Gender at Work
To have a significant impact on gender inequity, we must change institutions. While the terms ‘institution’ and ‘organization’ are often used synonymously, the two are not the same.
Institutions are the rules, both stated and implicit, for achieving social or economic ends; the rules that determine who gets what, what counts, who does what, and who decides. These are the rules that maintain women’s unequal position in society. They include values that perpetuate the gendered division of labor, devalue women’s lives, restrict women’s access to land and other key economic resources, restrict women’s mobility, and perhaps most fundamentally, devalue reproductive work.
Organizations are the social structures created to accomplish particular ends but which embody the institutions prevalent in a society.
Much has been accomplished toward gender equality. However, nowhere in the world are women and men truly equal in political , social or economic rights. We believe that this is because the bulk of the efforts toward gender inequality ignore the role of the institutions or “rules” that maintain women’s unequal position.