Change the Life of our Organizations by Integrating and Incorporating a Gender and Generational Perspective
Change the Life of our Organizations by Integrating and Incorporating a Gender and Generational Perspective
Our life is organized around gender, in an imperceptible way. It seems natural to be born male or female, and even to raise our children differently according to the biological sex they bring at birth, so that their future behaviors are adequate to certain patterns, which are taken as natural and “normal”.
Moving away from these patterns is something disruptive, at the individual level – people who are intersex at birth or who live their gender differently from the majority – and at the collective level, such as the mobilizations of 8M, the marches for diversity, among others.
Gender patterns are based on differences and are not innocuous, as they entail inequalities for people and bring consequences, both when they are fulfilled and when they are not.
When we speak of gender perspective, we refer to being able to recognize and contemplate the web of structural inequalities that underlie the processes of gender socialization in the family, in educational, cultural, labor and organizational spaces, so as not to naturalize or reproduce them but, on the contrary, to be able to review them, question them and tend to reverse them.
It is timely to discuss this sex-gender association:
– Is it of the order of nature? Is there any topic of people’s life in society that is “exclusively” natural? Can we continue to maintain that the regulation of the ways of living gender corresponds to the laws of nature, when it is introduced in our everyday life linked to the ways of doing and being?
– Why does the existence of two majority sex-genitalities obstruct, deny and pretend to “correct” other forms?
Gender crosses us, not only biologically but also culturally. This crossing constitutes what we call gender identity, a concept that refers to the individual level, but is constructed in a social fabric, according to the parameters of each culture at a given time and historical moment. And it is related to the gender order referred to the structure of social relations that establishes the rules of the game in relation to people and their bodies, as well as the practices they develop.
The construction of our gender identity is not individual, it is inscribed in those cultural patterns, which in each time and place, with particular characteristics, constructs what is masculinity, femininity, and diversity.
The gender order of a society:
– produces rules, behaviors, ways of being in the world and of relating to others.
– is a source of pleasure, security, recognition, identity; and also of inequality, injustice, and violence.
– conditions men, women, non-binary identities as individuals and also as collectives.
Multiple factors or intersectionalities such as age, socioeconomic status, disability, place of residence, ethnicity, religion, among others, must be considered in this analysis.
Looking at the realities
In 2018, UN Women launched its flagship report, “Turning Promises into Action: Gender Equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development “. The report demonstrates through concrete evidence and data the pervasive nature of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere, and presents actionable recommendations on how to deliver on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said, “…As a world, we committed through the SDGs to leave no one behind. The new data and analysis in this report underscore that unless progress on gender equality is significantly accelerated, the global community will not be able to deliver on its promise. This is an urgent signal for action….”.
Some data on what is happening in Latin America:
Labor market: women have a low participation in the labor market and the gender gap in this area exceeds 25%, being one of the highest in the world. Although significant progress has been made in the last 50 years (the female participation rate rose from around 20% in the 1960s to more than 60% in the early 2010s), the rate of growth slowed from the 2000s onwards, and once in the labor market, women tend to participate in low-quality, low-paid jobs, resulting in a gender wage gap. Another major challenge that women continue to face in the labor market is the cultural expectation of their role as primary caregivers. In fact, women in the region dedicate more than twice as many hours to unpaid domestic and care responsibilities as their male counterparts.
Indigenous peoples, Afro-descendants, people with disabilities and LGBTQ+ people face unique barriers in the labor market. Employment gaps among different racial-ethnic groups in Latin America and the Caribbean are manifested in their different participation in economic sectors or occupations. These populations tend to work in informal, low-quality, low-paid jobs, such as in agriculture, handicrafts and the provision of elementary services (domestic service and street vending, for example). In addition, people with disabilities are more likely to be unemployed: among 24-35 year olds in Latin America and the Caribbean, the employment rate for men with disabilities is 24 percentage points lower than for men without disabilities, and for women, it is 12 percentage points lower. In addition, LGBTQ+ people tend to underreport their gender identities and sexual orientations in their jobs for fear of being discriminated against, harassed, or fired.
