UNDP Global Initiative on Gender Equality in Public Administration (GEPA)
Public administration is the bedrock of government and the central instrument through which national policies and programmes are implemented. In an ideal world, public administration is guided by principles of fairness, accountability, justice, equality and non-discrimination, and the civil service should serve as a model where women and men equally participate and lead, including in decision-making.
However, globally, this is not yet the reality and, despite the fact that the internationally agreed target of a minimum of 30 percent women in leadership positions applies equally to public administration as it does to politics, women remain underrepresented in decision-making in public administration. In many developed and developing countries, public administration often remains a patriarchal institution, perpetuating gender-biased traditions, attitudes and practices.
In response to these challenges, UNDP’s Global Initiative on Gender Equality in Public Administration (GEPA) was developed, with two key priorities:
(i) Supporting women’s empowerment and expanded participation and leadership in the executive branch of the state; and
(ii) Contributing to the availability of up-to-date information on gender equality in public administration and of evidence and analysis to facilitate informed policy and decision-making.
Phase 1 focused on data collection and analysis and research on this emerging issue, with the publication of :
- GEPA Project Brief provides an overview of the GEPA Initiative. It is available in English , French , Spanish
- GEPA Global Report reflects extensive research based on available national data, and provides analysis of the obstacles in the way of women’s equal participation and decision-making in public administration. It highlights examples of approaches which can work, and proposes policy and programming recommendations for further action, including specific entry points for UNDP to advance women’s equal participation in public administration. It was officially released by Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator on 3 June 2014 at the UNDP event on Women, Excellence and Public Service in Singapore, during which she gave a lecture on "Women’s Equal Participation and Leadership in Decision-Making".
- GEPA Case Studies: Thirteen country case studies (Bangladesh, Botswana, Burundi, Cambodia, Colombia, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Mali, Morocco, Mexico, Romania, Somalia, Uganda) were conducted to reflect a variety of development contexts in all five regions where UNDP is operating and to provide evidence for identifying constraints to and enabling factors of promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment in public administration.
Phase 2, in line with UNDP’s Strategic Plan and UNDP’s Gender Equality Strategy for 2014-2017, will focus on the implementation of the global report recommendations, with a particular attention to advocacy, partnerships, capacity development, policy and programming at all levels and the development of a global mechanism to track women’s participation in public administration, in particular in decision-making positions.
For more information, read about:
- Our New York launch and panel discussion on the UNDP GEPA Global Report; and view our event Flyer and Concept Note;
- Helen Clark at a UNDP event on Women, Excellence, and Public Service in June 2014.
Additional publications on UNDP GEPA include:
For more information, also: