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Mainstreaming The Gender and Diversity Perspective into Argentina’s Fourth Open Government Action Plan

Credit: Ministry of Women, Gender and Diversity (Argentina)

English and Spanish versions of the executive summary are available as web text and PDFs below. The full document is available in Spanish on Government of Argentina’s website here.

Annex: Mainstreaming the Gender and Diversity Perspective Into the Fourth Open Government Action Plan

  • Drafted by the Directorate for Planning, Transparency and Management Evaluation
  • Director: Mg Nair Belen Castillo
  • Team: Maria Luz Vegas, Belkyss Contino, Maria Laura Solis, Nicolas Crespi, Jazmin Topet y Magdalena Gualtruzzi.

Executive Summary

The “Annex: Mainstreaming the gender and diversity perspectives into the fourth open government action plan” was jointly developed by the Directorate for Planning, Transparency and Management Evaluation; the National Directorate for Planning, Monitoring and Information Management of the Ministry of Women, Gender and Diversity (MMGyD in Spanish); the National Open Government Directorate; the Under Secretariat of Open Government and Digital Government; the Secretariat of Public Innovation and the Cabinet of Chief of Ministers.

This working document provides a gender and diversity assessment of Argentina’s fourth open government action plan. The MMGYD is pioneering this approach to mainstream gender and diversity into the country’s integrity and transparency policies and plans. For the first time ever, the State set out to mainstream the gender and diversity perspective (GADP) into the open government agenda.

The annex constitutes a preliminary assessment, identifying positive experiences on the mainstreaming of the GADP into the Open Government Partnership (OGP) process, putting the fourth open government action plan into context.

OGP identified gender and inclusion as one of its strategic policy areas and encourages the participation of women and LGBTI+ members in its co-creation processes and the development of gender-related commitments. Relevant initiatives include the Feminist Open Government Initiative, various projects funded by the Multi-Donor Trust Fund, and the Break the Roles campaign, an initiative that proposed challenging the traditional roles and responsibilities and advancing a more ambitious and strategic approach to gender mainstreaming efforts.

At the local level, the GADP started permeating into action plans, panels, webinars, and events organized as part of the regional meeting and Open Gov Week. The trend is to mainstream the gender perspective into Argentina’s open government action plans; this document represents a step forward, outlining recommendations to mainstream the GADP into all the plan’s commitments, aiming to address gender inequality by design.

The document outlines key concepts and terms as a starting point toward developing a common language and a framework for future work. Examples include the definition of “gender and diversity mainstreaming”, “roles”, “stereotypes”, “gender gaps” and others. While there is no one single methodology to mainstream the GADP into public policies, the document outlines key features and questions that can be key to the process. The document also includes an integrated assessment of the GADP of the fourth plan as a starting point toward mainstreaming GADP into the design of public policies.

This constitutes progress toward mainstreaming the GADP into the open government agenda’s core principles: transparency, citizen participation, and accountability. Incorporating the GADP into transparency – management, generation, and sharing of information held by government agencies – will allow for more open, disaggregated data. Citizen participation will also be strengthened by identifying existing gaps and reviewing mechanisms to encourage the participation of women and LGBTI+ members. Mainstreaming the GADP into open government processes can strengthen them by increasing the effectiveness of co-creation spaces between public agencies and civil society by promoting the participation of women and LGBTI+ members, making up a more plural and democratic space. Broadening participation and hearing diverse voices, experiences and views would result in the development of substantive and transformative commitments. The third open government pillar, accountability, can be strengthened by incorporating the GADP, projecting the use of disaggregated information, gender-sensitive data, and gender and diversity indicators.

Following an integrated assessment of the fourth action plan, the document puts forward innovative gender and diversity inputs on a set of commitments from the fourth open government action plan: Transparency of extractive industries; Raising the visibility of indigenous groups; Access to justice; People trafficking; Monitoring water and sanitation; and Federal criminal assessment. These commitments have “high potential” in terms of gender and diversity by addressing issues that demand assessing gender gaps and inequalities, have a differentiated impact, and can potentially reproduce inequality.

The first questions aim to identify whether the approach or proposal includes GADP elements and whether the commitment has transformative potential to achieve gender equality. Additional questions include: Are women and LGBTI+ groups explicitly mentioned as beneficiaries? Does it highlight inequalities in the use and allocation of goods and services for women, men and LGBTI+ individuals? Are pre-existing gaps and inequalities considered? Are potential differentiated effects of the commitment identified?

