Wednesday 4th March – 3 months, 16 days
Wednesday I attended a meeting at the Ministry of Education on the National Priorities. The Government of Timor-Leste has agreed on 9 ‘National Priorities’ for 2009, which is a way of prioritizing sectors for attention – other sectors are also major ministries, like Agriculture and Justice.
What this means for my counterpart and I is that we have to attend every meeting to make sure that people are taking gender issues into account. I ask (or I prod Herminio to ask) - Are women and men benefiting equally from your programs? Is sex-disaggregated data going to be collected? Has anyone done a gender analysis on the suite of activities you’re planning? And so on.
Meetings are grueling (I hate meetings, they should be banned or revolutionized) but I do love the atmosphere in Timor that our organization (the state secretariat for the promotion of equality) is in demand to provide our input on gender issues on everything from agriculture to elections. This includes the high-level stuff – like the National Priorities. It’s fantastic, and Australia could take a leaf out of Timor’s book on this practice…