The Gender Equality Mainstreaming (GEM) Framework is an approach that is presented here as a how-to manual – a practical guide and toolkit – for assessing gender equality, and identifying, implementing and measuring gender equality mainstreaming strategies within companies. The framework builds upon the environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment standard by mainstreaming gender across a range of ESG criteria.
Designed for investors and capacity builders, the ultimate aim of the framework is to transform companies to be more gender equitable while supporting business growth and impact.
The following definition of gender equality guides the framework’s approach:
Gender equality implies a society in which women and men enjoy the same opportunities, outcomes, rights and obligations in all spheres of life. Equality between men and women exists when both sexes are able to share equally in the distribution of power and influence; have equal opportunities for financial independence through work or through setting up businesses; enjoy equal access to education and the opportunity to develop personal ambitions (UNFPA, 2017).
In this manual, whereas we aim to be inclusive of gender, our focus has been largely inspired by the inequalities faced by women in private sector growth and investment decisions. That is, the majority, but not all, gender inequalities faced in today’s world favour men over women and this is the implication of many statements and indicators set out in this manual. Consequently, this resource supports progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular contributing to Goal 5, Gender Equality.
The GEM Framework is made up of two parts:
- Part A is the introduction to the GEM Framework. It includes the rationale for gender equality mainstreaming and ESG, what the Framework is, who it is for, the benefits of using it, and how it can be applied.
- Part B is the step-by-step manual describing how to implement the GEM Framework. The manual is organized into six steps. Each step includes guidance and a specific set of tools for investors and capacity builders.