• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Preface
 Executive summary
 Table of Contents
 Chapter 1: Introduction
 Chapter 2: AID's progress...
 Chapter 3: State department leadership...
 Chapter 4: Problems of refugee...
 Appendix 1: Research on the need...
 Appendix 2: Comments from the Agency...
 Appendix 3: Comments from the Department...
 Appendix 4: Comments from the U.N....
 Appendix 5: Major contributors...
 Back Matter
 Back Cover














Group Title: Foreign assistance : : U.S. had made slow progress in involving women in development : report to Congressional requesters
Title: Foreign assistance
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 Material Information
Title: Foreign assistance U.S. had made slow progress in involving women in development : report to Congressional requesters
Alternate Title: U.S. had made slow progress in involving women in development
Physical Description: 81 p. : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: United States -- General Accounting Office
Publisher: The Office
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Place of Publication: Washington D.C
Gaithersburg MD (P.O. Box 6015 Gaithersburg 20884-6015)
Publication Date: 1993
 Subjects
Subject: Economic assistance, American   ( lcsh )
Women in development   ( lcsh )
Genre: federal government publication   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Statement of Responsibility: United States General Accounting Office.
General Note: Cover title.
General Note: "December 1993."
General Note: "GAO/NSIAD-94-16."
General Note: "B-254669"--P. 1.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00080521
Volume ID: VID00001
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Resource Identifier: oclc - 29694352
lccn - 94197059

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Preface
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Executive summary
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
    Table of Contents
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Chapter 1: Introduction
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
    Chapter 2: AID's progress is marginal
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Section 3
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
    Chapter 3: State department leadership is limited
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
    Chapter 4: Problems of refugee women have not been adequately addressed
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
    Appendix 1: Research on the need for a gender focus in development
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
    Appendix 2: Comments from the Agency for International Development
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
    Appendix 3: Comments from the Department of State
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
    Appendix 4: Comments from the U.N. High Commission for Refugees
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
    Appendix 5: Major contributors to this report
        Page 81
    Back Matter
        Page 82
    Back Cover
        Page 84
Full Text


























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GA/SIAD-94-16E ^^^BBBHS^






G O United States
General Accounting Office
Washington, D.C. 20548

National Security and
International Affairs Division

B-254669

December 21, 1993

The Honorable Patrick Leahy
Chairman, Subcommittee on Foreign
Operations
Committee on Appropriations
United States Senate

The Honorable Lee Hamilton
Chairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs
House of Representatives

The Honorable Olympia Snowe
Ranking Minority Member
Subcommittee on International Operations
Committee on Foreign Affairs
House of Representatives

The Honorable James Jeffords
The Honorable Dennis DeConcini
The Honorable Barbara Mikulski
The Honorable Patty Murray
The Honorable Bob Packwood
United States Senate

The Honorable Patricia Schroeder
House of Representatives

In 1973, Congress amended the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to direct the Agency for
International Development (AID) to give particular attention in its assistance programs to
integrating women into the economies of developing countries. Congress also called on the
President to encourage international organizations of which the United States is a member to
promote the economic integration of women in member and recipient countries as well as their
integration into the professional and policy-making positions in such organizations. This report
examines how well AID and the Department of State have done in fulfilling Congress' wishes to
more fully integrate gender issues in assistance programs. The report contains
recommendations to the AID Administrator and the Secretary of State intended to help
strengthen their programs, and suggests that Congress may wish to consider these matters in
any new program assistance legislation it may enact.

Unless you publicly announce its contents earlier, we plan no further distribution of this report
until 30 days after its issue date. At that time, we will send copies of this report to the Director,









B-254669


Office of Management and Budget; the Secretary of State; the Am Administrator, and other
interested congressional committees. Copies will also be made available to other interested
parties upon request.

This report was prepared under the direction of Harold J. Johnson, who can be reached at
(202) 512-4128 if you or your staff have any questions. Other major contributors to this report
are listed in appendix V.


Frank C. Conahan
Assistant Comptroller General


GAO/NSIAD-94-16 Foreign Assistance


~~xll,


Page 2


"/'tvi







Executive Summary


Purpose


In 1991, the United Nations reported that despite decades of assistance to
developing countries and the increased international awareness that
women play key roles in development, the situation of the world's women
had not improved and, in some instances, had deteriorated. Concerned
about U.S. leadership on gender issues, several Senators and Members of
Congress requested that GAO review the efforts of the Agency for
International Development (AID) and the Department of State to comply
with a 1973 directive to use foreign assistance as a tool to promote
women's economic and political participation in developing societies. GAO
evaluated (1) AID's development, implementation, monitoring, and
evaluation of women-in-development policies and activities and its
barriers to effective implementation of the directive and (2) State
Department policy development and leadership on women's issues at U.N.
agencies, including issues relating to women refugees.


Background


In the early 1970s, Congress became concerned that the U.S. development
efforts of the previous decade had not benefited all segments of society in
the recipient countries and that women had remained outside the
economic mainstream. Congress passed legislation in 1973-section 113 of
the Foreign Assistance Act, as amended-which directed that U.S. foreign
assistance efforts focus on integrating women into the economies of
developing countries. This became known as the "Percy Amendment," or
"women-in-development" directive.

AID created an Office for Women in Development in 1974 as the focal point
for technical assistance and research on gender issues and established a
policy to integrate gender issues throughout its programs. The policy calls
for including women in assistance activities and evaluating the impact of
programs on women. For fiscal year 1993, AID's Office for Women in
Development had a budget of $10 million to be used mostly for
gender-related training and co-financing technical assistance with AID
bureaus and overseas missions.

State Department leadership on women-in-development and gender issues
in the international arena is the responsibility of two bureaus-the Bureau
of International Organizations Affairs and the Bureau of Refugee
Programs.


GAO/NSIAD-94-16 Foreign Assistance


I I


I_ a


Page 3





Executive Summary


Results in Brief


Twenty years after the enactment of the women-in-development legislation
aimed at improving the economic, political, and social integration of
women, only recently has AID begun to actively consider the role of gender
in its development strategies. GAO found that AID'S progress has been slow
in incorporating gender into its programs and activities, and it has not
adequately monitored the implementation of its policies and strategies or
routinely evaluated the impact of its programs and activities on women.
Many agency officials view women-in-development as either a narrow
special interest issue or as one more directive for an overburdened staff,
rather than as a means for accomplishing development objectives. As a
result (1) bureaus and missions vary widely in their demonstrated
commitment to women-in-development goals, (2) Am has not incorporated
gender into its nonproject assistance programs to the extent possible, and
(3) integration of gender policies has not met overall targets set in 1989.

The State Department has generally promoted women's issues through its
Bureaus of International Organizations Affairs and Refugee Programs.
State has not carried out a 1974 legislative directive for U.S.
representatives to international organizations to promote women's
economic and policy-making participation and to consider progress on
women's issues when making U.S. contributions to international
organizations. However, the Bureau of Refugee Programs has been more
active in addressing the acute problems refugee women and girls face due
to their gender.

Refugee women are susceptible to physical and sexual abuse and face
discrimination in the delivery of goods and services. Although women and
their dependents are the majority of refugee camp residents, women in the
four camps GAO visited were largely excluded from participating in
decision-making activities and the development of aid programs. The
cultural mores of relief officials influence camp conditions for women, yet
training on the relevance of gender issues to camp relief and development
activities has been inadequate. State has supported training for refugee
relief workers to more effectively address the needs of refugee women and
girls.


GAO/NSIAD-94-16 Foreign Assistance


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Executive Summary


Principal Findings


AID'S Piogress Is Slow


Since 1974, AID has issued policies and directed bureaus and missions to
integrate gender concerns throughout their assistance activities and to
evaluate the impact of these activities on women; however, the bureaus
and missions often have been slow to comply with them. AID'S policies and
various studies support the view that analyzing the roles and
responsibilities of women, their access to resources, and their real and
potential economic contributions enhances the effectiveness of
development strategies. Bureaus and missions were assigned
responsibility for ensuring that (1) gender concerns and objectives were
incorporated into country program strategies, (2) specific programs and
projects were designed and implemented to achieve gender-related
objectives, (3) the impact of programs and projects on women were
evaluated, and (4) gender-specific data were collected. However, the
implementation of AID's women-in-development policy has suffered
because the agency has not instituted a system to ensure compliance with
these directives.

AID'S Office for Women in Development provided bureau and mission staff
with gender-related technical assistance and training, which has helped
improve staff awareness of the relevance of gender issues to their
development objectives. However, the Office does not routinely monitor
or report to top management on whether bureaus or missions are carrying
out women-in-development policies and directives. Furthermore, AID does
not know how much it has achieved its women-in-development objectives
because it has not routinely collected and analyzed program data by
gender nor has it developed a system for measuring program results.

Because AID has not held bureaus and missions accountable for
implementing women-in-development policies, progress has varied widely.
Most regional bureaus and missions have developed action plans,
contracted for advisers on gender issues, and issued gender-related
guidance to staff to promote integration of women into the development
assistance program. However, because AID has not collected the required
data on women's participation in various sectors of developing economies,
the agency cannot determine how much its development activities are
incorporating women into the development process. Several units, such as
the Bureau for Europe, the Task Force for the New Independent States,


GAO/NSIAD-94-16 Foreign Assistance


Page 5







Executive Summary


and the Bureau for Food and Humanitarian Assistance, have not
incorporated gender issues into their program strategies.

The Percy Amendment applies to development assistance funds and not to
assistance provided through the Economic Support Fund-the primary
vehicle for AID'S nonproject assistance, such as cash grants for budgetary
support. Nonetheless, in 1989, AID guidance directed bureaus and missions
to incorporate gender issues into all nonproject assistance programs. This
direction has not been followed, but GAO believes that the policy dialogue
and economic reforms supported by nonproject assistance, under many
circumstances, could be useful vehicles for promoting policy changes to
improve women's status in developing countries.


State Leadership on
Women's Issues


The State Department can provide U.S. policy leadership on
women-in-development and gender issues through its many policy-making
roles. Since 1974, provisions in the Foreign Assistance Act have called for
(1) the President to direct U.S. representatives to international
organizations to promote the integration of women into national
economies and the professional and policy-making ranks of such
organizations and (2) decisions on U.S. contributions to such
organizations to consider progress on integration of women in these areas.

GAO found that State has promoted some worthwhile gender issues, such
as encouraging the appointment of women into senior U.N. positions and
supporting various U.N. resolutions on women's economic and human
rights. However, officials were unaware of the 1974 legislative mandate,
and they could not provide documentation to show that State had carried
it out. The State Department has not routinely documented international
organizations' progress in promoting women's participation or that U.S.
decisions on contribution levels have considered such progress. According
to U.N. officials, the United States has provided leadership on some gender
issues, but has not been as strong an advocate of women's issues as some
other countries.


Refugee Women's
Problems Have Not Been
Adequately Addressed


Because women and their dependents comprise about 80 percent of the
world's estimated refugee population, women's participation in the
development of relief and assistance programs is considered essential.
However, the four refugee camps visited by GAO revealed dramatic
problems among women and girl refugees. They are susceptible to
physical violence and sexual abuse and face discrimination in the delivery


GAO/NSIAD-94-16 Foreign Assistance


Page 6






Executive Summary


of food, clothing, shelter, training, and other goods and services. The
cultural mores of both camp residents and relief officials influence camp
conditions for women, who are largely excluded from participating in
decision-making activities. GAO found a lack of gender awareness and
training among many officials from U.N. refugee agencies and relief
workers of nongovernmental organizations implementing programs for the
U.N. High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR). UNHCR has begun to
improve gender training for its officers through a course designed to teach
refugee workers how to analyze the relevant socio-cultural and economic
factors in a refugee society that can influence the success of planned
activities. State's Bureau of Refugee Programs provided $500,000 toward
this training.


Recommendations GAO recommends various actions the AID Administrator can take to
strengthen the agency's commitment to its women-in-development policies
and its ability to more effectively measure its progress. GAO also
recommends actions to be taken by the Secretary of State to strengthen
U.S. leadership on women's issues in the international arena and to help
alleviate the acute problems faced by refugee women.


Matter for Congress and the executive branch have begun the process of reexamining
the U.S. foreign assistance program, with a view toward enacting new
Congressional legislation with fewer, more clearly defined objectives and a means for
Consideration holding managers accountable for results. A large body of research has
shown that incorporating women-in-development concepts into program
implementation strategies enhances the likelihood for successful
economic development. GAO believes this concept can be applied to most
assistance programs administered by AID. These would include project
and, under many circumstances, nonproject assistance; food aid programs;
and programs authorized by the Support for East European Democracy
(SEED) Act of 1989. Congress may wish to consider, for any new foreign aid
legislation, emphasizing that women-in-development is a means for
accomplishing sustainable development objectives and, to the extent
possible, should be applied to all assistance programs.


Agency Comments
and GAO Evaluation


AID and the Department of State generally agreed with GAO's report, but
both agencies said that more progress had been made concerning gender
issues than GAO had indicated. State also said that despite the opinions of


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Page 7






Executive Summary


some U.N. officials, the United States has been a leader in promoting
measures to advance the status of women.

GAO agrees with AID and State that additional examples of the progress by
bureaus and missions could be cited, and it has included additional details
about these examples. Nonetheless, GAO believes that its report correctly
characterizes progress in this area as slow, with inadequate attention on
the part of top management by both agencies. GAO notes that most of the
actions State cites as evidence of its commitment and progress in the
international organization arena are of recent vintage. This could partly
explain why some U.N. officials told GAO that the United States had
demonstrated less leadership in this area than some other countries.

UNHCR said that GAO'S report is generally consistent with its own
assessment of progress in implementing its Policy on Refugee Women.
UNHCR provided information on recent developments in its efforts to
expand gender training and provide protection to refugee women. This
information has been incorporated into this report.


GAO/NSIAD-94-16 Foreign Assistance


Page 8























































































Page 9 GAO/NSIAD-94-16 Foreign Assistance






Contents


Executive Summary 3

Chapter 1 12
Introduction Objectives, Scope, and Methodology 14

Chapter 2 16
AID' AID Has Not Managed the Implementation of Its 17
AIDs Progress Is Women-in-Development Policy
Marginal Progress Among Bureaus and Missions Has Been Limited 23
AID Has Not Incorporated Gender Issues Into Nonproject 30
Assistance
Integration of Gender Policy Does Not Meet Overall Targets 31
Conclusions 32
Recommendations 34
Matter for Congressional Consideration 34
Agency Comments and Our Evaluation 35

Chapter 3 36
State Depat State's Leadership on Gender Issues Is Limited 37
State Depatment U.N. Officials Said U.S. Commitment Is Mixed 39
Leadership Is Limited Conclusions 40
Recommendation 40
Agency Comments and Our Evaluation 40

Chapter 4 42
Prblpems of Ref e Refugee Women Face Acute Problems 43
oblems o Refugee UNHCR Has Taken Steps to Address Women's Concerns 46
Women Have Not Conclusions 48
Been Adequately Recommendations 48
Addressed Agency Comments and Our Evaluation 48
Addressed


Appendixes


Appendix I: Research on the Need for a Gender Focus in
Development
Appendix II: Comments From the Agency for International
Development
Appendix III: Comments From the Department of State
Appendix IV: Comments From the U.N. High Commissioner for
Refugees
Appendix V: Major Contributors to This Report


GAO/NSIAD-94-16 Foreign Assistance


Page 10






Contents


Abbreviations

GAO General Accounting Office
AID Agency for International Development
UNHCR United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
AIDS Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
PRISM Program Performance Information for Strategic Management
SEED Support for East European Democracy Act


GAO/NSIAD-94-16 Foreign Assistance


Page 11





Chapter 1

Introduction







In the early 1970s, Congress became concerned that the focus of U.S.
development assistance during the previous decade, which centered on
key economic sectors and large-scale capital improvement projects, had
not benefited all segments of society in the recipient countries. Congress
passed legislation in 1973 to elevate basic human needs, such as health,
nutrition, and education, in U.S. foreign aid priorities and strategies.
Recognizing that women had remained largely outside the economic
mainstreams of these countries and the flow of foreign economic
assistance, this new legislation included an amendment to focus more
attention on women. Known as the "Percy Amendment" or the
"women-in-development" directive,' the legislation directed that U.S.
foreign assistance efforts give particular attention to integrating women
into the economies of developing countries to "improve women's status
and assist the total development effort."2

Women-in-development does not refer to a program that delivers
assistance only to women, nor is it merely a "women's rights" program or a
vehicle for only targeting particular groups of women in developing
countries. Rather, it is a conceptual framework for better understanding
the roles of women in developing countries, their access to resources, the
obstacles to fuller participation in their economies, and their real and
potential contributions to their countries' economic growth. This
information is to be used in designing, delivering, and evaluating economic
development assistance programs for developing countries.

A large body of research literature has documented that understanding the
roles and situations of both women and men in developing countries is
necessary for more equitable and sustainable development and can play a
key role in achieving program objectives. (See app. I.) As such,
women-in-development has evolved into a concept that addresses the
relevance of gender issues to sound development programming. In some
instances, women-in-development approaches also set specific
gender-based goals, such as increasing the enrollment of women and girls
in education and training programs. In addition to addressing the equity
issue, such approaches are expected to have a "multiplier" effect,-that is,
literacy and training have benefits for increasing women's participation in
economic and civic life.



'Part I, chapter 1, section 113, Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (P.L 87-195, Sept 4, 1961).
222 U.S.C. 2151k. Section 113, as added by section 2(3) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1973
(P.L. 93-189, Dec. 17, 1973), was amended and restated by section 108 of the International
Development and Food Assistance Act of 1977 (P.L 95-88, Aug. 3, 1977).


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Chapter 1
Introduction








The Agency for International Development (AID) is responsible for
developing U.S. women-in-development bilateral economic assistance
policies and implementing them at the program and project level. Since
1974, AID's basic approach for carrying out the Percy Amendment has been
to direct all bureaus and missions to evaluate the impact of its programs
and projects on women and strive to include women not only as
beneficiaries, but also as participants in the development process. Since
the enactment of the women-in-development directive, AID has shifted
from promoting women-only projects to integrating women into general
assistance programs.

In 1974, AID established an Office for Women in Development to provide
gender-relevant technical assistance, training, research, and
communication. The Office was provided an average of $2.2 million
annually during the 1980s to support its activities. Reflecting congressional
concern with gender issues, the Office's funding was doubled in fiscal year
1990 and again in fiscal year 1993, when it reached $10 million. Of this
amount, 60 percent has been earmarked as matching funds to attract the
interest and leverage the resources of other AID bureaus and missions.

The Department of State can provide leadership on gender issues through
U.S. participation in the United Nations and other international
organizations and forums. Legislation enacted in 1974 calls on the
President to direct U.S. representatives to international organizations to
promote the economic integration of women in member and recipient
countries as well as their integration into the professional and
policy-making positions in such organizations.3

Two bureaus at State have important roles in providing U.S. leadership on
gender issues in the international arena. The Bureau of International
Organizations Affairs leads in the development, coordination, and
implementation of U.S. policy with respect to multilateral organizations. It
formulates and promotes U.S. policy toward international organizations,
with particular emphasis on those organizations within the U.N. system.
State's Bureau of Refugee Programs is responsible for U.S. refugee
programs overseas that are carried out in cooperation with other
governments, nongovernmental organizations, and international
organizations. State can also provide leadership through its growing role
as a coordinator of U.S. bilateral aid programs overseas, such as the


GAO/NSIAD-94-16 Foreign Assistance


322 U.S.C. 2225. Section 305 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as added by section 54 of the
Foreign Assistance Act of 1974.


Page 13






Chapter 1
Introduction


assistance programs for Central and Eastern Europe and the New
Independent States.


Objectives, Scope,
and Methodology


Citing concerns about the commitment of foreign aid institutions in
implementing the women-in-development legislative directives, several
Senators and Members of Congress asked us to review the efforts of AID
and State to comply with the mandate. Our objectives were to evaluate
(1) AID'S development, implementation, and monitoring of
women-in-development policies and programs and the institutional and
cultural barriers to effective implementation and (2) State policy
development and leadership on women's issues at U.N. agencies, including
issues relating to women refugees.

We performed our work at the State Department and AID headquarters in
Washington, D.C.; U.N. headquarters in New York; the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva, Switzerland; AID missions
in Ecuador, Guatemala, Egypt, Kenya, and Uganda; and at four refugee
camps in Jordan, Kenya, and Uganda.

At AID, we met with officials from the Policy Directorate; all regional
bureaus; the Task Force for the New Independent States; and the Bureaus
for Food and Humanitarian Assistance, for Private Enterprise, and for
Research and Development. We met with officials from the Office for
Women in Development, the Program Office, and most sector offices
within the Bureau for Research and Development. At AID missions, we
interviewed mission directors and deputy directors, program officers,
project officers, and women-in-development advisers. We visited projects
in each country and met with officials of nongovernmental organizations.
We reviewed women-in-development policy papers, action plans, program
and project papers, evaluations, country strategy documents, cables, and
mission orders. We also reviewed the research literature on the relevance
of gender to development efforts and the impact of various economic
strategies on women in developing countries. Because AID has not
routinely collected gender-disaggregated data, and its information on
program results is uneven in quality, we were not able to evaluate the
impact of AID'S women-in-development efforts.

At the State Department, we met with officials from the Bureau of
International Organizations Affairs and the Bureau of Refugee Programs
and spoke with officials responsible for coordinating U.S. aid programs in
Central and Eastern Europe. We reviewed various State Department policy


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Page 14






Chapter 1
Introduction








documents on women's issues at the United Nations and on women
refugees. At the United Nations in New York, we met with officials of the
U.S. Mission, the U.N. Secretariat, and six U.N. agencies. In Geneva, we
met with officials of UNHCR and the U.S. Mission and reviewed various
documents on UNHCR's policies and strategies for addressing the needs of
refugee women. In the countries of the refugee camps we visited, we met
with U.S. embassy staff responsible for monitoring the situations in the
camps. At the camps, we met with representatives of UNHCR, the U.N.
Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, and
nongovernmental organizations, and we interviewed camp residents.

We did not examine internal AID and State policies for the recruitment and
advancement of women employees. We have previously reported on equal
employment opportunity matters at these agencies and recommended
corrective actions.4

We conducted our review between October 1992 and June 1993 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. AID,
State, and UNHCR provided written comments on a draft of this report, and
their comments are reprinted in appendixes II, III, and IV, respectively.


GAO/NSIAD-94-16 Foreign Assistance


4AID Management: EEO Issues and Protected Group Underrepresentation Require Management
Attention (GAO/NSIAD-93-13, Nov. 23, 1992) and State Department: Minorities and Women Are
Underrepresented in the Foreign Service (GAO/NSIAD-89-146, June 26, 1989).


Page 15




Chapter 2

AID's Progress Is Marginal








Despite 20 years of women-in-development directives and generally sound
policies for promoting analysis of gender issues as a key component for
successful development, AID has not integrated gender concerns
throughout its activities and gender issues are not always considered in
developing U.S. economic aid policy. AID has implemented worthwhile
women-in-development activities; however, AD's failure to monitor the
implementation of its women-in-development policies has permitted AID
units to vary in their progress. Top AID management has not ensured that
the bureaus and missions comply with women-in-development policies,
and there are few incentives for AID units to comply voluntarily. Gender
issues have not been incorporated into nonproject assistance programs, a
significant portion of AID'S assistance. AID has not routinely collected the
gender data needed for sound programming and evaluation, nor has it
developed a system for measuring the results of its women-in-development
efforts.

The U.S. foreign aid program has often been criticized for lack of focus,
competing priorities, and vague results. The foreign policy debate has
intensified in recent years due to the end of the cold war, dramatic global
shifts toward market economies and democracies, U.S. public concern
with foreign aid spending, and concern over the growing federal deficit. In
response to these criticisms, the executive and legislative branches are
currently engaged in a complete reexamination of the foreign aid program,
with a view toward enacting legislation to replace the Foreign Assistance
Act of 1961, as amended.

On July 14, 1993, the AID Administrator stated in testimony before
Congress that the overall goal for a new, revitalized foreign economic
assistance program should be equitable, sustainable development to be
achieved by focusing on four areas: economic growth, democracy and
human rights, population, and the environment' On the same day, the
Deputy Secretary of State testified that promoting sustainable
development is a key component in achieving overall policy goals, both
foreign and domestic. He noted that such a strategy

"involves enhancing human capital by expanding educational opportunities to all segments
of society, reducing the rate of population growth, extending improvements in health and
nutrition, and expanding the capabilities of women. Sustainable development also depends




'Statement of the Honorable J. Brian Atwood, Administrator, U.S. Agency for International
Development, before the Subcommittee on International Economic Policy, Trade, Oceans, and
Environment, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, July 14, 1993.


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Chapter 2
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upon the elimination of obstacles to participation and creation of opportunities that will
allow all people to be more productively engaged in building their country's economy."2

AID policies and numerous analytical studies support the view that
analyzing the roles and responsibilities of women, their access to
resources, and their real and potential contributions enhances the
effectiveness of development strategies and better ensures that equitable,
sustainable development will be achieved. The proposed development
goals of the administration and the ongoing debate on the future of foreign
assistance will benefit from careful consideration of the
women-in-development directive and its application for emerging foreign
aid strategies.


AID Has Not Managed
the Implementation of
Its Wdmen-in-
Development Policy


AID'S women-in-development policy has rested on the premise that
thorough analysis and consideration of gender roles are essential for
equitable and sustainable development. AID has required that all
programming units ensure that relevant gender issues are addressed
throughout their activities. Appendix I discusses many examples in which
understanding the roles and contributions of women and men in
developing countries increases the likelihood that program objectives will
be achieved.


AID Policy Is to Integrate
Gender Throughout Its
Program


AID has allowed its units considerable latitude in developing and
implementing strategies for carrying out its policies; however, AID has not
centrally monitored the implementation of these policies and cannot verify
compliance with them. Accountability for program design and results are
hampered by AID'S failure to routinely collect gender data and develop
useful program indicators.


AID'S women-in-development approach has been promoted in two
agencywide policy documents. In 1974, the AID Administrator
(1) determined that AID was mandated to design programs that integrate
women in the development process and (2) directed bureaus and field
missions to institutionalize women-in-development concepts throughout
the programming process. The bureaus and field missions were also
directed to collect information on the roles, status, and contributions of
women in developing countries.3

2Statement of the Honorable Dr. Clifford Wharton, Jr., Deputy Secretary of State, before the
Subcommittee on International Economic Policy, Trade, Oceans, and Environment, Senate Committee
on Foreign Relations, July 14, 1993.
3Policy Determination-60, Integration of Women Into National Economies (Sept. 16, 1974).


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Pages
17-22
Missing
From
Original






Chapter 2
AID's Progress Is Marginal


AID Is Still Developing
Measurable Performance
Indicators


In 1990, AID disseminated indicators for assessing the integration of gender
considerations into AID activities. These indicators were intended to
measure (1) integration of gender issues into program, project, and
reporting documents; (2) the extent of gender training of AID staff; and
(3) the extent of training for women in participant training programs,
including constraints to their participation and opportunities for
improvement. We found that, although these indicators could be useful
measurements of AID'S efforts to include gender in these areas, they did not
measure the impact of AID'S efforts on women in developing countries.

AID is in the process of implementing its Program Performance
Information for Strategic Management (PRISM) system to help it monitor,
effectively measure, and report on the progress and results of its
assistance efforts. This system will provide an agencywide framework for
program performance reporting and evaluating efforts through
strengthening mission information systems and developing agencywide
program performance indicators. The PRISM system currently covers
60 missions, and AID expects the system to cover all its central, regional,
and bilateral programs by the end of fiscal year 1994. Of the 60 missions
participating in the PRISM project, a 1993 review showed that 54 had
developed strategic plans with adequate PRISM indicators. Of these, the
missions in Africa, Latin America, and the Near East were the most
advanced in developing meaningful program indicators.

According to an official of the Office for Women in Development, PRISM is
intended to measure the institutionalization of women-in-development
efforts within AID. PRISM will measure commitment by the extent to which
gender concerns have been adequately considered at the program and
project levels. PRISM will include measurements for the impact of
development activities on the population as a whole, but it will not require
specific indicators for measuring impact by gender. According to this
official, reports such as The Situation of Women: Selected Indicators,
periodically issued by the United Nations, are sufficient for determining
the status of women in developing countries. However, these indicators,
while useful for tracking women's progress in key sectors, do not link AID'S
efforts to improvements in women's economic, social, or civil status.

In commenting on a draft of this report, AID stated that PRISM will not
provide all the information needed to design and evaluate
women-in-development strategies and programs. AID added that
institutional measures for holding its program staff accountable for


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Chapter 2
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achieving results need to be identified and monitored-an effort that goes
beyond the PRISM system.

We agree that PRISM will not provide AID's top management with all the
information it needs to design and develop women-in-development
strategies. However, if AID ensures that gender is incorporated
appropriately into strategic objectives, program indicators, and outcomes,
information by gender will be reflected in reports on development
outcomes. Moreover, PRISM is intended as an important step in helping AID
managers obtain and analyze the information needed to measure program
results and make management decisions accordingly. AID'S top managers
can use this information to review how units are progressing toward
stated program objectives, identify problematic or successful program
strategies for in-depth assessment, and improve program guidance and
strategies, based on knowledge of which program approaches achieve
their objectives and which do not.


Progress Among
Bureaus and Missions
Has Been Limited


Women-in-Development
Efforts Criticized in Late
1980s


AID has implemented many worthwhile projects and activities; however,
the agency's progress in carrying out women-in-development policies has
been slow. A similar conclusion in 1987 by an AID consultant and
subsequent legislation led to renewed efforts to incorporate gender
considerations throughout the agency. Despite these efforts, bureaus and
missions have had varied success in implementing these directives. Some
have made significant progress, while others had not implemented the
directives. AID has not incorporated gender into its nonproject assistance
program-a significant portion of the agency's program funding.
Moreover, AID cannot be sure that it is meeting its targets for increasing
women's participation.


Despite previous directives and guidance, Development Associates
reported in 1987 that AID'S progress had been slow in implementing its
women-in-development directives.' Specifically, the report stated that AID
had not vigorously implemented its women-in-development directives. The
report noted four critical variables affecting implementation: (1) the extent
of mission leadership, (2) effectiveness of the mission
women-in-development officer, (3) the focus of the mission's portfolio
(project versus policy), and (4) general level of awareness among mission
staff. The report noted that few incentives or sanctions exist for policy


9Evaluation of the International Center for Research on Women Cooperative Agreement Program With
AID PPC/WID, Development Associates (Dec. 1987).


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conformity. Development Associates also evaluated the effectiveness of
the cooperative agreement arrangement in providing technical gender
assistance to missions and recommended that the Office for Women in
Development adopt more precisely defined contracts and matching fund
programs.

Following the report by Development Associates, AID interpreted the
report language from the fiscal year 1989 foreign assistance appropriations
bill as guidance intended to strengthen AID's attention to the
women-in-development mandate. For example, Am noted that it was
directed to ensure that country strategies, programs, and projects were
designed to increase the percentage of women beneficiaries to their
traditional participation in a given activity or their proportion of
population levels, whichever is higher.'0

In its report on the 1990 foreign aid appropriations bill," the House
Committee on Appropriations urged AID, among other things, to
(1) systematically collect gender-disaggregated data and include such
information in all country, program, and project documents, where
appropriate; (2) identify obstacles to women's participation in programs or
projects in which women-in-development goals cannot be reasonably
incorporated; (3) develop and implement gender training for AI staff; and
(4) increase training opportunities for women of developing countries. In
addition, the AID Administrator was to ensure that senior-level staff
oversee the implementation of the women-in-development directives and
provide assistance to the missions, design means to ensure that all staff
are similarly committed to achieving women-in-development goals, and
establish specific criteria for measuring and evaluating AID performance in
incorporating women-in-development activities into its programs.

In response to these congressional committee reports, the AID
Administrator issued women-in-development guidance that reiterated
some of AID'S previous guidelines and added specific requirements. All
bureaus and missions were required to develop and implement
women-in-development action plans that would include systems,
procedures, and benchmarks to address and monitor gender issues
throughout their programs and projects. In addition, requirements for
relevant gender data and specific strategies to promote


'oH.R. Rep. 100-983, p. 15 (Sept. 1988) and Sen. Rep. 100-395, p. 41 (June 1988). Although 'proportional
participation" was not enacted into law, AID has considered the concept to be congressional direction,
particularly as similar language has surfaced in other congressional reports since that time.
"H.R. Rep. 101-65, p. 97 (July 1989).


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Chapter 2
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Progress on Directives Has
Varied


women-in-development were to be included in all program and project
documents and women-in-development training was to be made a priority
for AID personnel. Bureaus and missions were also directed to improve the
overall number of women in participant training programs and increase
girls' access and retention in primary and secondary schools.


We found varied responsiveness to the Administrator's renewed directives.
Most bureaus have developed or are developing gender action plans,
contracted for advisers on gender issues, and issued gender-related
guidance to the field. Other bureaus had not yet taken such steps. The Asia
Bureau has hired an adviser and developed an action plan focusing on
three areas: (1) institutionalization by encouraging top-level commitment
and establishing gender advisers and committees, action plans, and
workshops; (2) analysis of program strategies based on country-specific,
gender-disaggregated information; and (3) program development based on
an examination of how interventions will independently affect male and
female populations.

The Bureau for Africa had the most innovative approach of AID'S bureaus
in its initiative to improve the status of women through its programs and
projects. For example, the Bureau had contracted with three gender
advisers-one in Washington and two regional advisers in sub-Sahara
Africa-to assist missions in tapping additional resources in the field.
During our fieldwork, we found the regional adviser for East Africa, the
mission gender adviser, and a Washington contractor were collaborating
on a workshop to provide information and advice on the special concerns
of Ugandan women regarding acquired immune deficiency syndrome
(AIDS). Mission staff were concerned that the traditional training and
outreach approach for AIDS, which had been targeted for the general
population, had been oriented toward men and that the information
provided had not been useful for assisting women in slowing the spread of
AIDS.

Some bureaus have responded more slowly. The Bureau for the Near East,
for example, which became a separate bureau after AID's October 1991
reorganization, is developing a gender action plan but had not hired a
gender adviser at the time of our review. The Bureau for Research and
Development, in which AID's Office for Women in Development is located,


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has encouraged gender plans among its functional offices but has not yet
issued a Bureau-wide strategy.12

In commenting on a draft of this report, AID said that the Near East Bureau
is now giving women-in-development concerns priority as evidenced by its
recent hiring of an adviser who is responsible for conducting evaluations
of each program in the Bureau to assess the integration of gender issues
and implement systematic procedures to ensure appropriate program
design, monitoring, and evaluation. AID also said that the Bureau for Latin
America and the Caribbean has recruited a women-in-development
adviser, carried out gender training, implemented a
women-in-development strategy, developed a gender research agenda and
improved dissemination of research results and guidance to the field,
helped missions incorporate women-in-development into program
strategies, and analyzed reporting and results. The Asia Bureau's
Democracy Program also recently funded a study on the relationship
between gender and political participation in three countries, and the Asia
Bureau and Office for Women in Development recently provided a 1-year
grant to the Asia Foundation for a women's political participation program
in several countries in Asia and the Pacific.

The Bureau for Europe and the New Independent States'3 had not
implemented the women-in-development directives at the time we
completed our evaluation. For example, the Bureau did not have a policy,
action plan, or adviser for women-in-development issues. Bureau officials
said, however, that some projects had benefited women, such as a
carpet-weaving project in Albania and a family planning project in
Romania. Also, in June 1993, the Office for Women in Development began
assisting the Bureau's deputy for development resources in drafting a
women-in-development strategy.

Officials from the Bureau for Europe and its regional mission in
Washington stated that women in Eastern Europe are considerably better
off than women in most developing countries. However, studies have
indicated that the sweeping changes toward a market economy and
privatization have caused much more unemployment among women than
among men and that fewer women now hold key positions in government


"On October 1, 1993, AID implemented a reorganization plan that placed the Bureau for Research and
Development and the Bureau for Private Enterprise within the Bureau for Global Programs, Field
Support, and Research. The reorganization also merged the Bureau for Asia and Bureau for the Near
East into the Bureau for Asia and the Near East
'The Bureau for Europe and the Task Force for the New Independent States were merged into the
Bureau for Europe and the New Independent States.


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than before democratization. (See app. I.) The Bureau had not studied the
effects of these changes on women nor had it developed a strategy to
alleviate these effects. The Bureau also had not collected program
information by gender-with the exception of training data. Bureau and
mission officials noted that their initial mandate was to quickly design and
implement U.S. assistance programs and establish an in-country presence.
The pressure to start funding programs precluded long-term strategic
analysis of priorities. According to Bureau officials, in-country officials are
beginning to develop country assessments and strategies that are to
include gender considerations.

The Bureau for Europe had stated that it will attempt to meet AID'S
women-in-development goals; however, AID's legal counsel does not
consider the Bureau legally bound by the legislative directive because the
authorization14 for its activities is contained in legislation that is not
related to part I of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, which
includes the women-in-development directive. We agree that programs
funded under the SEED Act are not legally bound by the directive.
Nonetheless, AID'S Office for Women in Development was continuing to
encourage the Bureau to hire an adviser for gender issues and develop a
gender strategy,

Officials of AID'S Task Force for the New Independent States (the former
Soviet Union) said that the economic and political changes in the former
republics have, in some respects, adversely affected women. However, at
the time our report was drafted, the Task Force-whose activities are
funded under the Freedom Support Act1--did not have a gender strategy,
had not yet implemented any women-in-development activities, and had
not developed program data on a gender-specific basis. Several
proposals-including one to study the legal status of women in the former
Soviet Union-had been delayed due to other priorities and confusion in
coordination with the State Department and AID's Office for Women in
Development over co-funding activities.

Task Force officials told us that the nature of the program in the former
Soviet Union and the pressure to quickly program funds made it difficult
to go through AID's normal design approach, which includes collecting and
analyzing data before making programming decisions. The Task Force had
a women-in-development working group, but two officials associated with

"Support for East European Democracy (SEED) Act of 1989 (P.L 101-179, Nov. 28, 1989).
'"The Freedom for Russia and Emerging Eurasian Democracies and Open Markets (FREEDOM)
Support Act of 1992 (P.L. 102-511, Oct. 24, 1992).


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the group said that they had been somewhat frustrated with its slow pace
on addressing relevant gender issues.

The Task Force had not sought AID'S legal opinion on whether the
women-in-development directive applies to its activities. However, we
believe that the women-in-development directive generally applies to AID
programs in the former Soviet Union because the Freedom Support Act is
an amendment to part I of the Foreign Assistance Act However, it appears
that the directive does not apply to Freedom Support Act activities funded
with fiscal year 1993 appropriations because the Freedom Support Act
contains a provision that fiscal year 1993 funds may be used
"notwithstanding any other provision of law," except for specified
exceptions. Women-in-development is not among the listed exceptions.
The Task Force had stated that it planned to follow AID'S policy guidance
on women-in-development, unless for some reason it found it could not do
so.

In commenting on a draft of this report, AID stated that the Bureau for
Europe and the New Independent States has now hired a
women-in-development adviser, established a women-in-development
working group, commissioned several studies on gender issues, conducted
Bureau-wide and regional women-in-development assessments, and
developed a draft women-in-development strategy with recommendations
for a Bureau policy and action plan. AID also said that the Bureau is
currently conducting several program and data collection efforts that
address gender concerns in the New Independent States. These efforts
include a comprehensive household income survey intended to
demonstrate the impact of aid efforts over time, a study on women's legal
status, business and private voluntary organizations linkage activities that
specifically target women as beneficiaries, and a feeding program for
infants, pregnant women, and mothers.


Bureau for Food and AID'S Bureau for Food and Humanitarian Assistance is primarily
Humanitarian Assistance responsible for food aid and disaster assistance programs, often through
nongovernmental and private voluntary organizations. The Bureau does
not have Bureau-wide or office-specific women-in-development policies,
action plans, or gender advisers, although officials stated that the Bureau
actively considers gender in its programming.

Because food aid programs are authorized separately from the Foreign
Assistance Act, AID officials at the Food and Humanitarian Assistance


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Bureau do not consider these programs legally bound by the
women-in-development legislative directive. According to an AID official,
the Food for Peace Office, which carries out food aid programs, does not
have a women-in-development policy. An official at the Bureau's policy
office had no knowledge of any Bureau-wide gender policy directives.
According to an official in AID's Office for Women in Development, the
Food for Peace Office issued a women-in-development action plan in 1988,
but it has fallen into disuse.

An official at the Food for Peace Office told us that no policy directives are
needed because (1) gender is now integrated throughout AID, (2) the
nongovernmental organizations with whom the Office works consider
gender programming a priority, and (3) the priority of the Office is not
gender issues, but food availability and access. Despite the Food for Peace
Office view that guidance is not needed, an official of the Office for
Women in Development said that the Food for Peace Office should
revitalize its action plan due to a perceived languishing of gender
initiatives in the food program. With the exception of the U.N. World Food
Program, which receives U.S. food aid funds, a 1992 study'1 found that no
organization has tried to determine how gender issues relate to food aid.
The study identified several constraints, including reductions in AID food
aid officers, resistance to more data collection, and inadequate
commitment to gender issues and training among private voluntary
organizations.

In commenting on a draft of this report, AID stated that Bureau programs
have direct and immediate impact on women because women and children
are most affected by natural and man-made disasters. AID said that it
provides food and humanitarian assistance through private voluntary
organizations that are sensitive both to gender issues and to providing the
type of community-level assistance that benefits women. We agree that
many of the Bureau's activities can directly affect women; however, as we
discuss in chapter 4, awareness of the needs of women and girls in disaster
and emergency situations enhances relief efforts. Furthermore, as noted
above, a 1992 study found that private voluntary organizations can vary in
their commitment to gender issues.







"Gender and Food Aid, Mayatech Corp. (Oct. 1992).


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Chapter 2
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AID Has Not
Incorporated Gender
Issues Into
Nonproject Assistance


Nonproject assistance is generally provided through cash grants or
commodity transfers from the United States to a host country for general
or sectoral budget support or to generate local currency forjointly
approved development projects. Often the funds are used to offset the
adverse effects of structural economic reforms in a particular sector.
Project assistance can also be used as leverage to encourage reforms and
policy changes, but, according to AID, nonproject assistance can be
particularly effective because, in many cases, funds are disbursed as
specific conditions are met. Excluding cash grants to Israel,17 nonproject
assistance has averaged over one-third of AID'S program obligations from
fiscal years 1980 through 1992.

Much of the nonproject assistance provided by AID is funded through the
Economic Support Fund, but development assistance programs, including
the Development Fund for Africa, also incorporate nonproject elements.
The women-in-development legislation applies to development assistance
funds, but not to assistance provided through the Economic Support
Fund.18

AID policy since 1974 has been to consider gender issues in the design,
implementation, and evaluation of all its programs, and the
Administrator's 1989 action items specifically directed including gender
issues in nonproject assistance programming. However, several agency
officials in Washington and the field indicated that this has been a
particularly difficult problem and stated that the agency has not
institutionalized gender-related concerns in this area. For example, a 1991
study of AID'S policy reform programs in six Africa countries found that in
no case did the social analyses evaluate the impact of economic policy
reforms on women. 19

Some AID officials did not see the need to incorporate gender issues in
nonproject assistance because they believe that macroeconomic reforms
automatically benefit all segments of society, including women. Other AID
officials said that nonproject assistance offers potential for affecting
women's issues, but they question whether gender might be too sensitive a


7We have excluded Israel because cash grants to Israel are provided without conditions attached.
'8The Economic Support Fund is authorized under part II of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as
amended, which deals mostly with security assistance. The women-in-development legislation
generally applies to assistance provided under part I of the act.
"A.I.D. Program and Operations Assessment Report No. 1, AI.D. Economic Policy Reform Programs
in Africa: A Synthesis of Findings From Six Evaluations, Center for Development Information and
Evaluation (Dec. 1991).


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topic to raise at a policy dialogue level. The mission director in Egypt told
us that AID'S primary nonproject assistance objective is to promote policy
actions to improve Egypt's economic situation and that adding gender
issues to its policy agenda at this time could cause problems in their
ongoing economic dialogue with the Egyptian government.

Despite these reservations, AID is beginning to explore the use of
nonproject assistance to promote gender issues and leverage sector
assistance. For example, prior to 1989, the Africa Bureau strategy for basic
education in the region had been based on a traditional project approach,
such as training teachers and providing educational materials. The
Bureau's new approach to using nonproject assistance in the education
sector aims to encourage needed host country reforms and sustainability.
Recognizing that girls are less likely to attend and stay in school, the
Bureau is using nonproject funds in some countries to address these
inequities.20

An official of the Office for Women in Development stated that several
avenues can be explored to assist bureaus and missions. For example,
bureaus and missions can apply for matching funds from the Office or
coordinate with other agencies to alleviate the costs of conducting studies
and collecting the data needed as a basis for incorporating gender issues
into policy dialogue. Another option is to expand gender training for AID
staff to include a more relevant module on how gender issues can be
addressed as part of the policy dialogue process.


Integration f Gender AID guidance in 1989 directed that participation of women in its
Ilen development activities be proportional to the number of women involved
Policy Does Not Meet in that sector or to their representation in the total population, whichever
Overall Targets is greater. However, AID cannot determine if these goals have been reached
because sectoral data have not been routinely collected and disaggregated
by gender.

Efforts to quantify the extent to which gender has been considered in
program strategies were carried out by AID'S Center for Development
Information and Evaluation in 1991 and 1992. The Center analyzed





20Overview of A.I.D. Basic Education Programs in Sub-Saharan Africa, A.I.D. Technical Paper No. 1,
Office of Analysis, Research, and Technical Support/Bureau for Africa (Jan. 1993).


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185 strategic objectives submitted by 55 reporting missions21 and
categorized them into 15 program areas. The results showed that gender
was heavily integrated into mission strategies for programs in which
women have traditionally benefited, such as maternal and child health and
family planning programs. However, gender was considered very
little-sometimes not at all-in strategic objectives for environment and
natural resource management programs and democracy and governance
issues. Under the rubric of economic development, gender was considered
in 50 percent of the strategic objectives for increasing economic
participation and 22 percent in objectives for increasing production and
productivity.

AID has collected data on men and women from developing countries
included in academic and technical participant training programs. This
information indicates that the total percentage of women to men steadily
increased from 21.8 percent in 1982 to 38 percent in 1990. In 1991 and
1992, the percentages slipped slightly to 37.2 percent and 36.9 percent,
respectively. We did not verify the accuracy of AID'S data. Am studies and
our own fieldwork suggest that women training participants are still
mostly represented in the "traditional" sectors of health, family planning,
and education.

AID officials with whom we met were comfortable with addressing gender
issues in projects that relate to most traditional basic human needs
sectors, such as health, family planning, and education. However, the
agency has not yet fully incorporated gender into other sectors, such as
agriculture and natural resource management, despite the fact that in
developing countries women are heavily engaged in the agricultural sector
and in providing fuel for family needs.



Conclusions AID's progress in implementing the 1973 women-in-development directive
has been slow, although the pace improved during the late 1980s, due
mostly to congressional actions and subsequent direction from the AID
Administrator. AID staff have also become increasingly aware of the
relevance of gender issues to projects through the increased training and
technical assistance provided by the Office for Women in Development
AID has implemented some activities that benefit women and included
them in the development process, particularly in the areas of training,
health, family planning, and girls' education.

21The study did not include activities in Europe and the New Independent States. It also did not include
centrally funded programs or activities of the Bureau for Food and Humanitarian Assistance, except in
cases when such programs were reflected in mission programs.


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Despite these activities, institutionalization of women-in-development
issues at AID remained incomplete because AID lacked central oversight to
ensure policy conformity. AID had not always sought opportunities to
incorporate gender into its nonproject assistance programming and some
AID units were not actively engaged in attention to gender issues. AID could
not effectively design or measure the impact of its women-in-development
efforts because it had not routinely collected gender data or developed
meaningful program performance indicators to link its efforts to program
results.

The U.S. foreign aid program has often been criticized for lack of focus,
competing priorities, and vague results. In recent years, global changes
and U.S domestic realities have precipitated a new debate on foreign
assistance. The executive branch and Congress have recognized the need
for refocusing foreign aid priorities, and a complete reexamination has
begun with the expectation that new authorizing legislation for foreign
assistance will ultimately be enacted. Administration officials have
testified that the overall goal for foreign aid should be sustainable
development and that AID, in its strategies for achieving this goal, should
promote four essential areas: economic growth, democracy and human
rights, population and health, and the environment. We believe that the
policies for promoting analysis of gender issues as a key component for
successful development remain valid and are consistent with the
principles articulated for guiding a new reformed foreign aid program.

