The project aims to (i) enhance the capacity of national machineries for the advancement of women and mainstreaming of the gender perspective; and (ii) increase women's ability to participate in and have influence over the policy-making process.
The project will contribute to strengthening cooperation among national machineries in the African region, reinforcing South/South networking and creating opportunities to learn from international experience. Regional resources will play a crucial role in the regional/national needs assessment in exchange of information and in developing country specific proposals for capacity building of national machineries related to women's participation in the public sector.
The Beijing Platform for Action called upon Governments to transform national machineries into central policy coordinating units to support gender mainstreaming in all government policies and programmes.
While the existing national gender mainstreaming machineries vary considerably in terms of mandates, location, composition and resources, they all face problems of marginalization of women's issues and programmes; no access to the national decision-making level; lack of information and statistical data as well as human and financial resources.
The project will facilitate the establishment of new national machineries through the elaboration of country-specific profiles; strengthen the capacity of existing national machineries and enhance their self-reliance in compliance with the recommendations of the Beijing Platform for Action through training and the elaboration of guidelines and manuals; increase the participation of women in policy-making bodies through career-advancement programmes, training in decision-making, leadership, administrative reform and management of change. This will facilitate women's upward mobility and advancement in national executive, legislative, judicial bodies and local administrations.
The attainment of the project objectives will be evaluated through feedback from participating representatives from the national machineries of the selected countries.