Gender Equality Changemaker Journey
Categories : Blog
Author: Keneilwe Tsotsotso
Today more than ever, organisations across the world recognise that gender equality is intrinsically linked to sustainable development and is vital to the realisation of human rights for all.
Many organisations are implementing initiatives to increase gender diversity and inclusion in their workplace and marketplace. But these efforts often only lead to modest change at best. Organisations face a complex web of systemic, cultural, and societal barriers to equity and inclusion, which must first be understood before they can be addressed and overcome. This calls for leaders, managers, and professionals with the relevant knowledge, skills, and values to enact real change.
Now in its second year, Digital Frontiers has launched a first-of-its-kind capacity-building programme and professional certification for gender equality changemakers; it was established in partnership with the University of Pretoria and Stanford University, along with the support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Gender Equality Changemakers Programme has been developed in response to the need and demand for gender equality change agents in organisations around the world. The programme seeks to mobilise a global network of highly competent changemakers who will accelerate progress toward gender equality within their organisations.
Through carefully curated self-directed video lessons and readings, combined with facilitated group conversations and active reflection, changemakers are equipped with everything they need to lead profound and lasting change. The programme offers a deeply engaging, highly personal, and immediately applicable learning experience.
The programme consists of six courses aimed at two distinct audiences:
- One standalone course targeted at senior-level leaders (directors, executives, partners, presidents, or any other equivalent) who become gender champions in their organisations. The Leading Equitable Organisations course guides participants through personal reflection and authentic dialogue among peers on gender issues and the practice of leadership, helping them uncover how they can foster more equitable organisations. This course is delivered over one week and requires a total time commitment of 6-9 hours.
- Five interrelated courses targeted at all senior-level managers and professionals. The first two courses, Foundations for Gender Equity and Organisations and Gender guide participants through personal reflection and authentic dialogue among peers on gender issues and the gendered nature of organisations, helping them discover their role in bringing about change. The next two courses, Frameworks for Gender and Organisational Change and Practical Skills for Leading Gender Transformative Change provide a focused and applied specialisation in leading gender change projects within an organisational context. As they progress through these two courses, participants will complete hands-on assignments that will culminate in the final, Capstone, course. In this final course, participants will develop an action plan for a real gender change project that they will go on to initiate within their own organisations. These courses are delivered sequentially over 6 months and require a total time commitment of 6-9 hours per week. Changemakers must complete all five courses to earn a certification.
We also recognise that some conversations around intersectionality, gender inequalities, and organisational mainstreaming need to take place in, an environment where participants feel safe to express their opinions on social and cultural norms. To bring theory to practice, we have created compulsory gender changemakers country-based Community of Practices currently in the following countries: Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe Mozambique, Kenya, South Africa, Namibia, Eswatini, Rwanda, Madagascar, Senegal, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, and Cameroon.
Experienced and knowledgeable professionals facilitate our COPs, with years of experience working as Gender Country Directors, Women Empowerment facilitators organisational change facilitators, and gender equity champions in organisations. They have strong knowledge of gender equity and organisational mainstreaming that aligns with the SDG 5 goal and practical experiences to share.
Through this carefully curated journey, Digital Frontiers hopes to create changemakers who are equipped with everything they need to lead profound and lasting change. To read more about this programme geared towards igniting real change and transforming organisations follow this link.