We believe that, whether or not the objectives articulated by the
administration for a reformed foreign aid program are ultimately adopted,
two efforts hold the most promise for successfully incorporating
women-in-development concepts into program activities: (1) continued
efforts by the Office for Women in Development to increase awareness at
all AID levels about the importance of gender to development and provide
needed technical assistance and (2) management information and
accountability systems that will enable AID to track the impact of its
activities and the integration of gender issues throughout its program and
hold officials accountable for program results.

Women-in-development legislation generally applies to development
assistance programs authorized under part I of the Foreign Assistance Act
of 1961, as amended. It does not apply to Economic Support Fund
activities, programs authorized under the Support for East Europe
Democracy (SEED) Act of 1989, or to Public Law 480 food aid programs.
However, those programs can often also provide meaningful opportunities


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Chapter 2
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for integrating women into the economic mainstream and ensuring that
foreign assistance is used to reach all segments of developing societies.


Recommendations


Within the ongoing efforts to redefine U.S. foreign aid strategies, we
recommend that the Administrator of AID seek to include women as full
participants and beneficiaries in AID'S economic assistance programs.
Because we found instances of noncompliance with existing policies
regarding women-in-development, we recommend that the Administrator

* require all AID bureaus to establish effective women-in-development
strategies and action plans and establish reasonable deadlines for their
timely completion;
* require overseas missions to integrate gender concerns into country
strategies and action plans and include reasonable deadlines for reaching
stated benchmarks;
* develop systems and procedures for centrally monitoring the timely
completion and effective execution of bureau strategies and action plans
and mission efforts to integrate gender into its development strategies;
* direct that, to the extent possible, women-in-development policy
objectives be incorporated in nonproject assistance programming; and
* ensure the timely completion and evaluation of the PRISM system so that
AID has the information needed to more effectively design, implement,
monitor, and evaluate women-in-development efforts and more effectively
measure the institutional commitment to women-in-development.


Matter for
Congressional
Consideration


Congress and the executive branch have already begun the process of
reexamining the U.S. foreign assistance program, with a view toward
enacting new legislation with fewer, more clearly defined objectives and a
means for holding managers accountable for results. A large body of
research has shown that incorporating women-in-development concepts
into development program implementation strategies enhances the
likelihood for successful economic development We believe that this
concept can be applied to most assistance programs administered by AID.
This would include project and, in many circumstances, nonproject
assistance, food aid programs, and programs authorized by the SEED Act of
1989, as well as those financed by development assistance funds.
Accordingly, we believe that in any new foreign aid legislation, Congress
should consider emphasizing that women-in-development is a means for
accomplishing sustainable development objectives, and to the extent
possible should be applied to all assistance programs.


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Chapter 2
AID's Progress Is Marginal









Agency Comments AID generally agreed with our findings regarding its implementation of
policy guidance on women-in-development; however, it said that the draft
and Our Evaluation report did not sufficiently consider the progress some bureaus and
missions have made. We agree with AID that some bureaus and missions
have made more progress than others in implementing the policy guidance
on women-in-development, and we have included additional information
on this progress in the text of this chapter.

AID expressed reservations about implementing some of our
recommendations. AID stated that most bureaus currently have
women-in-development strategies and action plans but acknowledged that
others had only recently finalized them. AID also said that integrating
gender concerns into its mission's overall plans has been more effective in
promoting good development than requiring separate
women-in-development action plans. AID stated that its assessment
indicates that separate action plans often become checklists of required
processes rather than a thoughtful strategy for including women in the
country's development, tending to set women-in-development apart from
the country program. We found that the missions had not yet fully
integrated gender throughout their programs; however, we agree with AID
that separate mission action plans can become checklists. We have
modified our recommendation accordingly.

In response to our recommendation that AID develop systems and
procedures for centrally monitoring the efforts of bureaus and missions,
AID stated that it would strengthen the capacity of the Office for Women in
Development, both in terms of staff and the capacity to monitor
women-in-development programs and program impact. We agree that this
is an important step; however, as we have discussed, this Office cannot
ensure that bureaus and missions will carry out the agency's
women-in-development policies without the active support of AID'S top
management team.

AID agreed that incorporating women-in-development policy objectives
into nonproject assistance programming is important and stated that the
agency is pursuing this goal. The text of AID's comments is printed in
appendix II.


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The Foreign Assistance Act calls on the President to direct U.S.
representatives to international organizations to "encourage and promote
the integration of women into the national economies of member and
recipient countries and into professional and policy-making positions
within such organizations, thereby improving the status of women."1 The
act further states that the President should consider the progress of such
organizations in adopting and implementing policies and practices to
integrate women when considering contributions to them. The legislation
included such international organizations as the United Nations, the World
Bank, regional development banks, the International Monetary Fund, and
the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development2

The Bureaus of International Organizations Affairs and Refugee Programs
have the primary responsibility within the State Department for promoting
U.S. policy at international organizations such as the United Nations. The
Bureau of International Organizations Affairs has promoted some
worthwhile gender issues. However, Bureau officials responsible for
promoting women's affairs were unaware of the legislative directive, and
they could not identify documentation to indicate compliance with it. U.N.
officials said that the United States has not provided consistent leadership
on gender issues.

The Bureau of Refugee Programs has actively promoted the interests of
refugee women at international organizations concerned with refugee and
relief activities. This Bureau provides aid to international relief
organizations to assist people who flee from persecution, civil strife, and
other disasters. The Bureau has promoted at the Office of the United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) such key women's
issues as supporting a training program, offering assistance to field offices,
and urging the hiring of more women at UNHCR Issues related to women
refugees are discussed in chapter 4.







'22 U.S.C. 2225. Section 305 was added by section 54 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1974, which
inserted it at the end of part III, chapter 3. Section 313(b) of P.L 94-161 reinserted it at the end of
part I, chapter 3.
2Our review was limited to the State Department and its promotion of gender issues at U.N.
organizations. We did not review the gender promotion efforts of other U.S. government agencies,
such as the Department of the Treasury, which is responsible for promoting U.S. policy at the World
Bank, regional development banks, and the International Monetary Fund.


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Chapter 3
State Department Leadership Is Limited


State's Leadership on
Gender Issues Is
Limited


The Bureau of International Organizations Affairs is responsible for
developing, coordinating, and implementing U.S. multilateral policy.
According to Bureau officials, policies are developed as issues surface
within international organizations and are not contained in a policy
document. For example, according to a Bureau official, if the U.N.
Development Program plans a board meeting on an agricultural program,
Bureau officials develop a U.S. position paper that incorporates gender
issues, if relevant. However, the Bureau does not have a broad policy
document for either gender or sectoral issues.

Bureau officials were unaware of the legislative directive regarding the
U.S. promotion of gender issues at international organizations;
nonetheless, the Bureau has provided some leadership on gender issues at
the United Nations. The Bureau has collected biennial reports from the
Commission on the Status of Women, but a Bureau official stated that
these reports are of limited value in determining the extent or impact of
U.N. efforts to promote women's issues. Bureau efforts to promote
women-in-development and gender issues within the United Nations are
directed primarily through the Ambassador-at-Large for Human Rights and
Women's Affairs, who is also the U.S. representative to the U.N.
Commission on the Status of Women. The Commission was established in
1946 by the General Assembly's Economic and Social Council to report
annually on women's rights in the political, economic, social, and
educational areas and recommend solutions to problems involving
women's rights.

The United States has in many cases supported and participated in the
Commission's activities. For example, the United States helped develop
and then endorsed the Commission's draft resolution on the Convention
on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which was adopted at the
March 1993 Commission meeting. The United States has also supported,
among other things, resolutions on victims of rape and abuse in the former
Yugoslavia, improving women's legal literacy and access to legal services,
the participation of refugee and displaced women in program planning and
implementation, and protection of migrant women workers against
discrimination.

A main focus of the Ambassador-at-Large for Human Rights and Women's
Affairs was to improve the profile of women at the United Nations. This
effort stemmed from the ambassador's concern at the time of her
appointment in 1989 that only 1 of the 39 U.N. organizations was headed


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State Department Leadership Is Limited








by a woman.3 According to the ambassador, the United States is pushing
hard on resolutions to get women into higher level positions in which
policies are developed and decisions are made. The ambassador also
promoted at the General Assembly the U.N. goals adopted in 1985 that
identified specific areas for actions by governments and the international
community to improve women's economic and political participation and
address issues of violence against women.

At the Bureau staff level, the Officer-in-Charge of International Women's
Programs within the Office for Democracy, Human Rights, and Social
Issues (formerly the Office of Human Rights and Women's Affairs) is the
focal point for gender issues within the Bureau as well as its coordinator
on women's issues with other bureaus and U.S. government agencies. Due
to the lack of policy guidance and knowledge on gender issues, Bureau
officials turn to her office for information and assistance. She told us that
many officials within State are unfamiliar with legislative direction on
women's issues and are unaware of the relevance of incorporating gender
into their policy or program efforts. She added, however, that staff are
slowly becoming more knowledgeable and aware of when such
information could have an impact on their activities.

Some Bureau officials stated that commitment to women-in-development
and gender issues generally has not existed at the highest levels of State
management. However, the Ambassador-at-Large for Human Rights and
Women's Affairs stated that the Assistant Secretary for International
Organizations Affairs was instrumental in promoting women's issues
within State and the United Nations and helped finalize U.S. position
papers presented in U.N. organizations.

In commenting on a draft of this report, State cited several examples of
U.S. leadership on women's issues in the international arena. Some were
discussed in the draft report. Other examples include co-sponsoring
resolutions at the June 1993 session of the U.N. Commission on Human
Rights recommending the appointment of a special rapporteur on violence
against women and encouraging special rapporteurs and working groups
to include gender disaggregated data in their human rights reports.


GAO/NSIAD-94-16 Foreign Assistance


3The first U.N. agency to be headed by a woman was the U.N. Population Fund. Currently three
additional agencies are headed by a woman-the World Food Program, the U.N. Environment
Program, and UNHCR.


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Chapter 3
State Department Leadership Is Limited


U.N. Officials Said
U.S. Commitment Is
Mixed


The United Nations has provided some leadership on women's issues over
the years through various resolutions and conventions and has funded
efforts to improve the lives of women in developing countries. Various
U.N. agencies take different approaches to promoting
women-in-development goals, ranging from designing programs
specifically to benefit women to attempting to integrate gender
considerations throughout programs. Some key agencies, such as the U.N.
Development Program and the U.N. Children's Fund, have established
women-in-development offices and activities. However, many U.N.
women-in-development professionals said that their efforts were
hampered by a lack of financial and human resources, expertise,
gender-disaggregated data, and relevant program performance indicators.


The United States has provided some support for U.N. agencies
specifically concerned with women's issues and has initiated and
supported many resolutions on gender issues at U.N. agencies. For
example, U.S. actual and pledged contributions to the U.N. Development
Fund for Women-the only U.N. agency focused on direct project support
for women in developing countries-have totaled $12.7 million since its
inception in 1975. Although this averages to less than $1 million per year, a
State official noted that this program often leverages funds from other
U.N. agencies. For example, in Bangladesh, the Fund initiated a
$350,000-vocational training program for 4,000 needy women, and the U.N.
Development Program subsequently funded $650,000 for program
expansion. U.N. officials generally noted that, although U.S. funding for
women-in-development programs is considered minimal, the United States
provides intellectual guidance on gender concerns and is mostly a steady
advocate for women's issues.

Despite these views, several U.N. officials did not perceive the United
States as a strong global leader in promoting women's issues and noted
that most support for women-in-development within the U.N. system
comes from Canada and the Scandinavian countries. According to one
official, U.N. officials do not perceive that the United States places a high
priority on women-in-development and gender issues at the U.S. policy
level. This perception of U.S. commitment is based on such actions as U.S.
failure to ratify the 1979 International Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Discrimination Against Women. According to an official from the
Bureau of International Organizations Affairs, the United States opposed
the Convention due to implementation issues-specifically, whether
federal, state, or local governments would bear the costs of ensuring
compliance. In June 1993, at the World Conference on Human Rights, the


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Chapter 3
State Department Leadership Is Limited


Secretary of State stated that the administration strongly supports the
goals of the Convention. He further stated that, following Senate
ratification of the International Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Racial Discrimination, the administration would focus attention
on other treaties signed but not ratified, including the women's
discrimination Convention.


Conclusions


Recommendation


Agency Comments
and Our Evaluation


While the Bureaus of International Organizations Affairs and Refugee
Programs have worked to promote gender issues in the international
arena, the State Department has not developed definitive policy guidance
in this area, and the United States is perceived as not being a strong leader
on gender issues. The Bureau of Refugee Programs and the U.S. mission in
Geneva have monitored UNHCR'S progress on promoting issues related to
refugee women. The Bureau of International Organizations Affairs could
not document that it has routinely monitored the progress of international
organizations in promoting women's issues nor has it determined that
decisions on contributions have taken such progress into account as
required by the Foreign Assistance Act Therefore, State cannot always
ensure that the United States has provided consistent leadership on
gender issues at international organizations.


We recommend that the Secretary of State, in implementing the provisions
of section 305 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, issue
policy guidance for (1) monitoring the progress of international
organizations in integrating women into national economies and
professional and policy-making positions at international organizations
and (2) documenting the extent to which U.S. contributions to such
organizations have considered the progress of international organizations
in promoting policies and procedures for the integration of women in
these areas.


In commenting on a draft of this report, the State Department provided
several examples of U.S. commitment and leadership on gender issues to
show that it has pursued the goals of section 305 of the Foreign Assistance
Act of 1961, as amended. We agree that the actions cited, and other
activities discussed in our report, are consistent with the legislative
guidance and direction. However, it should be noted the actions cited by
State are very recent and do not by themselves demonstrate a pattern of
consistent U.S. leadership since 1974 when the legislation was enacted.


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I


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Chapter 3
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Furthermore, State could not document that it has routinely directed and
monitored the efforts of U.S. representatives to international organizations
nor could it document that decisions on U.S. contributions had considered
the organizations' progress on women's issues. State said that it will issue
guidance to U.S. representatives to international organizations on
encouraging and promoting the integration of women into national
economies and into professional and policy-making positions. Also, State
will consider progress in adopting and implementing such policies when
making contributions to such agencies. The text of State's comments is
reprinted in appendix III.


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Chapter 4

Problems of Refugee Women Have Not Been

Adequately Addressed





Refugees, as a group, are among the world's most vulnerable populations.
They are often victims or potential victims of human rights abuses, armed
conflicts, and other acts of aggression. Because they are often outside
their native countries, they are unable or unwilling to avail themselves of
protection. Women and children comprise about 80 percent of the world's
estimated refugee population of 16 million. Therefore, provisions for
women refugees, including their participation in the development of aid
programs, are considered essential to efficient humanitarian and
development assistance programs. Despite the emphasis UNHCR officials
have placed on the problems faced by women and children refugees, and
the training being provided to better integrate women's needs into its
programming, the refugee camps we visited' revealed dramatic problems
among women refugees and a lack of gender awareness and training on
the part of many UNHCR officials and relief workers of nongovernmental
organizations.

The mission of the State Department's refugee program, administered by
the Bureau of Refugee Programs, is to uphold the humanitarian principles
of the United States by aiding victims of persecution, civil strife, and
disasters that compel people to flee their homelands. The Bureau's
responsibilities include (1) determining the level of U.S. contributions to
international organizations for refugee relief and encouraging greater
participation on the part of other governments, (2) reviewing the activities
of international organizations to ensure effective use of U.S. funds,
(3) administering grants and cooperative agreements to voluntary agencies
for their help in refugee work, and (4) guiding the activities of the refugee
assistance offices at the U.S. diplomatic missions and U.S. missions to
international organizations concerned with refugee relief and
resettlement.

The Bureau has estimated that about $265 million is needed for overseas
refugee assistance in fiscal year 1993 and provided about $233 million in
fiscal year 1992. The Bureau received $222 million for overseas refugee
assistance in fiscal year 1991.2

The Bureau and the U.S. mission in Geneva, Switzerland, have strongly
supported women's issues. For example, in October 1992, the U.S.

'We conducted fieldwork at four camps: Baqa'a in Jordan, which is operated by the U.N. Relief and
Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, and three camps operated by UNHCR-El Wak
and Kakuma camps for Somali refugees in Kenya, and Ogijebe, a camp for Sudanese refugees in
Uganda.
2The Bureau is also responsible for the resettlement of refugees in the United States and has requested
about $208 million for refugee admissions in 1993.


