Participants’ voices: Focus on Gender
Zuhra Sahar participated in the 2014 training activity for UN Gender Focal Points, “Empowering UN System Gender Focal Points (BLENDED)”, on 21 July to 29 August 2014
Zuhra is the Gender Focal Point (GFP) in the Kabul Field Office. After the course, she and her colleagues formed a Gender Working Group (GWG). She felt that a single Gender Focal Point was insufficient to mainstream gender equality in an office with 50 staff.
Thus, last February, she brought together colleagues from all sectors to form a GWG of 8 staff members, with Terms of Reference to define its role. As a first step, they developed a gender knowledge and awareness survey for their Kabul office colleagues to identify capacity building needs, followed by guidelines for the main 2015 events they wish to contribute to as the GWG.
“I found it difficult to communicate and involve programme officers in gender equality issues as they are usually busy and pay little attention to these issues. But I believe that each UN staff member is responsible for ensuring that gender equality is integrated into his/ her area of work, and there was a need for action. Now, this effort is divided among all the programmes. I am very much committed to keeping it running and making it a useful body to mainstream gender equality into our policies and programmes. We will need your kind and continuous support on this as well!”
– Zuhra Sahar