CIVICUS Gender Working Group

What is the Gender Working Group?

CIVICUS’ Gender Working Group (GWG) is envisioned as a staff and member-based advisory group focussed on gender-mainstreaming and on engaging and amplifying women’s voices and leadership across the Alliance.

In addition to a focus on gender equality, the GWG applies an intersectional lens, and so commits to amplifying more marginal or lesser-heard voices as much as possible, as well as to inclusion of sexual minorities and other individuals and movements that are committed to challenging heteronormative and patriarchal systems of power, including institutions, cultural norms and values, and other forms of exclusion or bias.


  • Share and organise information, and generate dialogue around effective policies and approaches towards greater gender inclusion and equality, including: cutting edge and best practice approaches to gender-mainstreaming and inclusion within the civil society sector.
  • Inform CIVICUS’ internal gender mainstreaming strategy and link it to the work and the needs of our membership and civil society writ large, with the broader goal of a more diverse, inclusive and gender just civil society sector
  • Build a diverse community of stakeholders committed to gender equality at organisational, sectoral and global levels, while engaging with activists and sectors beyond women’s rights organisations to work across boundaries of sector or geography.
  • Engage CIVICUS’ membership to address research and policy questions related to gender in civil society in ways that are inclusive of our diverse constituents and women’s movements, while establishing substantive papers, positions and advocacy tools on the subjects of gender mainstreaming and a gender equal and inclusive civil society sector.
  • Work to amplify diverse member voices on issues of gender-mainstreaming, gender equality, inclusion, justice and rights through our communications channels and networks, and engage CIVICUS members in informing gender-inclusive and representative programming and activities.


  • Support for Secretariat-wide Inclusion Audit with HR/Ops and Management Team and working toward the best-in-class, cutting edge and forward-looking inclusion policies and practices possible for CIVICUS, and share learnings and outcomes as best practices with the Alliance
  • Development of CSW sessions with WHRDs and Policy and Research Team, and a presence at Geneva at HRC and with special procedures and the UPR process for CEDAW, connecting members working on gender equality, women’s rights, SOGI issues, SRHRs, girls’ education, and other key thematic areas with each other and with international processes and spaces.
  • Virtual campaigning, participation in and convening sessions or events for:#16DaysAgainstGBV in November-December 2016, global Women’s Marches in January 2017, 8th March International Women’s Day and #ADayWithoutAWoman woman’s strike, CSW61, IDAHOT, #SheDefends WHRD MENA campaign, and other key gender-related events, to amplify the voices of women’s rights activists, gender equality activists, WHRDs, sexual minorities and other less-heard voices;
  • Highlighting gender-related learnings and strategies through spaces like the Gender, Inclusion and the State of Civil Society webinar, springing off of a presentation of the 2016 State of Civil Society report, and attempting to amplify the voices of women and sexual minorities where media opportunities may arise.


Currently, the Gender Working Group is undergoing a renewal process, and is limited in its member representation.  We’d be interested to know if you want to keep up-to-date on the activities of this Working Group as we develop the member networking elements of it. 

We aim to roll out a brief consultation process in the coming quarter to take the pulse of those in the CIVICUS Alliance interested in the Gender Working Group. From that feedback and from internal consultations, we will develop a process to guide the GWG in engaging members to co-create and collaborate in activities that can help us promote a more gender-inclusive civil society in the future.

That process will help to determine a more collaborative way of deciding on goals and activities for this network and we hope it will include a diversity of voices.

To stay informed, drop us a line a, and add a line about what kind of work you or your organisation or network does, and answer this question:  How do you work towards advancing gender equality in the civil society sector?



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