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Chapter 4
Problems of Refugee Women Have Not Been
Adequately Addressed


representative to the UNHCR Subcommittee on Administrative and
Financial Matters concluded that the UNHCR had increased its attention to
integrating the needs and skills of refugee women into its programming
efforts but also noted that further progress was needed. The United States
at that time offered funding assistance to UNHCR field offices in program
planning and design to further such efforts. It also urged the
implementation of guidelines to increase the number of women at UNHCR,
particularly at the senior level and as protection and field officers. Bureau
and U.S. mission officials told us that they actively pursue the needs of
women refugees, and UNHCR officials noted that the United States has been
a major contributor to training efforts.



Refugee Women Face Living conditions for refugees are often hard, but women and girl refugees
face particular problems. Women and girls are susceptible to physical
Acute Problems violence and sexual abuse in flight, the country of asylum, and the camps.
Women also face discrimination in receiving food, clothing, shelter,
training, and other goods and services and rarely participate in
decision-making activities. Physical threats and discrimination are often
rooted in the cultural attitudes and practices of refugee societies as well as
relief workers.


Women Are Vulnerable to
Violence


During our field visits to Somali refugee camps in Kenya, women from
various ethnic clans recounted stories of terror and violence en route to
the camps as well as inside the camps. They told stories of attacks and
rapes by men from different clans and bandits as they fled Somalia. They
said that attacks and rapes have continued inside the camps and in the
surrounding border area of eastern Kenya. They are particularly
vulnerable when they are outside the camp gathering firewood.

According to refugee relief workers, violence against women and girls in
Somalia is endemic. When asked to characterize the situation, one U.N.
official stationed in Mogadishu replied, "There isn't a woman left in
Mogadishu who has not been raped at least once." According to a UNHCR
protection officer, every attack by one clan against another clan is
accompanied by rape. Somalis believe that rape "ruins" women and is the
ultimate insult one man can give another.

Host countries are responsible for the physical protection of refugees.
However, according to relief officials working with Somali refugees in
Kenya, the Kenyan police and military are overwhelmed by the scope of


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Chapter 4
Problems of Refugee Women Have Not Been
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violence and lawlessness along their eastern border. Kenya's
ineffectiveness at providing physical security for refugees is not unusual
Historically, developing countries have often lacked the political or
military capability to provide security for refugees. In addition, according
to UNHCR, the violence is often exacerbated by the conditions in the camps,
such as overcrowding and the loss of traditional family structures. UNHCR
protection officers monitor and report on security issues but do not
provide security. Protection officers are primarily concerned with
refugees' legal issues.

In the Palestinian camp we visited, domestic abuse rather than random
violence was the primary form of violence against women and girls.
Officials attribute the low rate of nondomestic violence to the stability of
the camps, some of which have existed since 1948. However, domestic
violence against women and girls is very high. According to camp officials
and experts on women's issues in Jordan, domestic violence in the camps
mirrors that found in some Arab societies. According to officials of the
U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East,
they are attempting to deal with domestic violence by sponsoring legal
literacy seminars to raise women's consciousness about these issues and
inform them of their legal rights.


Women's Needs Were Relief organizations have not effectively incorporated women's needs into
Often Not Addressed their emergency response and camp management procedures. Relief
officials believe that "emergency" needs take precedence and that
gender-relevant programming is a luxury to be addressed if time permits.
In a July 1992 report on refugee women, UNHCR concluded that the
response to many refugee situations is emergency-oriented and
insufficient attention is paid to the conditions under which refugees are
expected to live.

The distribution of food at Somali camps in Kenya illustrates the low
priority accorded women's needs and the lack of gender awareness of
relief officials. In Somali society, women are the traditional food
preparers. However, relief organizations did not consult with the women
about their traditional diet and food preparation. As a result, some women
were unable to prepare the food provided.

In the El Wak refugee camp for Somalis in Kenya, the Cooperative for
American Relief Everywhere delivers bulk food to the refugee committees,
composed entirely of men, who then distribute the food among the


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Chapter 4
Problems of Refugee Women Have Not Been
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refugees. Unaccompanied women (widows, single women, or women
whose husbands are absent) are routinely denied their food ration by the
refugee committees. We were told that unaccompanied women have no
one to protect their rights and are therefore forced to beg for food from
other women.

A lack of sensitivity toward women was also found in acquired immune
deficiency syndrome (AIDs) training for refugees at the Ogijebe camp in
Uganda. Medicins sans Frontieres, an international private voluntary
organization, had been contracted to conduct an AIDS awareness program
in the camp in an attempt to limit the spread of the AIDS virus among the
refugees. However, Medicins sans Frontieres only trained male medical
staff from the camp who then provided the information to other men.
Although women are a target group for slowing the spread of AIDS, their
lack of participation in the program reduced its effectiveness.

The Somali and Sudanese refugee camps we visited both lacked women's
clothing and personal hygiene articles. Women in these camps told us that
they do not have the means to purchase or produce these items.

According to UNHCR officials, the presence of staff from UNHCR'S Social
Services Division is a key factor in determining whether vulnerable
groups, such as women, receive appropriate attention in refugee camps.
Social Services staff ensure that the most vulnerable groups receive
assistance and are not ignored in the programming process. A UNHCR
official described Social Services staff as the "eyes and ears" of the camp
for vulnerable refugees. No Social Services staff were at the camps we
visited.

We found no designated person or organization responsible for addressing
women's needs in any of the camps we visited. Relief officials stated that
the designation of a women's focal point in each camp would better
ensure that the particular needs of women are being met.


Cultural Mores Influence Cultural beliefs and practices in developing countries, among refugee
Camp Conditions for populations, and among program staff pose formidable constraints to
Women meeting the needs of refugee women. In many of these cultures, men
dominate decision-making processes and women are often denied these
opportunities.


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Chapter 4
Problems of Refugee Women Have Not Been
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In the refugee camps we visited, we found little opportunity for women to
have a voice in camp operations through membership on refugee
committees or councils. Only Kakuma camp in Kenya had women sending
in decision-making roles. Several officials we interviewed stated that the
rising influence of Islamic fundamentalism is eroding some small gains
women have made. For example, according to relief officials, women in
the Palestinian camps are increasingly denied decision-making roles,
educational opportunities, and income-generating activities.

The attitudes of relief officials are also an important factor in the lack of
attention paid to women's needs. During our fieldwork, UNHCR was often
criticized by various officials who believed that many of its staff carried
significant "cultural baggage." According to U.N. relief officials, U.N.
agencies have many professional staff from developing countries and
Islamic countries who oppose women-in-development and gender
activities.


UNHCR Has Taken
Steps to Address
Women's Concerns


UNHCR has recognized the importance of addressing gender issues in
achieving its humanitarian goals. UNHCR'S Policy on Refugee Women,
which was adopted in various stages in the late 1980s, states that it is
important for relief workers to understand that refugee women, as single
women and women with children, represent approximately 80 percent of
UNHCR's target population and that programs can be effective only if they
are carried out with an adequate understanding of this group. To help
accomplish these policy goals, in 1989, UNHCR appointed a Senior
Coordinator for Refugee Women who reported directly to the High
Commissioner for Refugees. A primary goal of the Coordinator was to
integrate appropriate programming for refugee women within ongoing
UNHCR processes. In 1993, this position was moved to UNHCR's Office for
Programs and Operational Support so that women's issues could be more
readily incorporated into the development and implementation of refugee
programs.

According to UNHCR documents, training is a key component in the
implementation of the UNHCR'S Policy on Refugee Women. UNHCR is taking
steps to improve gender training for its officers through a 2-day training
course, entitled "A Framework for People-Oriented Planning in Refugee
Situations: A Practical Planning Tool for Refugee Workers." The training is
designed to provide refugee workers a framework for analyzing the
socio-cultural and economic factors in a refugee society that can influence
the success of planned activities. UNHCR hopes to convince staff that


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Chapter 4
Problems of Refugee Women Have Not Been
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specific factors must be introduced into program planning so that target
populations benefit equally from protection and assistance activities.
According to officials of State's Bureau of Refugee Programs, which
provided $500,000 for the pilot program, this training is a significant effort
toward improving the situations of all refugees-women, men, and
children.

Preliminary assessments of the program and feedback from workshop
participants have been positive. However, UNHCR participation as of
April 1993 represented only about 10 percent of total staff, so the impact is
therefore difficult to measure. As of this date, UNHCR had held
26 workshops with 20 to 25 participants for each session,
2 training-of-trainers workshops, and 1 follow-up session for trainers.
UNHCR noted in May 1993 that its training program was young and still
gathering momentum. UNHCR has also revised its program management
course to include modules incorporating the programmatic aspects of
special refugee populations, such as women and children. UNHCR plans to
offer this course in late 1993. In addition, UNHCR plans to incorporate
gender concepts into its Emergency Management Training Program. In
commenting on a draft of this report, UNHCR stated that a module of the
"People-Oriented Planning" course is now included in the Emergency
Management Training Course and that the Head of the Emergency Unit is
taking steps to ensure that every sectoral presentation in the training
addresses the impact of emergency intervention on women.

Relief workers whom we interviewed in Kenya and Uganda had not
received any training on gender issues, and they lacked practical skills for
analyzing gender needs and conducting gender-relevant programs. Relief
workers of nongovernmental organizations told us that their agencies do
not systematically incorporate gender concerns into program design,
implementation, monitoring, or evaluation. Several relief workers told us
that they were personally sympathetic to women's issues but did not know
how to approach the particular needs of refugee women in their projects.

The lack of gender training and programming among nongovernmental
organizations has reduced UNHCR's effectiveness because UNHCR relies
extensively on these organizations as implementing partners in providing
services to refugees. UNHCR officials serve as overall camp coordinators,
while relief workers of nongovernmental organizations provide the health
care, food distribution, sanitation, water, and other basic services to
refugees.


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Chapter 4
Problems of Refugee Women Have Not Been
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Conclusions


Recommendations


Agency Comments
and Our Evaluation


Despite UNHCR's emphasis on the need to pay special attention to the needs
of refugee women and children, refugee situations were still often handled
as emergencies with little regard for gender differences or the conditions
under which refugees are expected to live. Women remain susceptible to
violence and sexual abuse both during flight and in the country of asylum.
Cultural factors often preclude women from any participation or voice in
activities affecting them and their children. Although these women are
largely responsible for the care of the family, they face discrimination in
the provision of food, shelter, training, and other needs.

UNHCR and nongovernmental organizations, as implementing partners, play
a key role in providing services to women refugees, but their staff often
lack a conceptual understanding of the importance of gender-based
programming or practical skills for its incorporation. UNHCR's Policy on
Refugee Women provides an operational framework to guide all UNHCR
implementing partners in ensuring that gender issues are integrated into a
relief organization's area of competence, and UNHCR has strengthened its
training in this area.


We recommend that the Secretary of State (1) encourage UNHCR to
increase the number and distribution of focal points for women's issues at
refugee camps and to require its implementing partners to apply UNHCR's
Policy on Refugee Women, (2) support expanded and strengthened gender
training for UNHCR staff and officials and relief workers of
nongovernmental organizations and other agencies working with refugees,
and (3) encourage UNHCR to evaluate the efficacy of its gender training
programs.


UNHCR stated that our report is consistent with its own assessment of
progress in implementing the Policy on Refugee Women, and it discussed
additional actions being taken to expand gender training and protect
refugee women. UNHCR said that it agreed conceptually with our
recommendation that the Secretary of State encourage UNHCR to increase
focal points for women's issues at refugee camps. However, it stated that
its preference is that each staff member assume responsibility for ensuring
that refugee women benefit from UNHCR programs. UNHCR expressed its
concern that some relief officials might not see this as their individual
responsibility if focal points are formalized. We agree that UNHCR should
encourage individual responsibility in ensuring that the needs of all
refugee populations are met, and we agree that the efforts of the informal


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Chapter 4
Problems of Refugee Women Have Not Been
Adequately Addressed







network of focal points who are committed to gender issues are important.
However, increasing focal points should not lead to lax implementation on
the part of other camp officials, nor should the presence of such officials
replace individual responsibility. Instead, we believe that a focal point for
women's issues at refugee camps should be a reminder to all relief officials
that gender issues are important to successful programming.

UNHCR agreed with our recommendation that the Secretary of State
encourage UNHCR to evaluate its gender training programs, but it stated
that such efforts are premature until more staff and implementing partners
have received the training. UNHCR noted that establishing cause and effect
between the training and improved programming for women may be
difficult because many variables influence these outcomes. We agree that
evaluating impact is a challenge in the development and humanitarian
assistance arena, but we believe UNHCR should continue to pursue efforts
to assess its training program and modify its programs if the evaluations
indicate that this is necessary.

The text of UNHCR's comments is reprinted in appendix IV.


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Appendix I

Research on the Need for a Gender Focus in

Development





Our study included a review of the literature on women-in-development
and gender issues in less-developed countries. Most of the research on this
topic supports the view that a thorough understanding of women's roles,
access to resources, and cultural and social constraints is key to achieving
sustainable and equitable development. This appendix summarizes the
research on how gender issues can affect development programming.


Host Countries Often The Percy Amendment requires a gender focus in U.S. foreign assistance
to improve women's status and bring them into the mainstream of
Resist Gender Focus development activities. However, cultural resistance is frequently cited by
in Development AID personnel as inhibiting a gender focus in development According to
one AID Assistant Administrator, such norms represent 90 percent of the
difficulty in promoting women-in-development Gender issues go to the
crux of family and social life, making them very sensitive topics. Research
corroborates the view that effecting change in the social standing of
women has been an immense challenge for developing nations.

The available literature concludes that women throughout the world have
faced discrimination, whether subtle or blatant, and they have had to
endure a lower social status than men.' In some instances during recent
years, women's status has actually regressed. The hallmark of
discrimination has been gender role stereotyping that binds women to
home, marriage, and motherhood. Women who choose to postpone either
marriage or motherhood are often deemed by their communities to be
"deviant." According to a 1991 U.N. report, many women are allowed no
choice but to accept these rites of passage.2 Once married, women rarely
have the option of initiating divorce. Only 22 countries (most in the
industrialized world) have granted women equal rights in matters of
divorce and family property. Studies cite various cultural practices that
reinforce male control and women's secondary status, such as seclusion,
"female circumcision," and the dowry.3 Women's "roles" in marriage can
carry not only sexual and labor obligations, but also the expectation that
they will remain "in character." This can include strictures of obedience,
passivity, and self-denial.4


'Winnie Hazou, The Social and Legal Status of Women (New York, Praeger 1990), p. 193.
2Women: Challenges to the Year 2000, United Nations Department of Public Information (New York
Dec. 1991), p. 10.
3Alison C. Meares, "Demographic Data as a Catalyst for Gender Analysis: Two Asian Case Studies.'
draft report prepared at the GENESYS Project (Washington, D.C.: 1993), p. 4.
4Hazou, p. 147.


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Some religions have affected the status of women. Research opinions vary
as to the interplay between religious codes and cultural beliefs, but
suggest that religion is often interpreted in such a way as to justify keeping
women in a separate and inferior status in large areas of the world.5 A U.N.
study notes that people often interpret religious dictates in ways that
devalue and subjugate women.6

Laws can affect the status of women, whether as an agent of change or the
status quo. One study on the legal status of women contends that while
social engineering to remedy inequities is a basic trait of modem law,
enforcement is obstructed by entrenched culture that accepts gender
inequality as normal.7 Thus, despite the enactment of laws and treaties on
women's rights, a gap remains between law and actual custom. The United
Nations reports that laws have sometimes become instruments of control
over women, restricting their access to resources and power and
perpetuating social inequities.8

The marginal social status of women in many countries inhibits them from
entering the mainstream of development. Even if host governments seek
to elevate the gender focus in development, they may be unsuccessful, if,
for example, a woman cannot open a bank account, seek a loan, or work
without the permission of her husband. As was stated at the 1980 World
Conference of the United Nations for Women, women are less able to
share in development because sex role typecasting relegates them to the
domestic sphere.9

A U.N. report contends that sex-based roles have been so ingrained and
glorified that even women are somewhat desensitized to their own inferior
portrayal.10 Another study maintains that women have not been taught by
their culture to have a sense of their own exploitation. "True equality
between men and women," it contends, "cannot even be imagined where

5Lynne Brydon and Sylvia Chant, Women in the Third World: Gender Issues in Rural and Urban Areas,
Rutgers University Press, (New Brunswick: 1989), p. 26; and trans. Elizabeth Jelin, Women and Social
Change in Latin America, United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (London: 1990)
p.2.
6Challenges, p. 7.
7Hazou, p. vii.
8Challenges, p.7.
9Programme of Action for the Second Half of the United Nations Decade for Women: Equality,
Development and Peace, World Conference of the United Nations Decade for Women, A/Conf.94/34
(Copenhagen: July 1980), p. 6.
'0Challenges, p. 9.


