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The Feminist Open Government Initiative

“Any serious shift towards more sustainable societies has to include gender equality”
– OGP Ambassador and former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark

The Feminist Open Government Initiative uses research and action to encourage governments and civil society to champion initiatives leading to gender advancements in open government.

Why Feminist Open Government

Women use public services, run businesses, pay taxes, drink public water – shouldn’t they have an equal say in how governments provide those services? When women are absent from open government, so is the information, knowledge, and skills that limit the potential of ambitious reforms that will impact daily lives.

Yet, women’s participation and gender perspectives in OGP is uneven around the world. Only 86 OGP commitments include a gender focus – representing only 2% of the nearly 4,000 commitments made by national and local governments to date.

Despite the transformative potential of gender-informed policy, global gender equality is declining for the first time. Currently, it will take 100 years to close the global gender gap, according to the World Economic Forum. Women’s voices are struggling to be heard in policymaking worldwide, with women’s participation in parliaments remaining relatively stagnant at around 24% and in worldwide mayoral seats at just 5%.

Open government is an underexplored tool to accelerate gender equality and close critical gaps in information, access, and participation.

The Goal

Open government is open to all.

By the end of 2019, we aim for at least 30% of OGP country and civil society partners to take concrete gender actions like more ambitious gender commitments and more inclusive co-creation processes.

The Approach

This initiative combines research and action to advance gender equality by:

  • Deepening evidence around a gender-centric approach to open government and its impact on public service delivery, addressing corruption, and opening up civic space through two distinct research calls:
    • First, a mapping of women and gender in 13 OGP processes through the OD4D network in Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Indonesia, the Philippines, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Mexico, Jordan and Tunisia.
    • Second, a call for research to identify ripe opportunities to accelerate gender and women’s participation in OGP processes and commitments.
  • Encouraging governments to design and implement improved gender-aware OGP commitments by developing model commitments, collecting best practices, and offering direct technical support; and
  • Establishing an international coalition of partners to drive and maintain this focus on gender and inclusion for years to come.

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