General Policies: Gender and Development Policy

All development activities have a gender impact and do not necessarily benefit women and men equally.  Palms Australia recognises that just, sustainable and interdependent development can only evolve through the equitable & active participation of both women and men in leadership and decision-making within their community.

Gender equality remains a core development goal of Palms Australia. Having equal rights to, access to and control of resources, opportunities and benefits is fundamental to poverty reduction, achieving gender equity and the promotion of sustainable development.

Palms Australia also acknowledges that this policy must be implemented in a flexible, responsive and culturally sensitive manner.

Incorporating a “Gender and Development” approach into the Palms Australia Global Volunteer Program means considering both women’s and men’s needs and responsibilities and working to ensure that both men and women participate equally in the development activity, program or community as beneficiaries and decision makers.

In order to meet women’s practical needs, it may be that Palms Australia Global Volunteers become involved in separate activities with and for women.  These may be required to promote the status of women and/or to promote their human rights.

Furthermore Palms Australia will seek to:

  • Work with our partners to enhance the development of gender equity
  • Continue to improve opportunities and outcomes for members in the communities we work by : –
    • enhancing women’s access to education, health, employment, other resources and political status
    • encouraging the involvement of women in decision making and the enhancement of women’s access to leadership positions.
    • recognising the unique contributions of both men and women in the development of communities.
  • Supporting men and women in open discussion about their roles and responsibilities within the community.
  • Broaden general awareness and understanding of gender and development among Palms Australia Global Volunteers, Palms Australia members and the Australian community.

This will be achieved by:

  • Ensuring that the language and image portrayed in our materials promotes cultural diversity and gender equity by avoiding the use of gender sensitive language in verbal and written communication
  • Information sessions will discuss gender and development issues and scheduling of sessions will be timetabled to encourage attendance by all members of the community.
  • Assessment of partners and placements to include gender issues
  • Arrangement of placements to consider the necessary balance between family and work responsibilities.
  • Improvement of Gender & Development and Country Studies sessions on the Orientation Course to provide adequate training and information about gender equity & associated issues.
  • Encouraging volunteers to support efforts of community and employer to promote gender equity within a culturally appropriate and sensitive approach
  • Evaluations of the placement by the volunteer and employer to continue to include reference to gender issues.

Guide to gender and development, AusAID
Gender equality in Australia’s aid program – why and how, AusAID

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