Monday 11th May – 5 months, 25 days
Did I ever complain about the Timorese government’s gender equality secretariat (i.e. where I work) not being involved in the National Priorities? I take it back. We’re too involved now. OK, no we’re not really, I’m just feeling the time pressures from my counterparts and I being invited to attend every single meeting for the seven National Priorities. There are meetings to discuss the matrixes. There are meetings to discuss the quarterly progress reports. There are meetings to agree on who is leading the meetings. It’s rather a lot, given our main purpose for going is to see that a gender perspective is included mainly into four of the seven priority areas.
Anyway, we’re having the most progress, gender-indicator-wise, with working with the first four working groups. This is not because the latter third are lazy; it’s just that the first four groups coincide with our current gender mainstreaming priority sectors within government, and we don’t have enough resources (read: people or time) to be doing a full gender analysis and monitoring on seven sectors. So, we chose to concentrate on those first groups – but the others have some gender indicators here and there in their overall plans for work (the matrixes).
In case you were wondering, because I haven’t listed them before, here are the seven 2009 National Priorities of the Government of Timor-Leste:
Agriculture and Food Security
Human Resources Development (which actually means Education and Social Solidarity)
Social Protection and Social Services (which means Health and Social Solidarity)
Public Safety and Security
Clean and Effective Government
Access to Justice
These do not correspond exactly to ministries but rather are sectors that were decided within government and across ministries. For example, the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Social Solidarity are the two ministries working on the third sector’s working group.
On a side note, I do find different countries’ and governments’ decisions about names and roles of government departments, ministries, state secretariats and offices intriguing. Political priorities can change with a click of the fingers and that usually means that one department’s program gets axed and someone else finds themselves heading up a new program or even department (not always with new resources, either – and this happens in Australia, too).