Entrepreneurship: Women entrepreneurs face greater barriers than their male peers due to the complexity of accessing networks and markets for their products, difficult access to training and business development services, unfamiliarity with commercial credit facilities (leading to greater risk aversion and reliance on informal sources of financing), lower value assets leading to higher collateral requirements, and the primary role in caring for the home. In addition, women entrepreneurs are concentrated mainly in micro and small businesses in sectors such as commerce, services and manufacturing, and there is little representation in high productivity sectors or areas related to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). In the region, barely 20% of senior management positions in public administration are held by women and, in fact, they represent less than 10% of the boards of directors in companies.
Indigenous peoples, afro-descendants, people with disabilities and LGBTQ+ people have greater difficulties in accessing entrepreneurial support services. For example, in Brazil, most low-income microentrepreneurs do not have access to productive credit, particularly afro-descendants: 37% were denied credit applications, while the percentages for whites and mestizos are 28.6% and 23.1%, respectively. In addition, they must pay a higher interest rate. This gap in financial inclusion is also observed in Mexico, where only 21% of indigenous people and the same percentage of Afro-descendants make use of banking services, far below the banking penetration rate of the population that identifies itself as white or mixed race.
Health and education: in the health sector, a large proportion of women in the region lack access to reproductive technology. Maternal mortality remains high and adolescent girls (15-19 years old) have pregnancy rates that are 20 points higher than the world average.
Indigenous peoples, Afro-descendants, people with disabilities and LGBTQ+ people face major barriers in relation to the rest of the population in terms of access to quality education and health services. The indigenous and Afro-descendant population in the region completes on average fewer levels of schooling than the rest of the population: among people aged 25 to 64, 60% of Afro-descendants and 72% of indigenous people have secondary education or less, compared to 55% for the rest of the population. In the area of health, indigenous women face wide gaps in access to and use of health services. For example, in Panama’s indigenous comarcas, maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality indicators are very high compared to the national average. In addition, LGBTQ+ people face significant disadvantages throughout their life cycle. For example, 75% of LGBTQ+ students in Colombia receive homophobic comments at school and half of LGBTQ+ patients in Mexico indicate that healthcare workers are not trained to care for them. On the other hand, people with disabilities have lower academic outcomes. The average gap regarding high school completion rates between youth with disabilities and youth without disabilities is 13%. People with disabilities also face several barriers in accessing medical services: for example, only 3% of them in the region have access to rehabilitation services.
Gender-based violence: one in three women aged 15-49 years has ever suffered physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner. This has a detrimental impact (physical and psychological) on the health of survivors and also affects their economic status and development opportunities, increases the likelihood that children will suffer abuse, physical punishment or neglect/dysfunctional care, and increases the likelihood that minors will reproduce these behaviors in adulthood, propagating the cycle of violence.
Indigenous, Afro-descendant, LBT and disabled women are at high risk of experiencing harassment and violence in the region. However, this phenomenon is invisible for these populations due to the lack of access to reporting and victim care services.
On a global level.
– 13 million girls and adolescents under the age of 20 gave birth in 2019.
– 28% of research staff in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) are women.
– 80% of people displaced by the climate crisis are girls and women.
– 45% of women do not control decision-making around their own sexual and reproductive health. In addition, 27% do not have access to comprehensive sexuality education.
– In 2019, 16% of adolescent girls aged 15-19 were married before their 18th birthday, up from 19% in 2012. At this rate, it will take 100 more years to eradicate child marriage.
– In 27 countries, married women are legally obliged to obey their husbands, and in 16 of them these face legal sanctions if they do not.
– Worldwide, one-third of women and girls have experienced physical and/or sexual violence. Less than 40% have sought help and, among them, only 10% have gone to the police.
– In 119 out of 180 countries, access to abortion is subject to conditions.
– In 88 out of 180 countries, women cannot work in certain professions under the same conditions as men, and in 24 countries they need the permission of their husbands or legal guardians to work.
