CSOs and Gender


Download the Global Report on CSOs and Gender Equality:

English, Spanish, French

Key Thematic Events of this Consultation

Asia and Pacific (Chiang Mai, Thailand)March 1 and 2APWLDConsultation Report
Africa (Lusaka, Zambia)April 7 and 8Women For ChangeConsultation Report
Latin America (Bogota, Colombia)April 26 and 27ALOPFinal Consultation Report, Preliminary Consultation Report, Virtual Survey Overview
Eastern Europena - SurveyKARATConsultation Report

Presentation at BetterAid consultation on Gender, June 2011

Open Forum Work on Gender: a presentation

Executive Summary of Open Forum Global Report on Gender

CSO Effectiveness Principle 2 - Gender Equality and Equity: an overview

Background on the Topic

Development actors are increasingly realizing that women and women’s rights must be central to any effective development strategies. Women’s rights organisations are crucial in these strategies. Both mainstream civil society organisations and women’s rights organizations have a role to play in advancing women’s rights and development. While the acceptance of the importance of women’s rights to development is broad, little has been developed that elaborates on the specific policies, practices and conditions that civil society organisations require to be effective development actors for women’s rights.

Within the Open Forum, gender has been at the heart of many discussions and activities, and at the recent Open Forum Global Assembly in Istanbul Turkey, gender equality was recognized as one of the eight principles for CSO development effectiveness (the Istanbul Principles). This second principle recognises “Embodying Gender Equality and Promoting Women’s Rights” in the draft Framework for CSO Development Effectiveness, and some significant movement and methodological steps are being made in Latin America around gender and effectiveness by women’s organisations. To build on this movement and develop a broad consensus, both women’s organizations and mainstream organisations need to recognise the environments, practices and policies that enable women’s rights work to progress and those that hinder it.

Within this context regional consultations with women’s organisations working in development are taking place in four global regions- Asia Pacific, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Africa. These regional perspectives and work will be harmonized and consolidated into one report and set of recommendations for the effectiveness of gender CSOs working in development.

Objectives of Gender Consultation

- Develop regional and international understandings of the Development Effectiveness Principles and the implications for women’s organisations, with particular attention to the guidelines, mechanisms and indicators applicable to Principle 2 on Gender Equality
- Establish some indicative policies, practices and requirements for enabling environment conditions, to ensure the space for women’s rights development work is adequately supported by governments and donors
- Political mobilization and advocacy around CSO development effectiveness and gender within the sector and with various stakeholders
- Identify areas for future work, collaboration and priorities at both the regional and international levels


- Regional consultations carried out during January to March 2010, including both face-to-face and on-line data collection and consultation, as required
- Consultations conducted in an interactive approach based on the OF toolkit
- A set of questions has been developed, and data collected for these questions in all four regions
- Regional Reports produced by end March, and a final global report synthesizing these regional inputs were developed by end April 2011
- The consolidated report will be incorporated into the International Framework for CSO Development Effectiveness, and will also be presented at the Global Assembly of the Open forum in June 2011
- Political engagement, lobbying and mobilization on CSOs and Gender will happen during the consultation activities before the Global Assembly, as well as afterwards with a view to HLF4

The Global Survey on CSO Development Effectiveness and Gender

The survey contains the global questions for the consultation process, but please note that we have a coordinating organization in each region who leading the survey and regional consultation work, and this survey was made available in different language versions, and with regionalized questions and context-specific information, in each region.

The deadline to complete the survey has now passed. However, you can still view the questions here.

See invitation to take part in the survey on Gender in the Latin America and the Caribbean region here (deadline: 10 april).

Links and Documents

- Civil Society Recommendations for UN Women
- Eight working theses developed by the Latin American women’s and feminist movement, in English and Spanish
- Open Forum Regional Report from Latin America 2010 (in English and Spanish), with a significant chapter on Gender Equity in Latin America
- Statement to the First Regular Session of the Executive Board, United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
- Women-Africa: Funding tends to be “gender blind” Article on the Open Forum regional Consultation on Gender in Zambia, 7-8 April 2011.