexual harassment and have established inquiry committees at all it regional offices as well as national center according to the Anti harassment Act 2010. SPO follows AASHA’s code of conduct to address the issue of sexual harassment.
- A full time senior Specialist-Gender to observe the work environment, policies and programs, and to provide technical input where needed. All the reports, proposals, communication material and promotional materials screened using gender lens
- A gender core group having representation from all the regional offices and national center. This group has a mandate to observe different gender disparities within the organization its programs and in the partners which SPO is working with. The group is authorized to submit its recommendations to the management group who is bound to respond to the recommendations within one week.
- There is a specific gender training program for the staff working on different projects. The staff evaluation includes specific indicators of their gender sensitivity. The training includes 1) Experiential sessions on everyday gender issues that employees are encountered with during their work and 2) Sessions for conceptual clarity on international commitments and national laws.
- The staff is also encouraged to write on different gender related topics in SPO’s internal publications as well as the publications of other sources.
Some useful links include;
http://www.aasha.org.pk, Download laws to address sexual harassment
http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/text/econvention.htm for download CEDAW full document
http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/protocol/text.htm; Download CEDAW optional protocol