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Development


prevailing customs are based on the restriction of educational
opportunities for women."" Under these conditions, women often
acquiesce to their lower status.

This is the milieu that development agencies often enter as they seek to
promote a gender focus. Some women may not be receptive to
development activities, feeling it could place them beyond their prescribed
roles. Other women may be inclined to participate but find they are not
allowed. For example, AID's Office of International Training provides
educational opportunities for thousands of individuals each year through
participant training in the United States and in third countries. However,
women sometimes decline, or are denied the opportunity, to attend due to
social pressures that discourage women from traveling alone. We observed
in the field that even when development opportunities are brought to their
communities, women are sometimes restricted by their husbands from
becoming involved. On some occasions, when women gain access to
development resources, the success they attain can stir resentment and
even prompt men to co-opt their activity.


Evolving Rationale for
Women-in-
Development


Women-in-development has suffered from the perception that the subject
was an isolated concern pushed by a narrow special interest group. In the
minds of some development professionals, women-in-development was
synonymous with welfare and subsidy.'2 Donor and host countries at times
promoted women-only projects with limited market potential in the
margins of the mainstream economy.13 Rather than questioning their
approach, some saw the mediocre results of many of these efforts as
confirmation that women-in-development was an unproductive welfare
issue.

In the early 1970s, women-in-development research began focusing on the
long-neglected roles, needs, and potential of women. As indicated in this
appendix, research indicated that neglecting women's roles and access to
resources could result in program or project goals not being achieved.
Conversely, consideration of gender dynamics could ensure that resources
were targeted more effectively and equitably and that results were more



"Hazou, pp. 199-200.
2Mohini Malhotra, "Why Bother With That Gender Issue?," Developing Alternatives, Development
Alternatives, Inc. (Washington, D.C.), p. 1.
'Gender Issues in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management, Bureau for Program and Policy
Coordination, Agency for International Development (Washington, D.C.: Apr. 19S9), p. 5.


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sustainable. These findings led to the rationale that the study of gender
was essential for equitable and sustainable development.

The argument that attention to women-in-development is necessary for
equity and sustainable development supports AID's stated policy goals of
working toward equitable and sustainable development.14 Moreover, the
Percy Amendment recognized this rationale in its call to enhance women's
status and improve the total development effort. Equity and sustainable
development were also stressed in congressional report language on the
Percy Amendment referring to "the importance of actively integrating
women into development for reasons of equity and economics."15


Attention to Gender
Considered Essential
for Equity


Women Have Not Received
Assistance Commensurate
With Their Numbers or
Contributions


Initially, the concern for equity was a stronger impetus for
women-in-development advocates. The Percy Amendment directed that
U.S. foreign assistance be used as a tool that would help ensure that
women as well as men benefited from development activities, thus
elevating their status. As noted in chapter 2, congressional report language
in the late 1980s reinforced the notion that equity requires a certain
proportionality. It directed AID to design its activities so that the
percentage of women to receive assistance be in approximate proportion
to their traditional participation in a given activity, or their proportion of
the population, whichever is higher. Measuring these proportions can be a
challenge because women's traditional responsibilities are rapidly
changing and their participation in the economic life of their countries is
often underestimated.16


Women are the sole breadwinners in one-fourth to one-third of the families
in the world, and they provide most domestically consumed food in
developing countries. Demographics are forcing even greater
responsibilities upon women. Due to the pressures of population and
poverty, men in many nations have emigrated to urban areas in search of
employment. The result has been an increasing workload and contribution


"Women in Development, Agency for International Development, Policy Paper, AID (Washington,
D.C.: AID, Oct. 1982), p. 2.
'1Report 101-165 (with H.R.2939), Committee on Appropriations, U.S. House of Representatives
(Washington, D.C.: July 1989), p. 97.
161989 World Survey on the Role of Women in Development, United Nations (New York: 1989), p. 291.


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by women, particularly in agriculture." Increasingly, the small farmer
producing food throughout the developing world is a woman.

However, cultural patterns have typically limited women's access and
control over development resources.'s For example, marriage and
inheritance laws often deny women ownership of land, which is the main
source of livelihood and collateral. Although women constitute half the
world's population, they own less than one-hundredth of its property, the
United Nations reports. As the landholding majority, men are more likely
to benefit from financial and technical extension programs-the usual
means employed by aid agencies to reach farmers. Therefore, despite their
contributions, female farmers typically have had limited access to such
technical assistance, training, or credit.

Moreover, conventional development practices have sometimes had the
effect of diminishing rather than enhancing women's status. Development
policies emphasizing exports or cash crops sometimes shift land and
resources away from women engaged in subsistence farming or compound
their unpaid workload.19 The effect has at times been to diminish women's
status, rather than enhance it.

Despite the merits of the "equity" rationale, it appears not to have been an
argument that could persuade both donors and recipients to embrace
women-in-development.20 To some extent, the rationale appeared to rest
on western concepts of "feminism" that did not transfer well to developing
nations.21 However, when considered the antecedent or determinant of
sound development, the equity case was strengthened. AID's 1974 policy
document claims, as one of its primary tenets, that equity is integral to
development itself.22



17Gender and the Environment: Crosscutting Issues in Sustainable Development, Bureau for Research
and Development, Agency for International Development (Washington, D.C.), p. 4.
'sWomen in Development: A Report to Congress, FY89-FY 90, Bureau for Program and Policy
Coordination, Agency for International Development (Washington, D.C.: 1991), p. 38.
"Jodi L Jacobson, Gender Bias: Roadblock to Sustainable Development, Worldwatch Paper 110
(Washington, D.C.: Sept. 1992), p. 7.
20Judy C. Bryson, et al., Gender and Food Aid, Bureau for Research and Development, Agency for
International Development (Washington, D.C.: Oct. 1992), p. viii.
"2D. Caro and D. Rubin, "Making a Better Case: Reassessing the Concept of Gender in Development,' A
paper presented at the International Development Conference (Washington D.C.: Jan 1993).
22ntegration of Women into National Economies, Policy Determination No.60 for the Agency for
International Development and the Department of State (Washington D.C.: Sept. 1974), p. 1.


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Gender Analysis
Considered Essential
for Sustainable
Development


The gender analysis approach is increasingly considered by many
development professionals as a means to an end-to improve project
efficiency and effectiveness by releasing the full economic potential of
women as well as men.3 A distinction can be made between short- and
long-term efficiency. For example, in some instances, it may be more
"efficient" in the short term to focus development resources on males.
They are often more readily able to absorb training because their social
standing affords them more education and free time than females.
Demographers have found, however, that given mobility patterns, men
often do not stay in the place or the activity for which the training was
intended. In contrast, women are afforded comparatively less mobility and
comprise much of the "institutional memory" in some sectors. It is
therefore often desirable to invest more resources in the female portion of
the work force to achieve more sustainable, efficient development.

Consideration of gender issues does not need to represent yet another
chore. AID emphasizes in its training that such consideration is central to
the achievement of its primary objectives.2 A 1985 review of 101 AID
projects by AID's Center for Development Information and Evaluation
found that when women's participation rate was high, project success was
high, and when women's participation rates were low, project success
tended to be moderate or low.25 Women-in-development is the
cross-sectoral common denominator for all development activities. AID has
stated that gender roles are a key variable that can be decisive in the
success or failure of any development plans and that involving women
throughout the various sectors of development is critical to achieving
sustainable economic growth.26 U.N. studies also assert that the
consideration of women's contributions and potentials is critical to the
outcome of development planning.27


2IFAD's Strategies for the Economic Advancement of Poor Rural Women, International Fund for
Agricultural Development, Governing Council, Fifteenth Session, Agenda Item 8 (Rome: Jan. 1992),
p. 2.
24"Gender Dimensions of Program Effectiveness: A REDSO/WCA Regional Workshop," training
material prepared and conducted by the GENESYS Project (Washington, D.C.: 1993), sec. 1, p. 6.
"Concepts, Tools and Applications for Considering Gender in Development: Integrating Gender
Considerations Into Strategic Planning," training material prepared and conducted by the GENESYS
Project (Washington, D.C.: 1992), sec. 1, p. 1.
26Report to Congress, FY 89-90, pp. 6 and 10.
271989 World Survey, pp. 291 and 299.


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Understanding Gender
Dynamics Is Key to
Program Efforts


Agriculture


Women's contributions to critical sectors have often been masked by
conventional assumptions about household spending in developing
nations. The development community historically presumed that
household incomes were (1) dominated by the contribution of the male
"breadwinner," (2) pooled with supplemental income from women and
children, and (3) redistributed within the family according to need.
However, subsequent research has contradicted these long-held
assumptions. It has been learned that the prevailing pattern of household
economics is that of separate and distinct income streams and
expenditures.2 Studies in many nations show that it is more often
women's income that meets the family's basic needs, such as food,
clothing, health care, and education.29

Evidence also indicates that development resources targeting the "farm
household" typically reach men and fail to "trickle across" to women.
Indeed, a variety of research reveals that it is quite possible for the
standard of living within a single household to be lower for the wife and
daughters than for the husband and sons.30

Not only can consideration of women or gender increase the chance of
obtaining optimal results in development work, but it can also help avert
outright failures due to misconceived and ill-targeted aid. As AID training
now emphasizes, failure to include gender in a project design is a major
cause of negative outcomes in development work31 Whatever the sector of
development, the failure to consider gender variables is in itself a
development flaw. Because AID's Office for Women in Development has for
several years placed priority upon agriculture, private enterprise,
education, and environmental/natural resources, our following discussion
of the relevance of gender to development focuses on these sectors.

Women have acquired a wealth of knowledge about indigenous crop
varieties, cropping systems, and sound cultivation that is waiting to be
tapped. International development agencies, including AI, assert that
tapping this potential can be not just a matter of development but of


28Women in Development, p. 3.
29Rae Lesser Blumberg, Making the Case by the Gender Variable: Women and the Wealth and
Well-being of Nations (Washington, D.C.: 1989).
30Diane Elson, The Impact of Structural Adjustment on Women: Concepts and Issues, University of
Manchester (1987).
""Concepts, Tools and Applications," sec.1. p. 2.


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survival itself.32 The First Lady of a West African nation asserted that
enlisting women is critical to her country's food security. The key is access
and control over resources. Studies have shown that when women are
afforded the same inputs and resources as men, their agricultural
production is often higher.33

In Africa, women perform as much as 80 percent of the agricultural labor,
but are not extended corresponding levels of assistance, which has led to
dire consequences. The report to the 1985 Nairobi Women's Conference
asserted that women's systematic denial of access to land and of control
over inputs for modern agriculture contributed to Africa's acute food
shortages.4 AID policy affirms that, whatever the region, unless women are
allowed such access, attempts to raise production and achieve national
self-sufficiency will be thwarted.35

Even when attempts are made to involve women in agricultural
development activities, project goals will not be achieved if consideration
is not given to gender dynamics. For example, for a rice project in
Cameroon, women were asked to assist the men by transplanting and
harvesting rice. The men were given the agricultural inputs and control of
crop sales. Not only were the benefits and inputs not directed toward
women, but they were asked to contribute labor, while at the same time
continuing with their traditional cultivation of sorghum. The women did
not participate, and the project failed in its objectives. Had gender analysis
been conducted in advance, this outcome might have been prevented."

Private Enterprise Small informal businesses constitute a large part of the economy in
developing nations. While often uncounted in official surveys, women
represent a significant and growing portion of such enterprises.37
Conventional methods of "incorporating" women into private enterprise
have typically steered them toward activities with limited potential, such
as handicraft production. Such ventures have done little to improve the
long-term economic needs of poorer women and have sometimes even

32Guidelines for Action for the Economic Advancement of Poor Rural Women, International Fund for
Agricultural Development, Governing Council, Fifteenth Session, Agenda Item 8, Annex (Rome:
Jan. 1992), p. 3.
33Guidelines for Action, p. 4.
34Women: The Roots of Rural Development, p. 5.

35Women in Development, p. 3.
36Women in Development, p. 4.
37Mari H. Clark, "Gender Issues in Microenterprise Assistance," New Directions in US Foreign
Assistance and New Roles for Anthropologists, No. 44 (Apr. 1991), p. 111.


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diverted them from subsistence activities critical to the family.33 AD'S 1982
Policy Paper notes that the impact of such an approach has been to keep
women in the unproductive sectors of the economy.

Women face institutional and cultural barriers in attempting to establish
themselves in business, despite evidence that when women are provided
access to business assistance, they perform as well as or better than their
male counterparts in generating employment and operating their
businesses.39 A study produced by an AID collaborative project concluded
that properly administered credit provided to female entrepreneurs can be
an effective way to stimulate business development.4 Experience is also
showing that women in developing nations tend to have significantly
higher loan repayment rates than men and are better at accumulating
savings.41 These findings point to the positive impact that an increased role
for women can have in that sector.

Education Female education often has an impact far beyond a woman's own self
improvement. Because of the pervasive role of women in many African
societies, this view is captured in an African proverb: "If you educate a
man, you educate an individual. If you educate a woman, you educate a
nation." A report recently prepared for AID claimed that female basic
education is perhaps the most cost-effective way of launching women into
the development process.42

Women and girls face cultural and logistical impediments to their access
to education. The impediments exist despite the mounting evidence that
success or failure in numerous other development sectors closely
correlates to female education.4 These sectors include environmental
protection, economic productivity, health, nutrition, family planning,
infant mortality, and life expectancy. For example, one sectoral study
found that child mortality decreases by 9 percent for each year increase in


38Malhotra, p. 1.
3Clark, p. 113.
4"Report to Congress FY 89-90, p.43.
41C. Jean Weidemann, Financial Services for Women: Tools for Microenterprise Programs, the GEMINI
Project (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 1992), p. 1.
42Joseph C. Wheeler, Issues in Supporting Sustainable Development Objectives, prepared for the
Bureau of Research and Development, Agency for International Development (Washington, D-C.:
Mar. 1993), pp. 10-11.
43Education Strategy Development, Bureau of Research and Development, Agency for International
Development, (Washington, D.C.: July 1992), p. 1.


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the mother's education. It further found that in African nations, a 1-percent
increase in the population's literacy is associated with a 2-year gain in life
expectancy.44 Due to such findings, the World Bank has called female
education "one of the best investments a country can make in its future
growth and welfare."45

Despite the undisputed benefits of education, a gender gap still exists in
terms of female educational attainment.4 Two-thirds of the world's
950 million illiterate adults are women. The rate of female illiteracy is
growing at a pace faster than male illiteracy. This disparity also applies to
the younger generation. Of the 100 million children who have no access to
primary school, a majority are girls. To some degree, this reflects a
conscious decision made by parents.47 For example, U.N. Children's Fund
report conducted in Latin America found that both fathers and mothers
favored a higher level of education for their sons than for their daughters.

Individuals who do not have basic education find it much more difficult to
take advantage of higher levels of training and skills development later.48
The handicap, however, extends beyond these individuals. It is AID'S view
that without a major increase in the number of girls who attain primary
and secondary education, no significant progress in raising the levels of
education in society as a whole is possible.49

Environment/Natural AID policy indicates that environmental sustainable
Resources development-balancing the use of natural resources with resource
conservation-is at the heart of all of its programs.5 Women in developing
nations know much about the attributes of forest products and play a
primary role in the conservation of scarce resources. Furthermore, as AID
affirms, women are also important providers and consumers of energy.





"FY 92 Plan of Action, Bureau for Science and Technology, with the Office of Education, Agency for
International Development (Washington, D.C.: 1992), p. 1.
45Women in Development, p. 6.
"Education Strategy Development, p. 2.
471989 World Survey, p. 26.
48Mary B.Anderson, Gender Issues in Basic Education and Vocational Training, submitted to the
Bureau for Program and Policy Coordination, Agency for International Development (Washington,
D.C.: 1986), p. 3.
49Women in Development, p. 7.
5oGender and the Environment, p. 2.


