Opening up government is an underexplored method for accelerating gender equality and closing critical gaps in information, access, and participation. When the perspectives of women, girls, and those across the gender and sexual identity spectrum are included in open government, so is critical knowledge and skills that increase the potential of ambitious reforms.
OGP members have made great strides to include women in OGP process and to increase gender perspectives within commitments. In 2019, OGP launched the Break the Roles campaign to encourage to be more intentional, strategic, and ambitious in bringing women and gender diverse perspectives into open government. To date, 31 OGP members have committed to a gender action or are currently implementing a gender commitment, surpassing the original goal of 30 percent. In 2019, gender became the fastest growing thematic area for OGP. Commitments range from interventions to reduce gender-based violence by working across government to collect and analyze data holistically, to specific initiatives to increase women-owned businesses access to public procurement bids, to increasing citizen knowledge of health care clinics and soliciting feedback on the quality of care they received.
Still, more work is needed to ensure commitments reflect the needs of women and gender groups, and that they are actively participating in co-creation processes. There is considerable room for growth. As of March 2020, OGP governments made 127 commitments that include women or gender perspectives, but this still only reflects 3 percent of the total number of OGP commitments. Even fewer specifically address issues of sexual identity or orientation.
Moving forward, OGP will work with members to enhance women and the LGBTQIA+ community’s participation in the process, mainstream gender into existing thematic priorities, and develop new reforms with a specific focus on advancing gender equality. OGP will also continue to document best practices through the Feminist Open Government Initiative and Multi-Donor Trust Fund projects. Throughout, we will seek opportunities to better connect local, national, and global gender initiatives to core government transparency and accountability action.
To learn more about Break the Roles and how to take action to increase gender equality through the Open Government Partnership, please visit the campaign page here.