The GEDI Dialogue: Workshop Report14 Jun 2009
The report aims to sensitize government, non-government organizations and corporates to gender issues and recommends approaches to incorporating a gender perspective in governance, existing policies and work environments.
Gender Resource Centre (GRC), Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA) organized The GEDI (Gender Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity) Dialogue on 14 June 2009. This programme was an attempt to bring together stakeholders from various sectors in order to provide a platform to understand and identify “gender issues”, discuss and present views, look for ways and means by which all stakeholders can collaboratively achieve results. The attempt of GRC was to collate and collaborate to bring to the table findings and experiences from different sectors. GRC at IIMA, the thought and action leader, took the onus of bringing together luminaries from different fields and proposing the way forward for policy makers and others in a position to adopt suggestions and implement changes in gender-related programmes.
1.2 The seminar was distinct in nature as it was based on discussions of real life experiences and attempts to posit issues and propose processes for handling the same. The United Nations Development Programme, India, was our knowledge partner for the seminar.
1.3 GRC is a recent initiative of IIMA. It was set up in December 2006 with the following objectives: • Sensitize government and non government organizations and the corporates to gender issues.
• Work with the government in analysis and review of existing policies and suggest modifications, if needed, to incorporate a gender perspective.
• Advocate the relevance of gender equality and equity to the government and other organizations.
• Strategize in sync with the government for implementation of a gender-based policy in governance.
• Use learning and experience gained from research and interactions to help corporates create a healthy, gender-sensitive work environment for all employees.
• Facilitate adoption and implementation of measures by the corporate community and the government that aid overall development across genders.
GRC focuses not just on what has been traditionally labeled as “women’s issues” but on matters concerning both men and women in workplaces and other areas of life. 1.4 Research by faculty team at GRC focuses primarily on the following areas:
• Gender Consciousness and Sensitization
• Gender and Communication
• Gender and Issues of Governance
• Gender and Social Conflict Resolution
• Gender and Education
Further information and details on GRC and faculty profile can be accessed from its website: http:// www.iimahd.ernet.in/grc/, and the videos of all the speeches can be downloaded from http://www. iimahd.ernet.in/grc/videos.html. The proceedings of the seminar are available at http://www.iimahd. ernet.in/grc/seminars.html. 1 Introduction
There are 13 faculty members working in this centre. A multidisciplinary approach by faculty experts in different disciplines, sharing the same mind space gives the centre room for addressing gender issues and problems from diverse perspectives. 1.5 The purpose of The GEDI Dialogue was to understand some of the following issues: How the current economic meltdown impacts the roles men and women play both at home and at work? What are some of the obstacles men and women face while working together? Are these obstacles a result of gender differences, a variant understanding of gender competencies, a consequence of having differing skill sets or an outcome of following a varying set of rules and policies for men and women within the organization?
1.6 Through The GEDI Dialogue, GRC tried to explore through discussion and debate the following issues: What is the success rate of introduction of gender-friendly policies? What has the government done to facilitate the implementation of such policies? Has the academia facilitated the adoption/implementation of such policies? How have civil bodies addressed gender issues? 1.7 The thematic discussions focused around
• Recession and its impact on gender issues
• CSR and gender
• Women entrepreneurship
• Health and gender
• Gender responsive budgeting
• Education and gender
• Work environment
• Social Networking
• Gender policies, legal aspects and environment in relation to human development
1.8 Full financial support for the seminar was provided by our knowledge partner UNDP, India, which recognized the significance of deliberations on multiple gender issues for an in-depth understanding and development of a research and action agenda.
1.9 Full support was provided to participants to present their ideas, concepts and share their experiences. Additionally, at the seminar GRC provided opportunities for networking and developing action plans.
1.10 Participant Profile: The workshop included participants from all the four sectors viz., academia, corporates, government and NGOs. Although the seminar was held on a Sunday we were able to get close to 70 participants, many of whom were outstation.