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They therefore have a large stake in the success of the agency's
reforestation projects.51

Gender analysis can be employed to harness women's potential in this
sector. For example, a project in Kenya sought to enlist women in
conservation activities, but ignored a social soundness analysis that
pointed to time constraints faced by these women. Midstream into the
activity, project managers recognized that their targets for the women
were not realistic and readjusted the time frame for their conservation
work. The project subsequently achieved its objectives due to this
adaptation, which was due, in turn, to gender analysis."

AID strategy documents hold that sustainable forest management programs
cannot succeed without including women.3 A case in point is rural Africa,
where about 60 to 80 percent of all fuel wood is collected by women. Yet,
as one study suggests, countless forest conservation programs have failed
because development planners did not consult women.'


Attention to Gender
Considered Important
for Economic
Restructuring


The World Bank has maintained that no development project can succeed
if the host country policy environment is flawed with "markets distorted
by inappropriate regulation and price supports" and inefficient, excessive
government expenditures. Restructuring economic policy through
dialogue with host governments became an important objective of U.S. aid
to developing countries during the 1980s, and, according to one study
prepared for AID, may continue to increase in scope during the early 1990s.

In a similar vein, restructuring, or facilitating the transition from socialism
to the open market, is now an overriding consideration for U.S. assistance
to Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. These diverse nations
share the common task of moving from command economies to market
economies. They also share the common risk that, in so doing, the women
of their countries may be disproportionately harmed by the changes.


51Women in Development, p. 8.
52Concepts, Tools and Applications, sec. p. 8.
"Rosalie H. Norem, Gender Issues for the AID Environmental Strategy, Bureau of Research and
Development, Agency for International Development (Washington, D.C.: 1991), p. 1.
54Jacobson, p. 8.


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Women Disproportionately
Hurt by Structural
Adjustment Programs


U.N. research, as well as a 1988 report prepared for the Development
Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development warned that structural adjustment may have a short-term,
disproportionate negative impact on women's employment, income, and
consumption as well as their access to vital goods, services, and
resources.55 The report also contends that girls' access to education, which
is already limited, is curtailed even further by government cuts and
families' needs to pull daughters from school to assist their mothers whose
responsibilities have greatly increased under the adjustment programs.

Lengthy research carried out for AID in 1992, as well as AID training
materials used in 1993, assert that women tend to experience adjustment
"particularly severely."56 The research challenges the notion that women
eventually benefit from adjustment through employment opportunities in
growing sectors of the economy. It finds this to be a "weak argument,"
claiming instead that women do not typically participate in the higher
wage sectors, thereby limiting the income redistribution effects of
adjustment.

Women are often more than proportionately represented in the public
service, and thus may bear the brunt of wage or job cuts that adjustment
can force upon this sector. Furthermore, primarily due to their
child-bearing and child-care roles, women have a greater dependency on
public services. They bear an inordinate share of social responsibilities,
such as family health and education, that reforming governments are
shifting to the private sector. As a result, women have been forced to act
as "shock absorbers" for structural adjustment, thereby increasing their
workload and curtailing their own consumption.57

Both the U.N. Children's Fund and the U.N. International Research and
Training Institute for the Advancement of Women have warned of the huge
amounts of labor-often not socially recognized-that structural
adjustment programs have been extracting from women.58 The 1991 U.N.


"SSusan Joekes, et al., Women and Structural Adjustment, Part II: Technical Document, prepared for
the meeting of the Women in Development Expert Group of the OECD Development Assistance
Committee OECD/DAC (Paris: 1988), p. 32.
"Ron Hood, et al., Gender and Adjustment, the Mayatech Corporation, prepared for the Bureau of
Research and Development, Agency for International Development (Washington, D.C.: Oct 1992),
p. xii.
57Hood, p. xiv.
58U.N. agencies quoted in Reaganomics and Women: Structural Adjustment U.S. Style, 1980-1992,
(Washington, D.C.), p. 28.


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publication World's Women states that women were hit particularly hard
by the economic upheaval in many nations during the 1980s.5 Many
women now work 60 to 90 hours per week just to maintain the marginal
standard of living they possessed a decade ago. Another U.N. report refers
to this compensatory labor by women as "the invisible adjustment'"6

While many governments and international agencies increasingly support
women-in-development initiatives, not all have emphasized comparable
attention to women's concerns in the process of designing adjustment
policies.6" Various studies assert that there is a lack of information upon
which to make informed women-in-development policy prescriptions.
They urge the collection and analysis of gender-specific data on various
aspects of structural adjustment in order to better monitor the conditions
women face during these periods.62

Studies of two West African nations conducted for AID found that
gender-related constraints can place a strong brake on structural
adjustment efforts.' They found that failure to address women's lack of
access to resources such as education has a high opportunity cost. The
studies concluded that "gender-neutral" restructuring that undervalues
women or does not address the constraints they face only makes
adjustment more difficult. Similarly, the U.N. Children's Fund argued that
women's concerns should be consciously addressed when formulating
adjustment policies "with a human face."6 Donor nations have the
opportunity, through policy dialogue, to emphasize gender concerns,
thereby safeguarding women and optimizing the structural adjustment
efforts.


Women Disproportionately The assertion that women are suffering more than men appears
Hurt in Some Instances by substantiated in some but not all of the nations of Central and Eastern
Transition From Socialism Europe and the former Soviet Union. Moreover, given the pace and turmoil

59Women's World, United Nations (New York: 1991).
6"Challenges, p. 22.
"Dr. Richard Jolly, Women's Needs and Adjustment Policies in Developing Countries, UNICEF,
(New York: Oct. 1988), pp. 15-16.
6Susan Joekes, et al., Women and Structural Adjustment, Part L A Summary of the Issues, prepared for
the meeting of the Women in Development Expert Group of the OECD Development Assistance
Committee (Paris: 1988), p. 1.
6Gender and Adjustment, p. 153.
"Caroline O.N. Moser, "Gender Planning in the Third World," World Development, 17/11, London
School of Economics and Political Science (London: 1989).


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Appendix I
Research on the Need for a Gender Focus in
Development








of events, such substantiation sometimes lies more in the form of media
reporting than empirical evidence. Finally, whatever the decline in status
that recent events have forced upon women of these nations, they still fare
considerably better than their counterparts in other developing nations.

Even with these stipulations in mind, the impact of current events upon
women of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union has been
noteworthy. For example, the Moscow Times reported in February 1993
that Russia's Labor Minister openly contended that women should not
compete with men for jobs, but rather should concentrate on maintaining
the household."6 The Supreme Soviet is considering legislation that would
provide incentives for women to stay home. In eastern Germany, the
media reports that the proportion of unemployed who are female went
from roughly one-half to two-thirds in the period of about a year.6

An AID report on Poland found that the number of women without jobs had
been consistently rising faster than the number of men without jobs since
January 1990.67 It also quoted Polish analysts who maintained that
unemployment among women is likely to surge once sectors where they
are heavily represented are forced to cut back. Another AID study
conducted in Hungary, however, found that men suffered greater rates of
unemployment because the heavy industrial sectors, which tend to hire
men, have been most affected by the changes.6 In neither country did AID
find legal barriers to women's participation in the private sector, nor did it
detect any weakening in the labor law or family benefits that constitute
social security in these two countries. The report on Poland warned,
however, that a gap could emerge between labor law and practice, given
the uncertainty over whether the new private sector could afford to help
sustain such social benefits and still be competitive.

These AID studies have found that gender is important to consider in the
context of making a sustainable transition to the market economy. Given
their levels of education and skills, women can be a valuable resource that

65Jennifer Gould, "Women Should Stay at Home, Minister Says," The Moscow Times (Feb. 11, 1993),
p. 1.
6"Peter Gartner, "Women the First to be Sacked as Closures Boost Unemployment," Stuttgarter
Nachrichten (Sept. 4, 1992).
67Poland: Gender Issues in the Transition to a Market Economy, prepared by the Bureaus of Research
and Development and of Private Enterprise, Agency for International Development (Washington, D.C.:
Dec. 1991), p. 52.
6Hungary: Gender Issues in the Transition to a Market Economy, Prepared by the Bureaus of Research
and Development and of Private Enterprise, Agency for International Development (Washington, D.C.:
Dec. 1991), p. 53.


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Appendix I
Research on the Need for a Gender Focus in
Development








should be tapped on behalf of this transition. The studies identified areas
of programming in which a gender perspective could both optimize
restructuring efforts and lessen the adverse effects upon women. Training
was considered the most important programming area. While
contemporary East European women have been fairly well represented in
the financial sectors, they now must adapt to the demands of the market
economy. The research contends that if women are not trained in the skills
for competing in a market economy, both women and the East European
economies could suffer.6

Another vital area of programming identified by these studies was the
collection of gender-specific data. Given the changing economic
conditions, to which some groups are more vulnerable than others, they
found that it is important to monitor trends on a gender-specific basis. The
research concluded, however, that host country officials often associated
concern for a gender perspective with "feminism" and did not grasp the
benefits, particularly in the changing private sector, of gender-specific
data.70 Moreover, these studies found no evidence that gender-specific
data had been collected for U.S. assistance projects in Poland and
Hungary. Another report submitted to AID, covering the Czech Republic,
Poland, and Hungary, found a comparable lack of gender-based data in
these nations. It also found that gender issues were not a major concern of
government officials or private sector companies.

As with structural adjustment programs, donor nations involved with
assistance to formerly socialist countries have the opportunity through
policy dialogue to emphasize gender concerns, thereby safeguarding
women and optimizing the transition to a market economy.
















69Poland: Gender Issues, p. 57.
70Hungary: Gender Issues, p. 59.


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Appendix II


Comments From the Agency for


International Development






Note: GAO comments
supplementing those in the
report text appear at the
end of this appendix. SI

WUSAID
US. AGENCY FOR
INTERNATIONAL NOV 4 199
DEVELOPMENT






Mr. Frank C. Conahan
Assistant Comptroller General
United States General
Accounting Office
441 G Street, N.W. Room 5055
Washington, D.C. 20548
Dear Mr. Conahan:
I am pleased to provide the Agency for International
Development's (A.I.D.) formal response on the draft GAO report
entitled "FOREIGN ASSISTANCE: U.S. Has Made Slow Progress in
Promoting Women in Development Issues" (GAO Code 472315, June,
1993).
The analysis in your report is timely since this
Administration intends to enhance the priority given to gender
issues in development.
A.I.D.'s response to the report's recommendations is
attached, along with a summary of factual corrections.
Thank you for the opportunity to respond to the GAO draft
report and for the courtesies extended by your staff in the
conduct of this review.
Sincerely,


Michael Sherwin
Acting Assistant Administrator
Bureau for Management

Attachment: a/s





320 TWENTY-FIRST STREET, N.W., WASHINGTON, D.C. 20523


GAO/NSIAD-94-16 Foreign Assistance


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Appendix II
Comments From the Agency for
International Development


See comment 1.

Now on p. 22.


A.I.D. Comments on the GAO Draft Report, "FOREIGN ASSISTANCE:
U.S. Has Made Slow Progress in Promoting Women in Development
Issues" (GAO Code 472315, June, 1993)




I. FACTUAL CORRECTIONS

Paragraph 4, GAO page 29:

"A.I.D. has not yet implemented a system of program
performance monitoring to effectively measure and report on
the progress and results of its assistance efforts. A.I.D.
is developing the Program Performance Information for
Strategic Management (PRISM) system, an agencywide framework
for program performance reporting and evaluating efforts
through strengthening mission information systems and
developing agencywide program performance indicators. The
PRISM system currently covers 55 missions, and A.I.D.
expects the system to cover all its central, regional, and
bilateral programs by the end of fiscal year 1994. Of the
55 missions participating in the PRISM project, a 1991
review showed that 39 had developed strategic plans with
adequate PRISM indicators. Of these, the missions in Africa
and Latin America were the most advanced in developing
meaningful program indicators."

There are a few errors in this paragraph and therefore we
recommend the paragraph read:

A.I.D. is currently implementing a system of program
performance monitoring to effectively measure and report on
the progress and results of its assistance efforts. A.I.D.
is developing the Program Performance Information for
Strategic Management (PRISM) system, an agency-wide
framework for program performance monitoring and reporting,
including strengthening mission information systems and
developing program performance indicators. The PRISM system
currently covers 60 missions, and A.I.D. expects the system
to cover all its central, regional, and bilateral programs
by the end of fiscal year 1994. Of the 60 missions
participating in the PRISM project, a 1993 review showed
that 54 had developed strategic plans with adequate PRISM
indicators. Of these, the missions in Africa, Latin America
and the Near East were the most advanced in developing
meaningful program indicators.

II. COMMENTS ON OVERALL GAO INTERPRETATIONS AND ASSESSMENT

In general, A.I.D. does not disagree with the report
findings which identify problems related to A.I.D.'s


GAO/NSIAD-94-16 Foreign Assistance


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Appendix II
Comments From the Agency for
International Development


Now on p. 26.








Now on p. 26.








Now on p. 26.


implementation of policy guidance on women in development.
However, we feel that the report does not sufficiently take into
account the fact that some Bureaus and missions have made
significant progress. For example:

o The efforts of the Africa Bureau as described in the GAO
draft report do not fully reflect the priority and
initiative devoted to WID by the Bureau. Africa was the
first Bureau to spearhead a major WID initiative that
recognized the critical importance of additional resources
in the field that USAID Missions could easily access. The
placement of WID advisors/advocates in East, West and
Southern Africa as well as an Africa Bureau WID advisor
represents the Bureau's commitment to act boldly and broadly
towards improving the status of women through A.I.D.'s
programs and projects. The Bureau has clearly demonstrated
its preparedness to innovate and go beyond routine measures
in order to promote the needs and aspirations of African
women.

o The Latin America and Caribbean Bureau is not mentioned
in the report. This bureau has recruited a WID advisor
and carried out WID training, implemented a WID
strategy, articulated a WID research agenda, improved
dissemination of WID research results and guidance to
the field, helped missions incorporate WID into their
program strategies, and has analyzed reporting and
results.

o The Asia Bureau's Democracy Program recently funded a
study on the relationship between gender and political
participation in Bangladesh, Nepal, and Thailand. The
WID Office and the Asia Bureau recently provided a one-
year grant to the Asia Foundation for a women's program
in political participation in several countries in Asia
and the Pacific. The Asia Bureau, like the LAC Bureau,
has hired a gender/WID advisor to assist in the
development and implementation of a Bureau WID Action
Plan, focusing particularly on mission needs.

o Near East Bureau management is giving women in
development concerns priority as evidenced by the
hiring of a full-time WID advisor who is responsible
for conducting evaluations of each program in the
Bureau to assess the integration of gender issues and
implement systematic procedures to ensure appropriate
program design, monitoring and evaluation.

o In July 1993, the Bureau for Private Enterprise hired a
full-time WID advisor who is responsible for conducting
evaluations of each program in the Bureau to assess the
integration of gender issues and establish systematic

2


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Appendix II
Comments From the Agency for
International Development


Now on p. 28.











Now on p. 28.







Now on p. 29.









See comment 2.


procedures to ensure appropriate program design, monitoring
and evaluation.

o The Bureau for Europe and the New Independent States (ENI,
formerly EUR and NIS) is presently engaged in a number of
program and data collection efforts which address gender
concerns in the HIS. The Bureau is putting in place an
evaluation and monitoring system, which among other things,
will have the capacity to monitor impact on women. ENI/NIS
also is conducting a comprehensive household income survey
which will demonstrate impact on women over time, a study on
the legal status of women, focussing on national growth and
social stability, numerous business development and PVO
linkage activities which specifically target women as
beneficiaries and a vulnerable groups feeding program for
infants, pregnant women and mothers.

o Since the Report was written, ENI/Europe has hired a WID
Advisor, established a WID working group, commissioned
several studies on gender issues, conducted a Bureau and
region-wide WID assessment, and developed a draft WID
strategy with recommendations for a Bureau policy and action
plan. The strategy should be finalized within the next few
weeks and gender issues will be incorporated into program
strategies.

o Bureau for Food and Humanitarian Assistance (FHA) programs
have direct and immediate impact on women, especially since
women and their children are unfortunately the most affected
by natural and man-made disasters. FHA provides substantial
assistance (both food and non-food) through PVOs which are
sensitive both to gender issues and to providing the sort of
community level assistance which benefits women.

III. COMMENTS ON RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE REPORT

RECOMMENDATION 1:

"Require all A.I.D. bureaus and missions to establish, in
accordance with existing directives, effective women in
development strategies and action plans and establish reasonable
deadlines for their timely completion."

