Gender equality in public administration


Public administration is the bedrock of government and the central instrument through which national policies and programmes are implemented. An accountable and inclusive public administration is at the core of sustainable development. The participation and leadership of women in the civil service is therefore important for ensuring truly inclusive development and democratic governance, as well as enhancing the sustainability and responsiveness of public policies implemented by governments that mirror the diversity of the population they serve.

Despite some global improvement and the targets set by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, notably captured in the global Sustainable Development Goals through Goal 5 on Gender Equality and Goal 16 on Peaceful and Inclusive Societies, women remain under-represented in decision-making in the public domain, thus undermining economic growth, human development and poverty reduction.

In line with the principle of “Leaving No One Behind” and UNDP’s work on Sustainable Development Goal Target 16.7 (proportionate representation in public institutions and equal access to decision-making) the global Gender Equality in Public Administration (GEPA) initiative aims to:
(i) Support women’s empowerment and expanded participation and leadership in public institutions; and
(ii) Contribute 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. 

Our Work

The initiative is implemented in two phases.

Phase 1 focused on data collection and analysis and research on this emerging issue, with the publication of: 

·         GEPA Global Report

·         GEPA Case Studies

Phase 2 focuses on the implementation of the GEPA global report recommendations, with a particular focus on advocacy, partnerships, capacity development, policy and programming at all levels and the development of a global tracking mechanism that will institutionalise the importance of monitoring the state of gender equality in the civil service. To begin the development of this tracking mechanism, UNDP is currently mapping national civil service tracking mechanisms and the availability of gender-disaggregated public service data in all of its regional hubs.

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