Building Awareness about Gender and Inclusive Development

Twitter card showing sticky wall messages from EnCompass staff on International Women's Day
October 09, 2018

This post was originally published on www.InternationalWomensDay.com to demonstrate best practices in private sector commemoration of International Women's Day 2018 (#IWD2018). 

EnCompass LLC, a women-owned international development company, works to ensure that survivors of gender-based violence have access to multisectoral services and safe, compassionate, respectful, and ethical care. Much of EnCompass’ daily work focuses on preventing and responding to gender-based violence and promoting gender equality.

Gender equality is a human right that needs to be inclusive of all, regardless of gender identity, ability, religion, or race. EnCompass wanted staff, partners, and clients to witness and understand the company’s commitment to these principles. So, for International Women's Day 2018, they held a company breakfast to generate conversation about how everyone could #PressforProgress. Attendees heard stories from the field and watched International Women’s Day videos to inspire conversations about inclusivity.

EnCompass’ activities on International Women’s Day focused on bringing awareness to the continued existence of gender inequality, aiming to personalize the statistics we read about every day. Through Lerato’s story, EnCompass illustrated the importance of clearly articulated referral pathways and case management systems to ensure timely and relevant care for survivors of gender-based violence. The company also facilitated deep discussions about how each person could take steps to help #PressforProgress.

Inclusive development is effective development

In a company video, President Sherry Rockey reinforces EnCompass’ commitment to gender equality, “not because it’s the right thing to do, but because inclusive development is effective development.” CEO and CFO Tessie Catsambas is also featured, saying, #PressforProgress “is about a chain of women … working together for big change, and we want men to be part of it, too."

An important part of commemorating International Women’s Day is sharing personal stories that epitomize statistics, such as the global statistic that one in three women will experience violence in her lifetime and the strong correlation between gender-based violence and HIV transmission. For EnCompass, International Women’s Day was (and is) a chance to reflect on the impact their assessments, analyses, evaluations, and training have on individuals who have been affected by gender-based violence or exclusionary social practices.

To spread information about the importance of gender equality to achieving development outcomes and how gender-based violence can hinder those efforts, EnCompass engaged with partners and clients on social media and shared resources they have developed globally. One employee encapsulated the value of the campaign: “It was truly inspiring to see so many of our connections sharing their own resources and stories from their work in gender and inclusion–resources … that demonstrate how important the message of the International Women’s Day campaign remains.”

It’s true! Progress happens one impact at a time.

Photo © EnCompass LLC. All rights reserved.

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