RESERVATION IN TERMS OF IMPLEMENTATION:

Most A.I.D. bureaus currently have women in development
strategies and plans to guide the integration of gender issues
into bureau programs. Several were finalized after initial GAO
interviews and therefore are not reflected in this report.

At the mission level, integrating gender concerns into
overall action plans has been more effective in promoting good

3


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Appendix II
Comments From the Agency for
International Development


See comment 2.


















See comment 2.














See comment 2.


development than requiring separate mission WID action plans.
Our experience with separate mission WID action plans suggests
that they tend to become a checklist of process actions, e.g.
training courses held. Hence, they tend to marginalize WID
concerns as a "special interest," something apart from the
mission program. Therefore, we will revise our guidance to
emphasize integration of gender concerns into overall action
plans, including the establishment of reasonable deadlines for
reaching stated benchmarks.

RECOMMENDATION 2:

"Develop systems and procedures for centrally monitoring the
timely completion and effective execution of bureau and mission
strategies and action plans."

RESERVATION IN TERMS OF IMPLEMENTATION:

A.I.D. plans to strengthen the WID office, both in terms of
direct-hire staff and in terms of its ability to monitor the
Agency's WID programs and programmatic impacts.

RECOMMENDATION 3:

"Direct that women in development policy objectives be
incorporated in all nonproject assistance programming."

RESERVATION IN TERMS OF IMPLEMENTATION:

Incorporation of women in development policy objectives into
nonproject assistance programming is important, and A.I.D. is
pursuing this goal. The experience of other donors confirms
A.I.D.'s experience that measuring people-level policy impact is
complex and challenging. Effective implementation requires
better research to measure the impacts of policy reform on
people. The central WID Office is supporting such research.

RECOMMENDATION 4:

"Assure the timely completion and evaluation of the PRISM
system so that A.I.D. has the information needed to more
effectively design, implement, and evaluate women in development
efforts and to more effectively measure the institutional
commitment to women in development."

RESERVATION IN TERMS OF IMPLEMENTATION:


PRISM is not a
system and will not
Agency will need to
programs.


program or strategy design or evaluation
provide all of the information that the
design and evaluate WID strategies and


GAO/NSIAD-94-16 Foreign Assistance


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Appendix II
Comments From the Agency for
International Development













PRISM, or subsequent systems, can provide information on
development outcomes, including sex-disaggregated data and other
women in development information, only to the extent that the
missions and other operating units have included these concerns
in their strategic objectives, program outcomes and indicators.

However, other more direct, operationally relevant measures
of institutional commitment would need to be identified and
tracked. These might include, for example, establishing Agency
women in development targets and deadlines for addressing gender
issues, locating authority and accountability in key line
management positions within the organization, instituting
reporting and review requirements and providing adequate
incentive systems to achieve results. This effort goes well
beyond the PRISM system.



































5


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Appendix II
Comments From the Agency for
International Development


The following are GAO's comments on the Agency for International
Development's letter dated November 4, 1993.


GAO Comments


1. Additional information on the development of PRISM has been
incorporated into the report on p. 22.


2. AID'S comments on our recommendations are addressed in the "Agency
Comments and Our Evaluation" section in chapter 2.


GAO/NSIAD-94-16 Foreign Assistance


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Appendix m


Comments From the Department of State


United States Department of State


Washington, D.C 20520


NOV 8 193









Dear Mr. Conahan:

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on your draft
report, "FOREIGN ASSISTANCE: U.S.Has Made Slow Progress in
Promoting Women-In-Development Issues," GAO Job Code 472315.
On behalf of the Chief Financial Officer, we are submitting
comments and suggested changes.

If you have any questions concerning this response, please
call Sharon Kotok, IO/DHS, at 647-1155.

Sincerely,



Carolyn S. Lowengart V
Director
Management Policy


Enclosure:
As stated.


cc:
GAO Ms. Solis
State Ms. Kotok




Mr. Frank C. Conahan,
Assistant Comptroller General,
National Security and International Affairs,
U.S. General Accounting Office.


GAO/NSIAD-94-16 Foreign Assistance


Page 72


c_~. .


"YI~'







Appendix III
Comments From the Department of State


GAO Draft Report: "FOREIGN ASSISTANCE:
U.S. has made Slow Progress in Promoting
Women-in-Development Issues,"
GAO Job Code 472315


See comment 1.





























Now on p. 38.


The Department of State has reviewed the GAO draft report on
women in development (WID). The Department has taken several
actions to promote the full integration of women in development
and is committed to increasing its focus on WID issues, as
evidenced by the following.

Secretary of State Christopher announced at the World
Conference on Human Rights that the Administration will ask the
Senate to take up ratification of the Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. After the
Senate acts on the Race Convention, the Administration will
move toward ratification of the Convention on the Elimination
of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. We believe this
step-by-step approach toward Human rights treaty
ratification--developed in consultation with interested Senate
offices--will best ensure broad and bipartisan support for the
human rights treaty ratification process.

Although the GAO report states that some UN officials have said
the U.S. has not been as strong an advocate of women's issues
as other countries, the U.S. has been a leader in promoting
measures to advance the status of women. For example, at the
1993 Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights (UNHRC), the
U.S. introduced a resolution on the rape and abuse of women in
the territory of the former Yugoslavia, which condemns the rape
and abuse, reaffirms that all persons who perpetrate or
authorize crimes against humanity and other violations of
international humanitarian law are individually responsible,
and requests the Special Rapporteur to pursue a specific
investigation into the rape and abuse.

At the UNHRC, the U.S. also co-sponsored resolutions entitled
"Integrating the Rights of Women into the Human Rights
Mechanisms of the United Nations," which recommends the
appointment of a special rapporteur on violence against women,
and "Human Rights and Thematic Procedures," which encourages
special rapporteurs and working groups to include gender
disaggregated data in their reports.


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Appendix III
Comments From the Department of State















At the 1993 session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women
(CSW), the U.S. took the lead in introducing three of the CSW's
16 resolutions. The U.S.-sponsored resolution on the rape and
abuse of women in the territory of the former Yugoslavia--which
condemns the rape and abuse and urges governments,
international organizations, and non-governmental organizations
to provide physical, social, and psychological rehabilitation
services for women and children subjected to rape--marked a
significant development at the CSW: consideration of a
country-specific situation other than the resolutions on
Palestinian women and apartheid.

The U.S. also introduced a resolution on women and legal
literacy, which urges governments to ensure that persons
responsible for enforcing and interpreting the law are aware of
rights set out in international instruments, and a resolution
to strengthen the CSW communications procedure, a procedure
whereby women can file complaints of gender discrimination.

In addition to introducing three resolutions, the U.S.
co-sponsored three: the "Draft Declaration on the Elimination
of Violence Against Women," "Women, Environment, and
Development," and "Improvement of the Status of Women in the
Secretariat."

Over the past several years the U.S. has either introduced or
co-sponsored resolutions in the CSW and the UN General Assembly
to improve the status of women in the UN Secretariat. These
resolutions have set goals for increasing the number of women
in professional level positions in the UN Secretariat and the
specialized agencies. (The 1995 goal is for an overall
participation rate of 35% and a 25% participation rate in posts
at the D-l level and above.)

In summary, the Department has pursued the goals of Section 305
of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, which reads
as follows:

"The President is requested to instruct each representative
of the United States to each international organization of
which the United States is a member (including but not
limited to the International Bank for Reconstruction and
Development, the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American
Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the
United Nations, and the Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development) to carry out their duties with
respect to such organizations in such a manner as to
encourage and promote the integration of women into the
national economies of member and recipient countries and
into professional and policy-making positions within such
organizations, thereby improving the status of women. The


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Appendix III
Comments From the Department of State


See comment 2.


President is further requested, in making United States
contributions to such organizations, to take into account
the progress, or lack of progress, of such organizations in
adopting and implementing policies and practices which
encourage and promote the integration of women into the
national economies of member and recipient countries, and
into professional and policy-making positions within such
organizations, in accordance with the World Plan of Action
of the Decade for Women."

The Department of State will issue guidance to U.S.
representatives to international organizations of which the
U.S. is a member to carry out their duties in such a manner as
to encourage and promote the integration of women into national
economies and into professional and policy-making positions of
such organizations. In addition, when making U.S.
contributions to such organizations, we will take into account
the progress, or lack of progress, in adopting and implementing
policies and practices which encourage and promote the
integration of women into national economies and into
professional and policy-making positions in such organizations.


GAO/NSIAD-94-16 Foreign Assistance


I


Page 75






Appendix III
Comments From the Department of State


The following are GAO's comments on the Department of State's letter
dated November 8, 1993.


GAO Comments


1. Information on recent State actions to promote women's issues has
been incorporated into chapter 3.


2. Although State said that it "will issue guidance" on how U.S.
representatives should implement section 305 of the Foreign Assistance
Act, it has yet to issue such guidance, despite the fact that this has been a
legislative requirement since 1974.


GAO/NSIAD-94-16 Foreign Assistance


Page 76




Appendix IV


Comments From the U.N. High


Commissioner for Refugees


NATIONS UNIES
HAUT COMMISSARIAT
POUR LES REFUGIES


Tdgramme. : HICOMREF
Tex : 415740 UNHCR CH
T4Mphon : 739 81 11
T&Uax : 731 95 46


UNITED NATIONS
HIGH COMMISSIONER
FOR REFUGEES



Ca. Postate 2500
CH-1211 Geonbv 2 D6pt


See comment 1.


5 November 1993


Dear Sir,
The High Commissioner has asked me to respond on her behalf to your
request for comments on the draft review of US progress in promoting
women-in-development issues, and in particular chapter 4 of this report which
focuses on refugee women. I apologize for my delay in not meeting your 30
October deadline. Nevertheless, I hope you will consider the comments for
inclusion in the final report.
As an overall comment, I believe your review is generally consistent with
UNHCR's own assessment of progress in implementation of the Policy on Refugee
Women. The report is based on visits to two countries, Kenya and Uganda,
which, while they are important programmes, should not be seen as necessarily
representative of our global implementation. Enclosed please find recent
papers presented to the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's
Programme which update our progress.
I would like to make some specific observations which may be useful in
elaborating certain points. As the report correctly points out, refugee women
face acute problems, particularly related to physical violence and sexual
abuse. On page 59, the report mentions the difficulties faced by Somali women,
noting that "protection officers are primarily concerned with refugees' legal
issues". I would point out that a paper on "Certain Aspects of Sexual Violence"
(enclosed) was endorsed by the Executive Committee in October 1993. This paper
clearly designates responsibility for physical protection to various
organizations working with refugees, including UNHCR. The implementation of
recommendations from this report will include, inter alia, extensive training
of local police, immigration staff etc. in the appropriate standards of
treatment for refugee women. Indeed, using the funds provided by the US
Government, a protection analytic framework has since been developed for our
People-Oriented Planning courses which will be integrated throughout our
protection training, along with a case study to illustrate the situation of


Mr. Harold J. Johnson,
Director, International Affairs Issues
United States General Accounting Office
Washington, D.C. 20548
United States of America


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~c-






Appendix IV
Comments From the U.N. High
Commissioner for Refugees


See comment 1.
























Now on pp. 48-49.


-2-


sexual violence. Specific to the Somali situation, a special project was
submitted by our Office in July which aims at prevention as well as treatment
of rape victims.

An area which would not have been picked up during your field visits is
UNHCR's active efforts in advocacy drawing international attention to the
situation of refugee women and calling for appropriate responses. The most
recent example of this is our participation in a Commission on the Status of
Women Expert Group on Violence which resulted in extensive recommendations
calling for international implementation of our Guidelines on Protection of
Refugee Women. Another example is the work done on behalf of women refugee
claimants which has resulted in more sensitive handling of such claims by
asylum countries and, in the case of Canada, has contributed to the formulation
of national guidelines on the issue.

Your report correctly points out that emergency response may be
particularly insensitive to the concerns of refugee women. A module of our
People-Oriented Planning course is presently included in the Emergency
Management Training Course and the Head of the Emergency Unit is taking active
steps to ensure that every sector presentation in the training addresses the
impact of emergency intervention on women. Training of stand-by sectoral
specialists will also include a focus on gender differential impact. In
addition, stand-by arrangements with Swedish Save the Children have been
recently completed which will permit the rapid fielding of community services
officers in the first stage of an emergency. We hope these measures will go a
significant way to addressing this problem.

I note that the report mentions the need for implementing partners such as
NGOs to make increased efforts to ensure that their programmes benefit women
and, in particular, that they be exposed to gender training. In this regard,
UNHCR typically includes implementing partners in our POP training and has made
active efforts through the Federation of Red Cross Societies and two umbrella
organizations for implementing partners, the Canadian Council for International
Cooperation and the Norwegian Refugee Council, to expose our training materials
to them in the hope that they will adapt the training to their needs. In
Cambodia, we have translated our training into Khmer to facilitate its use
among local NGOs, and we are planning Portuguese translations for Mozambique.
In our recent Executive Committee meeting, we challenged NGOs to analyse their
own performance in the area of programming for women and repeated our offer of
training materials. We are presently reviewing our options for reinforcing
requirements for NGOs to apply the Guidelines and Policy on refugee women
within our agreements with them.

With regard to the three report recommendations, I would like to make the
following observations:

Increasing "Women's focal points to better ensure that the particular
needs of women are being met" is, in some cases, indeed the most effective
approach to ensure that our Policy is implemented. Your Government has in fact
generously financed such posts when this is judged the most appropriate
response. Nevertheless, we still prefer to insist that every staff member is


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Appendix IV
Comments From the U.N. High
Commissioner for Refugees


Now on p. 47.






Now on p. 49.


-3-

responsible for ensuring that refugee women benefit from our programmes.
Specific posts are rather used to place particular emphasis in the short-term
on "how to do it" rather than to replace individual accountability for
implementation. We do, however, have an informal network of focal points,
people who have expressed interest in working with refugee women. This group,
along with our newly named focal points for the 1995 World Conference on Women,
bring their own initiative and enthusiasm to the work without being formally
tasked with the responsibility for implementation, which may lead other staff
to abrogate their responsibilities in this area if there were formalised focal
points.

Your second recommendation calling for expanded and strengthened gender
training is already being implemented, thanks to increased funding provided by
State Department for this purpose. In addition to the original People-Oriented
Planning training, we now have modules being integrated into programming,
protection and emergency training. The latest plan is to ensure integration
into technical specialists training and into proposed field officer training.

Your third recommendation relates to evaluating the efficiency of gender
training and is indeed necessary, but until we reach a critical mass of staff
and implementing partners, this may be difficult to assess. Also, it is
difficult to establish a cause and effect between the training and improved
programming for women since there are many other factors which will influence
this. In this regard, we are interested in learning from the USAID experience
which has a $ 10 million budget for this purpose for 1993 alone and has been
conducting such training for over a decade, and therefore has a great deal to
teach us.

In conclusion, I would like to thank you for your interest and support to
our programmes. Delivering programmes to refugee women presents particular
difficulties not encountered by bilateral development agencies such as USAID.
The report has identified some the sensitivity of such programmes in a
multicultural organization and the complexity of ensuring a focus when
life-saving activities require rapid response. In addition, the breakdown of
traditional social, cultural and economic structures requires constant
monitoring to ensure that response is appropriate to the changed and changing
situation. As well, problems related to physical security of the refugees and
refugee workers are a constant threat in many cases. Nevertheless, I am
pleased that in the four years that we have had a staff member specifically
dedicated to this issue we have made major steps forward despite competing
demands and the limited resources available for this task.

Your sincere,


Eric Morris, Director,
Division of Programmes and
Operational Support


GAO/NSIAD-94-16 Foreign Assistance


Page 79






Appendix IV
Comments From the U.N. High
Commissioner for Refugees


The following is GAO's comment on the letter dated November 5, 1993,
from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.


GAO Comment


1. Much of the information provided on gender training and protection
updates our text and is reprinted in this appendix for clarification.


GAO/NSIAD-94-16 Foreign Assistance


Page 80




Appendix V

Major Contributors to This Report


National Security and
International Affairs
Division Washington,
D.C.


European Office


David R. Martin, Assistant Director
Audrey E. Solis, Evaluator-in-Charge
Wyley P. Neal, Senior Evaluator
Casey A. Barrs, Evaluator


Patrick A. Dickriede, Senior Evaluator


GAO/NSIAD-94-16 Foreign Assistance


(472315)


Page 81























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