Building capacities for promoting the presence and leadership of women within public institutions at national and local levels

 

About the project: The project aims to enhance the presence and leadership of women in public institutions at national and local levels in Mauritius and Senegal, Bhutan, and Lao People’s Democratic Republic. In partnership with ECA, ESCAP, RCOs in the respective Countries, UNDP and UN Women, it will strengthen the capacity of these governments to develop and implement an action plan that prioritizes gender equality and promotes women’s career progression towards leadership positions in the public sector. The project will also stimulate a South-South knowledge transfer and cross-fertilization by enhancing the awareness of a broader group of governments, such as the partnering countries of Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and Zambia, on the importance of prioritizing gender equality in public administration.

 

Objective: Enhance the presence and leadership of women in public institutions at national and local levels in selected countries of the Africa and Asia regions.

 

Beneficiaries: Direct beneficiaries include high- and mid-level government officials from ministries and governmental institutions at the national and subnational levels. Indirect beneficiaries include citizens and communities at large.

 

SDG Addressed by the project: SDG 5 (5.1,5.4,5.5,5b, 5c); SDG16 (16.6, 16.7, 16.b)

 

Key accomplishments: i) Enhanced capacity of governments in the project countries to develop and implement action plans that prioritize gender parity in public administration at the national and local levels; and ii) Enhanced awareness and understanding of government officials in partnering countries on the importance of and how to prioritize gender parity in public administration. 

 

Partners: ECA, ESCAP, RCOs in the respective Countries, UNDP and UN Women

Timeframe: May 2022 - June 2024

Focus countries: Bhutan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Mauritius and Senegal

Bhutan   

  • Data from the Civil Service Statistics in Bhutan shows that the number of female civil servants increased from 2,180 in 1996 to 12,396 in 2021. As of December 2021, women represent 40 per cent of employees in public administration at the national level (12,396 female officials over a total of 31,177 civil servants).* Yet, the percentage of female civil servants is below the world average of 46 per cent,** and has decreased by two percentage points compared to 2020.* Also, the percentage of female employees that hold regular positions is lower by five percentage points compared to the percentage of male employees (81 and 86 per cent respectively).*

     

    Women’s representation in decision-making positions remains low, at less than 20 per cent in the executive and specialist positions.* The presence of women in (middle) management positions is below-average (29 per cent).** Additionally, women’s representation is low in public administration at the local level.***

     

    Women dominate employment in Laboratory and Technical Services at 53 per cent and the Library, Archives and Museum Services at 74 per cent according to national data. On the other hand, men dominate other major occupational groups, including Forestry and Environment Protection Services, Executive and Specialist Services; and Arts, Culture and Literary Services where women’s representation is low (16 per cent each).*

     

    * UNDP Bhutan
    ** UNDP, Global Report on Gender Equality in Public Administration, 2021
    *** Bhutan 2021 VNR Report

     

  • 25 August 2022
    - The Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC) of Bhutan informed the Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government (DPIDG) that the National Commission for Women will be the leading national partner in the implementation of project activities. In addition, the GNHC has relayed to the national public administration and the local governments that it is a national priority in Bhutan to enhance capacities to develop and implement an action plan that promotes gender equality and women’s career progression towards leadership positions in the public sector.
    - The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the UNDP Country Office in Bhutan signed a partnership agreement specifying activities, outcomes and the budget for project implementation.

     

Lao People's Democratic Republic     

 

  • Women represented about 45 per cent of national civil servants in 2018 according to national data (close to the world average of 46 per cent). Yet, women hold only 17 per cent of the Director-General positions (top civil service administrative positions).** Smaller gender disparity is observed at less senior decision-making levels – Deputy Director-General and Head of Division (19 and 24 per cent respectively). ****

     

    Women’s representation in the ministries of Education and Sport; and Health exceeds that of men. On the contrary, women’s representation in the ministries of Agriculture and Forestry; Finance; Natural Resources and Environment; and Public Works and Transport is significantly lower than that of men, according to national data. *****

     

    While 30 per cent of positions in the legislature are held by women, a score relatively high within the region, women continue to face barriers advancing their careers towards higher level positions in the public service. *****

     

    No information is available on women’s representation at the local level of government.

     

    ** UNDP, Global Report on Gender Equality in Public Administration, 2021
    **** Lao PDR 2021 VNR Report
    ***** UNDP Lao PDR

     

  • 20 September 2022
    - The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the UNDP Country Office in Lao PDR signed a partnership agreement specifying activities, outcomes and the budget for project implementation.

     

Mauritius   

 

  • Women represent 29 per cent of employees in public administration (well below the world average of 46 per cent according to UNDP data). Women hold 29 per cent of senior management positions in public administration while their presence in (middle) management positions is much higher (41 per cent). No data is available on the percentage of women in top leadership positions at the national and local government level.

  • 13 October 2022
    - The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the UNDP Country Office in Mauritius signed a partnership agreement specifying activities, outcomes and the budget for project implementation.

     

Senegal   

 

  • Women represent 25 per cent of employees in public administration at the national level (well below the world average of 46 per cent according to UNDP data). Women hold 16 per cent of (middle) management positions in public administration (UNDP data). Women’s presence is more prominent in the support (46 per cent) and secretarial (80 per cent) functions. No information is available on women’s representation at the local level of government.

  • ND Date October 2022
    - The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), the UNDP Country Office in Senegal and the UN Women regional office for Central and West Africa signed partnership agreements specifying activities, outcomes and the budget for project implementation.

     

Partnering countries: Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Zambia

 

For more information, please see Project Document and Fact Sheet English and French.