A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) also known as a civil society is a not -for-profit organization which is independent from the government (Coppola, 2010). NGO’s can either be organized to address local, national or international issues. Basically, most NGO’s are task oriented and are formed to serve a common purpose. They perform different kinds of humanitarian functions, which together bring issues affecting public to the attention of the government. In addition, they participate in policy monitoring, implementation of programs and also encourage its member’s to participate in matters concerning the society. Notably, some of the organizations are formed to address specific issues such as defending human rights.
Due to the nature of their work, NGO’s have since 1947 worked in partnership with of the United Nations (UN) which is in line with Article 71 of the UN charter. In this vein, the NGO’s are allowed to engage in consultations with other entities of the United Nations. Many NGO’s participate in the rule of law processes by conducting analysis and research in legal issues and other fields. Severally they participate in research and analysis of economic, social and legal issues that affect the society.
This helps them to generate reports for use in their advocacy and policy recommendations. Basically, NGO’s assist in monitoring and implementation of international agreements while at the same time giving early warning in their areas of research. Other NGO’s participate in professional fields by sharing good practices and knowledge in areas of rule of law (Hirschman, 1970). Notably, most nongovernmental organizations operating in the field of law provide direct assistance including providing advice in areas of law making, technical assistance and management of rule of law projects.
This paper compares and contrasts different approaches assumed by Australian nongovernmental organizations in promoting gender equity. Compare and contrast approaches taken by NGO’s in promoting gender equityIn the recent past, there have been varied policy approaches in the way women and other gender related issues are treated by different development partners. Solomon (1995) noted that several NGO’s have taken lead not only in promoting and encouraging new ideas, but also ensuring their implementation. In the past few decades, NGO’s have actively advocated for recognition of the enormous contribution made by women to both family and society as a whole.
Basically, NGO’s have in the recent past strongly advocated for thorough implementation of the numerous outcomes of the UN conferences on women. Basically, the concept of gender surrounds the roles carried out by both men and women together with their relationships, which are mostly determined by economic, social, political and cultural factors. Gender as a dynamic concept reflects on these roles and the existing relationships between women and men in respect of the beliefs held by the society.
NGO’s recognizes the many gender inequalities that are not adequately addressed in various sectors hence causing adverse effects on women. Regrettably, the discrimination of the girl child commences before birth through pre-natal sex selection, at birth through infanticide, neglect and boy child preference in the course of childhood and unfair share of domestic chores and food all impacting adversely on the girl child. Sterne & Poole (2009), in their studies argued that there are also many cases of unreported violence against women. Notably, women's bodies are susceptible to infection particularly sexually transmitted diseases and many of them risk infection due to their inability to emphasize on safe sex.
Moreover, unfair distribution of family income compounded by biased opportunities for girl child education and training causes the girl child to limit the opportunities of obtaining better employment. Lastly, the impact of cultural practices including early marriages deprives women the opportunity of making their own decisions hence leading to early pregnancies and other retrogressive practices such as female genital mutilation and widow inheritance. The following are some of the approaches employed by several NGO’s in promoting gender equity and women's rights;