This assesses the presence (or lack thereof) of the proposed approach, as well as the potential and importance of incorporating the GADP into the selected commitments. It identifies how the conceptual and methodological tool can help make progress toward gender equality and identifies local and international references and experiences to contextualize the analysis. Lastly, the process reflects on the strengths and opportunities of the gender commitments of the fourth action plan, namely: “Federalization of the Micaela Act”; “Gender training for the three branches of the State”; “Women in the workplace: more evidence to close the gap”; “Sexuality and rights”; “Federal observatory for an integrated sexual education”.

The document puts forward an assessment of the proposed recommendations and encourages implementation into the whole action plan. It recommends conducting a detailed GADP assessment of the 18 action plan commitments, jointly with the agencies that are responsible for their implementation. These overall recommendations are opportunities to strengthen the gender lens and work toward mainstreaming GADP into open government action plans.

  • View mainstreaming as a guiding principle of all action plans, incorporating equal opportunities and rights for all into every action, and not solely identifying actions focused on women and non-binary individuals. This approach implies that all activities must start by acknowledging existing gender inequalities and incorporating steps to address the situation.
  • Mainstreaming GADP as a process, assessing the differentiated effect that any open government decision or action, including initiatives, campaigns, programs and policies at all levels, may have on different gender groups. This includes participation in the co-creation process and assessments, the design and drafting of commitments, and the implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of activities. This implies explicitly identifying needs, the prevalence of violence, inequality, and the structural and historical discrimination that women and LGBTI+ groups face.
  • Promote the use of inclusive language, increasing the visibility of women and LGBTI+ groups. This starts by naming every person: what is not named does not exist. We encourage everyone to review “(Re) Name: Communication guide with a gender perspective” developed by the MMGyD.
  • Conduct a gender assessment of all the commitments included in the fourth action plan as a key step to work toward creating equal opportunities for women, men, and LGBTI+ members. This entails understanding how an action, decision or plan might affect women, men, and LGBTI+ members in a differentiated manner.
  • Adopt an integrated and inclusive gender approach. It is key to adopt a broader, more integrated, and more inclusive approach to gender, not using a synonym of “women”. Gender is a social construct that responds to power relationships and is reflected in assigned roles, mandates, norms, abilities, behavior, and expectations which, in turn, are affected by a wide range of factors that make up the identity of people.
  • Integrate an inter-cultural and inter-sectional approach, avoiding a simplification of diversity and reductionism or generalization that hide many realities. These allow us to address multiple variables (ethnicity, age, socioeconomic condition, disabilities, etc.) and are therefore necessary to fully understand relationships between genders.
  • Broaden the geographic reach of citizen participation entities by creating new channels. The sanitary crisis caused by COVID-19 increased digital spaces. The use of virtual tools can be an opportunity to provide more and better participation opportunities that close the gaps and engage social organizations across the country, especially those with fewer advocacy abilities.
  • Consider reviewing the open government institutional approach from a gender perspective. To mainstream the GADP, we recommend reviewing the country’s open government legal framework and enhancing democratic parity, in line with the Gender Parity Act in Political Representation (N°27.412) and the resolution by the General Justice Inspection. There is an opportunity to raise awareness and train authorities that make up the National Committee, as established by the Micaela Act (N°27.499) on gender and gender-based violence for all officials of the three branches of government.
  • Progressively include the GADP into the State’s administrative registers and sources of information: progressive and incremental mainstreaming of GADP into administrative registers and other sources of information such as surveys is key. Including the gender identity variable in the 2021 census as well as the decree that mandated the inclusion of transvestites, transsexual and transgender persons were key milestones.
  • Link open government commitments with Sustainable Development Goals and the Agenda for Sustainable Development, creating synergies with the National Cabinet for Gender Mainstreaming: we recommend greater connections with SDGs and incorporating relevant regulatory frameworks to support gender and diversity mainstreaming into the open government agenda, including the creation of the National Cabinet, which seeks to incorporate GADP into all State public policies.

In short, this document proposes a transformative approach toward developing gender-sensitive, egalitarian, and inclusive open government public policies. We encourage promoting the open government, gender, and diversity agendas as one practical, innovative approach, emphasizing the key role of mainstreaming GADP as a key tool for the implementation of transparency, citizen participation, and accountability principles, increasing their reach. Its value-added resides in the promotion of mainstreaming as a crucial way to promote a substantial transformation broadly, looking forward to a more just, egalitarian, inclusive, and democratic society.

English and Spanish versions of the executive summary are available as PDFs below. The full document is available in Spanish on Government of Argentina’s website here.


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