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Mozambican water utility develops gender policy and strategy

Published on: 12/02/2016

IRC helps develop action plan to integrate gender justice in urban water supply.

Photo: FIPAG

The water supply and sanitation sector will benefit greatly from increased gender equality. This was one of the findings from a 2014 study on human resource capacity gaps in 15 developing countries. One of the countries studied was Mozambique, where 27% of the workforce in the sector are females [1].

Mozambique's Water Supply Assets and Investment Fund (FIPAG) embarked on a participatory process to develop its gender policy in 2011. Following the recommendations emanating from a thorough institutional evaluation, gender assessments were undertaken by a cadre of Gender Focal Points appointed within branches in the provinces under the leadership of a Gender Champion (and HR Manager) based at headquarters in Maputo.

FIPAG Gender Policy Declaration
FIPAG is aware that gender equality is a matter of human rights and should be articulated in the workplace. Therefore, FIPAG undertakes to integrate gender justice in managing its human capital and its programs and work plans in urban water supply, and adopts its gender strategy as an incentive for the promotion of gender equality in Mozambican society.

Strategy and Action Plan

With NUFFIC support, IRC led the development of a Strategy and Action Plan to implement the policy. This included Gender in WASH training for the Gender Focal Points. The purpose of the Gender Strategy is to provide clear, practical guidance to key actors about how to operationalise the Gender Policy by setting out strategic and practical actions, timeframes, responsibilities and monitoring indicators.

In order to achieve the results of the Gender Policy, strategic actions were identified in collaboration with Gender Focal Points in each of the following areas of FIPAG's internal operations:

  • Recruitment
  • Career promotion and progression
  • Training and awareness-raising
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Organisational culture
  • Leadership and decision-making

The specific objectives of the Gender Strategy are to achieve:

  • An organisation which is sensitive to gender issues and enables healthy relationships free of verbal, physical, sexual, psychological and emotional violence;
  • Employees with the knowledge, ability and judgement to address gender issues in their daily activities and to mainstream gender justice in plans and programmes;
  • A company free of sexist, stereotypical and biased language and bias towards women.

Going forward, IRC has proposed to support the implementation of the Strategy through training; gender auditing and mainstream gender into the FIPAG Academy curriculum.

FIPAG's draft gender strategy and action plan are available below under Resources.

[1] Saywell, D. & Vette, K. de, 2014. An avoidable crisis : WASH human resource capacity gaps in 15 developing economies. The Hague, The Netherlands: International Water Association (IWA). Available at: http://www.iwa-network.org/project/human-resource-capacity-gaps-study

Resources