– 47% of the world’s population believes that men make better political leaders than women.
– In 125 countries, women are more likely than men to feel unsafe walking alone at night in their own neighborhood.
In 2021, the World Economic Forum estimated that it will take 135.6 years to eliminate gender inequality in the world.
Reviewing values and principles from a gender perspective
Gender equality is an indispensable condition for development and coexistence in cooperative and Social and Solidarity Economy organizations due to the coincidence between their values and principles and the fulfillment of people’s human rights. The well-known democratic character and management of SSE organizations and horizontality are fundamental pillars within their principles; that is why they have been and are an example of social cohesion in the struggle for a fairer and more equitable society.
The development of pro-equality regulations at the national, regional and international levels has created a favorable climate for SSE organizations to incorporate measures for the promotion of equality, and these measures should be conceived as a transversal element in their organizational cultures, in their ethics and raison d’être.
Society is in times of revision of behavioral patterns, historically marked by discrimination, harassment and gender violence, practices that, whether naturalized or invisible, are also part of the culture of organizations and jeopardize solidarity, community values and empathy.
In view of this, and in compliance with their values and principles, SSE organizations must achieve an organizational culture that respects human rights, guarantees non-discrimination of any kind, contemplates diversity and promotes participatory democracy.
The integration of the gender and generational perspective in SSE processes makes it possible to question and transform the relations of domination/power, as well as the inequalities built into the dominant economic model (patriarchal and capitalist), reproduced and reinforced in the world of work.
Thus, the integration of the gender and generational perspective in the SSE allows understanding the mechanisms of patriarchy and its impact on the daily lives of women, men and non-binary identities and implies the challenge of working on a profound social, economic, cultural and environmental transformation to reduce the gender and generational gaps, that is, to overcome the distance that exists between women, men and non-binary identities in the access, participation, allocation, use, control and quality of resources, services, opportunities and benefits of development in all areas of organizational life.
The integration of the gender and generational perspective in the SSE is the opportunity to build inclusive, equitable and violence-free organizations, valuing and taking advantage of the contributions of each person, from a recognition of their rights, their potential, their diversity, their feelings and visions of all in trust, based on common objectives of transformation, deconstruction and individual and collective reconstruction.
– To share experiences and cases of organizations that have made progress with the issue of gender perspective; To achieve that it is not only a women’s space, to break with binarism, to open to transidentities and with an intersectional approach; – Generate links between social and solidarity economy organizations; – Create a Global Network of SSE women. – To generate work proposals with concrete commitments of the participants to advance towards gender equity, contributing to forms of work and coexistence based on peace, recognition and valuation of differences in organizations, territories and countries.
How do we produce gender in our organizations?
The dichotomous or binary
How do we generate our organizations?
Conditions for women’s participation: care spaces.
How to achieve open and inclusive organizations that take into account the practical and strategic needs of genders? Organizational amplifying tools Traces of the gender regime, in four dimensions:
How do we design and promote organizational policies that allow the real inclusion of the gender and generational perspective in their ways of being and acting? With perspective (production that give us clues to continue working post-session).
What accelerators can we generate in terms of gender democracy?
Public policies (including legislation in each country).
Visibility and advocacy actions
The methodology of the session would be hybrid: a previous virtual work to learn about different experiences, and a reflection and generation of a participative dynamic that leads to proposals for collective action.
A virtual space that allows people to register, make explicit the topics of interest and create working groups, where people can be identified, then share their experiences documented in videos or documents, and share some questions in a discussion forum. We can also share our experiences in the virtual scenario to have a base, if more come, welcome.
In the on-site session we will work in groups according to the topics on which we want to generate more in-depth discussions in order to co-construct proposals in this area of work. The session will be organized with:
5 minutes of presentation of objectives and methodology.
40 minutes of interventions that invite and frame reflection (10 min maximum per presenter).
30 minutes of group work (with suggested questions, one or more per group, depending on the number of groups and participants).