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Gender Equality Policy

The Commonwealth Secretariat’s Gender Equality Policy (GEP) provides the institutional context for the work on gender mainstreaming towards achieving gender equality in the Secretariat’s mandates, policies, operations and programmes.

Launched in 2012, the policy provides institutional, operational and reporting guidelines for a coherent and coordinated approach to gender mainstreaming to support the realisation of gender results in programme delivery, policy processes and systems. 

We have identified the following key areas of focus as needing specific intervention for improved gender equality and more sustainable development:

  • Lack of access to finance for women entrepreneurs
  • Limited access to procurement and global markets
  • Underrepresentation of women on corporate boards
  • Women’s underrepresentation in political systems and leadership
  • Violence Against Women (VAW) 

Read our Gender Equality Policy

Gender mainstreaming

Gender mainstreaming encompasses all aspects of planning, implementing and monitoring any social, political or economic action. It can therefore be utilised as an effective tool to achieve greater gender equality and more equitable and sustainable development results.

Through gender mainstreaming, greater awareness is created on how gender equality can contribute significantly to improved development outcomes.

We provide training on gender issues and analysis so there is an understanding of how women and men are impacted differently within projects and what can be done to ensure their needs are being met and inequalities are mitigated. This work ensures more effective and gender sensitive programme implementation. 

We aim to ensure gender equality and the empowerment of women is effectively mainstreamed into member states policies, frameworks, programmes and all Commonwealth Secretariat’s projects.