Towards a Gender-Just Network: The ILC Gender Audit
The ILC Gender Audit was conducted in 2017 and evaluated the Coalition’s work on gender justice and women’s land rights. It included an examination of both the external and internal dimensions of ILC’s operations and programmes. Externally, the focus was on the two main vehicles for ILC activities – the country-level National Engagement Strategies (NES) and the Commitment-Based Initiatives (CBIs). It also evaluated policy influencing and the operational aspects of grant making, delivery, and assessment. Internally, the audit looked at a number of different areas, including workplace culture, capacity, and leadership.
The gender audit was much appreciated by both ILC members and the Secretariat and Regional Coordination Units (RCUs). It demonstrated that ILC has created a solid foundation for promoting equal land rights for women in its external work and for ensuring representation and participation of women within its internal governance structures. ILC efforts in championing women’s land rights issues have already yielded positive outcomes, including examples of good practice in all regions in which its members operate and useful tools to shape future work. ILC has also contributed to increasing women’s leadership within member organisations, as stated by a female council member in the framework of the audit: “I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in if ILC hadn’t promoted me in the way they did, such as by encouraging me to participate in trainings and to attend meetings.”
The audit highlighted an increasing commitment to gender justice and a positive change over time towards becoming a gender-just coalition. However, further steps are needed to avoid confusion between gender justice and women’s land rights and to strengthen a gender-just and gender-sensitive approach in all ILC operations.
Indeed, the audit concluded that in order for ILC to become a truly gender-just coalition, it needed to commit to a more ambitious and transformative change of its agenda. As such, the Coalition should prioritise building momentum and encouraging ownership across its membership, opening up possibilities for gender-transformative future partnerships and ways of working.
Some of the recommendations proposed by the audit, at both organisational and strategic levels, are already being implemented as part of the Gender Action Plan, endorsed by the ILC Council in December 2017. A committee of members oversees the implementation of the Action Plan, which was launched in early 2018. A first product is the Gender Glossary, a tool that allows members of the network to speak the same language and to have a shared understanding of gender issues.
The ILC Council’s decisions on the implementation of the Gender Action Plan mark a major milestone on the path to transformative change.