Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems
2012 Annual Meeting
The Gender Working Group met this year during the 2012 SEEP Annual Conference. Read the notes from the meeting.
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Gender Policy and Practice: Self-Assessments of Microfinance and Enterprise Development Organizations in Latin America
by Lisa Kuhn Fraioli and Marja Byekirova in 2012
In 2011, the Latin American Regional Working Group of the SEEP Network Gender Working Group held a two-day workshop in Lima, Peru. In preparation for the workshop, participants were asked to complete an institutional gender self-assessment. The self-assessment, adapted from one created by Opportunity International, comprised five sections: Mission and Objectives, Organizational Policies and Processes, Human Resource Policies, Planning and Design of Products and Services, and Monitoring and Evaluation. The survey was designed to stimulate reflection in the organizations about the implications of their policies and practices for gender equity and women’s empowerment. The participants found the results so interesting that they decided to extend the self-assessment—in electronic survey form—to other organizations in the region. In the end, 26 organizations from Peru, Mexico, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Bolivia, and Colombia completed the self-assessment as well as four international organizations. Among the respondents were three networks, two investors, four international NGOs, and 17 microfinance organizations.
This report provides a summary and analysis of the self-assessment results. Because the organizations participating in both the workshop and the survey were self-selecting, the results of this assessment should not be taken as a representative sample of gender practice among microfinance and microenterprise development institutions in the region. Rather, it should be understood as an exploration of the existing gender practice and gaps among organizations with above-average level of gender awareness.