ASEAN Cooperation on Civil Service Matters, with USAID, prioritizes gender in human resources.
Program Highlight: Strengthening Institutional Building Blocks to Implement Gender Mainstreaming in ASEAN Civil Service Matters
Manila, March 28th, 2023. The ASEAN Cooperation in Civil Service Matters (ACCSM), with support from USAID, kicked-off a two-day workshop to deepen member states’ understanding of how to better incorporate gender into their regular human resources practices. In partnership with the Philippines Civil Service Commission (CSC), and the ASEAN Secretariat’s Labor and Civil Services Division. More than 60 participants from nine ASEAN member states gathered in person and through a hybrid platform to learn more about how to undertake gender mainstreaming in their agencies (for example, conducting gender audits and gender impact assessments, ensuring gender-responsive recruitment and promotion, and administering gender-sensitive performance appraisals). The forum builds on the 2022 whole-of-ASEAN Gender Mainstreaming Strategic Framework, developed with support from USAID, by providing an opportunity for civil service agency representatives from across ASEAN to share best practices based on in-country-specific laws and practices. Participants came away with Learning Application Plans to outline how to proceed within their organizational and national level in their respective ministries.
The workshop was officially opened by Chairperson Karlo A.B. Nograles from the Philippines CSC whose remarks underscored the critical importance of acknowledging and working to close existing gaps in implementing Gender Equality Disability and Social Inclusion within regional Civil Service Organizations. USAID reinforced the U.S. government’s commitment to continuing to help ASEAN advance gender equality and women’s empowerment objectives, building upon its support to develop, launch, and implement the ASEAN Gender Mainstreaming Strategic Framework (AGMSF). Interventions include promoting women’s leadership in the science and technology sectors, women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship, and advancing the implementation of the ASEAN’s Regional Plan for Women, Peace, and Security.
The promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls are consistent priorities of both the United States and ASEAN, which was underscored in the 2022 ASEAN-U.S. Joint Statement. The statement outlined shared commitments on gender priorities, which is part of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025. ASEAN aspires to be “an inclusive community that promotes high quality of life, equitable access to opportunities for all and promotes and protects the human rights of women.”
This commitment is supported by the ASEAN Declaration on the Gender-Responsive Implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and Sustainable Development Goals (2017), which identifies strategic measures for all ASEAN sectoral bodies across three ASEAN pillars to carry out this vision. Furthermore, the ASEAN Joint Statement on Women, Peace, and Security (2017) emphasizes the regional relevance of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda, conceived under UN Security Council Resolution 1325, and recognizes the importance of women’s participation and leadership across all processes to prevent, mitigate, resolve, and recover from conflict and build sustainable peace.
Moving forward, a virtual colloquium on Gender-Responsive Human Resources Policies and Programs is planned for April 2023 as a follow-up to this workshop, during which the participants will work together as peer-coaches to share progress and challenges related to their Learning Application Plans.
As a strategic partner of ASEAN, the United States, through USAID, looks forward to continuing to raise gender equity via the operationalization of the AGMSF and will remain a durable partner in pursuit of greater gender equality across ASEAN communities for a more secure, sustainable, and inclusive future for the region.
Learn more about Gender program here [Fact Sheet pdf.]